Don't call it a refresh

Tesla has given Roadster electric sports car a few upgrades. Rather than just giving the Roadster a new model year designation like a regular automaker does, Tesla is--true to its Silicon Valley roots--referring to the changes as a version 2.5 update.

Take a look at the new 2.5 version of the Tesla Roadster Sport from the rear quarter and you'll be hard pressed to notice any changes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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More aggressive styling

However, if you spin around to its front end, the changes are much easier to spot.

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Front fascia

The Roadster's front end features Tesla's new logo treatment. The company redesigned the cars front air dam for a more aggressive and distinct appearance, as well as integrating a chin spoiler.

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Side vents

At either side of the front fascia are these new side vents.

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Functionality

The car's side vents are functional and divert air from the high pressure area at the front of the vehicle out and to the side. According to Tesla, this element improves the Roadster's aerodynamics.

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Rear diffuser

The car's rear diffuser also has been revised. However, Tesla revised it mostly to improve the Roadster's appearance and not its aerodynamics. If you look closely, you'll notice it has the newly available rearview camera.

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Rolling stock

The Roadster Sport is available with a new wheel and tire package that is available in silver or gloss black finishes.

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Two variants

The EV can be had in either of two variants: the Roadster and the Roadster Sport. The Roadster's estimated maximum driving range is 250 miles regardless of configuration and it has a 3.5-hour charging cycle when using the high-power connection.

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New cabin tech

The Tesla Roadster's cockpit also receives a few updates in the form of a new audio system.

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Powered by Alpine

Tesla now has an optional double-DIN receiver available on the Roadster. The unit is supplied by Alpine with the model number IVA-NAV-10. Upon closer inspection, it appears to be an OEM rebranding of the INA-W900 retail model. Look for a full review of this unit in the coming days.

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Rearview camera

You can add a rearview camera to the Roadster. The system can display distance guides, but not dynamic trajectory lines.

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Speaker upgrade

As part of the technology package, the Roadster's standard four-speaker audio system is upgraded with the inclusion of a pair of door-mounted tweeters and a 6.5-inch subwoofer that is located in the rocker panel behind the driver. With about 300 watts of amplification, this is a marked improvement over previous Roadsters.

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As we rooted around the cabin, we noticed a cleverly integrated Apple 30-pin dock connector for connecting iPod and iPhone's to the car's audio system.

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Instrumentation

It doesn't appear as if Tesla changed the instrumentation panel on the 2.5 as it retains the Roadster's simple two-dial configuration. On the left is the speedometer and on the right is a power meter that indicates how much energy you're expending or regenerating.

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Momo steering wheel

The Roadster features this fantastic feeling Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel.

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Information display

At the base of the center stack is this touch-screen display that lets you monitor the status of the Roadster's various systems and create a driver PIN for additional security or to keep valets from having too much fun with your $100,000 investment.

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Glove compartment

Sometimes, its the small things that matter the most. We're glad to see that the Tesla Roadster 2.5 features a locking glove compartment, a curious omission from the first generation model.

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