Tesla's commitment to its first car — the aging Roadster — is admirable: even as it's refreshing the Model S, rolling out the Model X, and working on the Model 3, it's upgrading the tiny sports car that put it on the map.
For a price, anyway.
The company is finally taking orders for the Roadster 3.0 upgrade that it announced late last year, which runs $29,000 including a $5,000 deposit upfront. ("It is not our intention to make a profit on the battery pack," Tesla says, claiming that the upgrade fee is being offered at cost.) For that price, you get a totally new, "almost entirely hand-built" battery pack that squeezes in 40 percent more energy than the old pack that it replaces for greater range. (That's actually better than the 31 percent that Tesla had quoted last year when the upgrade was first announced.) Of course, that doesn't include the cost of the car itself — you'll already need to have that on hand or you'll need to buy a used one, because Tesla isn't making a new run of Roadster 3.0s.
Better battery, better range
Once the parts come in, Tesla says your local service center should only need "a few days" to complete the service, but there's no indication on just how long it'll take to get those parts — the company warns that it's only making two or three new Roadster battery packs per week, and you'll be contacted to schedule installation "as inventory becomes available."
But if you don't have an old Roadster on hand, no worries: the company has said that it'll be working on an all-new model for release in about four years' time.