Electric sports car maker Tesla announced a new, faster and sportier version of its Roadster, the Tesla Roadster Sport, at the Detroit motor show.
Performance is upgraded slightly, with the 0-60mph time of 3.7sec 0.2sec up over the standard car’s 3.9sec time. Tesla has increased the power in its Roadster Sport too; it’s up from 248bhp to 288bhp.
The fastest version of the Tesla Roadster so far also has a reworked suspension with adjustable dampers, and anti-roll bars that can be tuned to the driver’s specification. Its wheels are forged alloy and finished in black.
It looks like the Tesla Roadster Sport will be available in the UK, too, for around £12,000 more than the standard Roadster.
The new Tesla will go on sale in June at a cost £94,000. That’s substantially more than in the US, where the Tesla Roadster Sport will cost $128,500 (£88,000).
However, the premium over the standard Roadster may not be the only factor limiting Tesla sales to early adopters of electric cars.
Directly opposite Tesla’s stand inside the Detroit show hall, Henrik Fisker unveiled the production-ready version of his Karma hybrid sports saloon and a Karma S soft-top concept with similar performance figures to the Tesla Roadster Sport.
Using a 256bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine to charge its batteries, the Fisker Karma has less power than the Tesla, but two more seats and is significantly cheaper. And the soft-top version will increase the Karma’s appeal when it goes on sale in 2011/12, posing a serious threat to the Tesla Roadster.
Tesla has the premium electric car market to itself for the moment, but Fisker and his team plan to sell 15,000 Karmas per year by 2010/11.