Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA - Free Report) is planning a software update for its dual motor Model S vehicles that will enable torque sleep in the cars. This means that torque sleep will be enabled in one of the drive units when torque is not required. Thereafter, the unit will become active as soon as the accelerator is pressed.
According to Tesla, the change will be so smooth that the driver will not be able to feel it. However, this small change will increase the range of the dual motor Model S vehicles by around 10%. It will also increase the top speed of the dual motor vehicles to 155 miles per hour (mph) from the previous limit of 130 mph.
The software update will be available from Jan-end in all dual motor Model S vehicles. Tesla is aggressively working toward expanding and improving its product portfolio. Recently, the automaker announced that it will offer an upgrade for its older Roadster model to Roadster 3.0, beginning spring 2015. The upgraded vehicle will have better battery, new tires and other improvements. Moreover, it will offer 40%–50% better range and mileage compared to the older version.
Tesla has recorded improvement in battery technology while developing the Model S. In the Roadster 3.0, Tesla will employ a new cell which will offer 31% more energy compared to the original Roadster cell. The battery pack of Roadster 3.0 with this new cell will deliver around 70kWh.
Along with the battery upgrade, Tesla’s Roadster 3.0 will also be offering improvements in aerodynamics and rolling resistance. The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. In Roadster 3.0, the automaker will be utilizing modern computational methods which will provide 15% improvement, thus reducing the total Cd to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.
The Roadster 3.0 tires will have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, 20% improvement from the older Roadster which offers a Crr of 11.0 kg/ton. In addition, the electric automaker is making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag. This will further reduce the overall rolling resistance of the vehicle.
Currently, Tesla carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Investors interested in the auto industry could consider better-ranked stocks like Delphi Automotive PLC (DLPH - Free Report) , Gentex Corp. (GNTX - Free Report) and Dana Holding Corporation (DAN - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).