Fully Charged: Tesla Roadster upgrade extends range, PlayStation Network back up after major downtime, and Mazda’s Gran Turismo concept car

Start the week off right with our morning roundup of top tech news
Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster upgrade yields 400-mile range

The Roadster first debuted in 2008 and ended production in 2012, but while Tesla Motors has moved onto bigger and better things, the company hasn’t forgotten about its initial electric wonder. In fact, as revealed late last week, the Roadster is due for a massive 3.0 package that will greatly extend its range via a series of dealer upgrades.

Tesla detailed the upcoming upgrade set in a blog post, noting that major enhancements in cell technology allow for a new battery with 31% more energy than before. Additionally, a retrofit aero kit will make the vehicle more aerodynamic, while new wheels reduce the rolling resistance of the Roadster.

All told, these optional enhancements should provide a 40-50% range improvement over the original design, and Tesla feels that it can push the Roadster past 400 miles on a full charge under certain conditions. The company will demonstrate the enhancements with a nonstop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in early 2015, prior to the package becoming available in the spring. No word yet on pricing for this significant upgrade set.

[Source: Tesla Motors]

READ MORE: Tesla Model S review

PlayStation Network back up and running

Sony PlayStation 4

If you took a few days away from gaming for the holidays, you might’ve missed the fact that the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live both went down for significant stretches of time from Christmas on. Both were the result of massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, which a group of hackers has taken credit for, and it disrupted console gaming for many millions of players.

Xbox Live came back up within about a day, but Sony’s PlayStation Network took a much harder hit - so hard, in fact, that it took about three full days for service to be restored in full, which happened yesterday. The timing was terrible, as surely millions of players with new consoles tried to access both networks for the first time and were greeted with error messages. Talk about a bad first impression.

No word yet on any make-good refunds or gifts from either company, but at least some game developers are extending online promotions to make up for the lost days. Activision has stretched access to a Destiny rare items trader through tonight (and possibly longer), while Rockstar has allowed the availability of its Christmas Day bundle for Grand Theft Auto Online to continue until January 5. Now that the servers are up, you can enjoy these gifts.

[Sources: PlayStation.BlogJoystiqPolygon]

READ MORE: Grand Theft Auto 5 PS4 and Xbox One review

Mazda’s Gran Turismo concept car

Joining manufacturers like Toyota, Chevrolet, and Aston Martin, Mazda last week unveiled its latest concept car developed exclusively in digital for Gran Turismo 6 on PlayStation 3. The new Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo is inspired by Mazda’s 787 B car that won the 1991 Le Mans 24 race.

The design has been updated with a modern design that features “lightweight, carbon fibre components, including a monocoque chassis clad in striking atmospheric-white paint.” You can purchase the digital car now by updating the game and entering the Vision GT area under “My Home,” or it can otherwise be won by completing a lap in the current limited-time Seasonal Event.

[Source: Gran Turismo]

READ MORE: Nissan’s virtual Batmobile speeds from Gran Turismo 6 to Goodwood