By Colin Bird on September 12, 2012
We've already seen the Tesla Model S, which is on sale now, and the new midsize Tesla Model X crossover that's due out in early 2014. A compact, entry-level Tesla priced around $30,000 also should be coming in 2015. Now we're learning that the automaker also plans to build a compact crossover and a new Tesla Roadster by 2016, Tesla founder Elon Musk told Wired Magazine. That would bring the carmaker's lineup up to five vehicles from today's one.
The Roadster and the compact crossover are being designed and engineered in tandem, according to Musk, and would go on sale at the same time in 2016. Like the now-defunct Tesla Roadster, Musk says the new model will have supercar performance, but, unlike the old Roadster, it will be less expensive. A base 2011 Tesla Roadster cost $109,000.
Musk further commented on the ongoing developments for the compact sedan, saying the model will be "20-to-25 percent smaller than the Models S."
It will also feature a stealthy rear hatch, much like the Model S. In other Tesla news, the automaker announced a new customer service program. It'll cost $600 a year, or every 12,500 miles, and cover an annual inspection and all wear and tear parts, excluding tires. There's also a prepaid four-year service plan that's available for $1,900 and includes four annual inspections up to 50,000 miles. By March 2013, the startup carmaker plans on having enough service centers in place to have 90% of its Model S owners within 100 miles of a location and 80% within 50 miles.
The carmaker also says its begun sending over-the-air updates to its few Model S vehicles on the road already. Software updates include a new "Creep" mode option. Creep mode is when a normal combustion engine vehicle slowly creeps forward at 5 mph when neither the accelerator nor brake pedals are depressed. The Model S currently doesn't move at all in this condition. Current owners found that odd, so Tesla is adding it to the model with the software update.
Other updates to come soon include a speed alert warning, additional stereo system settings and memory seat functionality.