While current owners of the much-lauded, Lotus-based Tesla Roadster get to enjoy their cars today, those on the waiting list for 2010 models may have some upgrades in store.
Tesla Motors Club (TMC) member DrComputer posted about “a conversation with Ted at [Tesla] corporate” that appears to have leaked details on 2010 Tesla Roadster models.
Given Tesla’s close relationship with Lotus, perhaps we will see pertinent improvements transfer to related Lotus models like the Elise and Exige, or perhaps even the Evora.
The rumored upgrades include:
- Built in WiFi cards with online infrastructure
Tesla owners will soon be empowered to connect to the internet for both personal and business use and possibly even transform their Tesla into a mobile wireless hotspot with the addition of a router. Through this connection, Tesla Motors will be able to remotely update car firmware, unlock doors, know the car’s precise location (useful for law-enforcement authorities if the car is stolen), and gather statistics. Plans are also in place to make such data readily available to owners through a tailored owner site where interaction with the car could be orchestrated in real-time.
iPhone/Blackberry applications would now have an open door, so you could monitor your car from essentially anywhere.
Such data collection and remote access certainly raises privacy and security concerns — how would you feel if Lotus implemented a similar system? While this is speculative on our part, don’t be surprised if Lotus management has serious interest. Lotus Engineering has made a name for itself as an engineering vanguard, and this technological edge from Tesla neatly dovetails with that mission.
According to the TMC post, there are still some liability issues Tesla will need to address. Owners will have to sign a legal waiver to enable the wireless access and will have the ability to restrict access to defined periods or turn off access at any time.
- Switchable performance modes from the key
From the key, Roadster owners will be able to instantly switch operating modes from range to standard to performance (and back to standard but not back to range). A clearly useful feature for those who drive their cars often and many Lotus owners would surely be interested in this feature as well.
Rounding up the list of 2010 Tesla Roadster improvements are:
- New power electronics module
- Better cooling for the power electronics
- Improved air conditioning system with variable fan speeds
- Glove box that locks when you lock your car (perfect for leaving the car with the top off)