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Tesla Updates Roadster For 2012. There’s Just One Catch...

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2011 Tesla Roadster Final Edition, photograph copyright Damon Lavrinc / AOL

2011 Tesla Roadster Final Edition, photograph copyright Damon Lavrinc / AOL

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When the Sexy Tesla Roadster blasted into the automotive world five years ago, we all knew that California-based Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] was only planning to build a few thousand examples. 

In December, we told you the final 2011 Tesla Roadsters had rolled off the production lines, destined to be the last of their kind.

At the time, Tesla told us that the last five cars for each of Tesla’s main markets -- North America, Europe, and Asia -- would be known as Final Edition Roadsters. 

But just like its high-flying CEO Elon Musk, Tesla had one last surprise ready for us before it commences full-scale production of its 2012 Model S Sedan: it will sell a limited number of 2012 Tesla Roadsters to customers in selected markets. 

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

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Featuring a collection of new exterior colors and trim, the 2012 Tesla Roadsters feature more power air conditioning, xenon headlights, redesigned windshield seals for less wind noise, and a rear snow cover and improved motor and inverter systems designed to make the Roadster better cope with extreme winter climates. 

As well as these minor updates, Tesla will also offer customers in Europe and Japan the option of buying two new mobile charging connectors, designed to facilitate charging from Mennekes and J1772 public charging stations. 

Before you get excited however, there is one tiny catch: The 2012 Tesla Roadster will only be available in Europe, Asia and Australia, presumably because the exemption for no having special 2-stage passenger airbags expired for cars made after the end of 2011 -- and the Tesla Roadster does not have a 2-stage passenger airbag.

For the really determined however, we’re sure there must be some way to ship the $109,000 sports car back to the U.S...but you might not be allowed to drive it. 

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