Tesla Motors has begun taking orders today for the Roadster SPORT, a higher-performance sports car based on the pioneering, all-electric original.

The Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, compared with 3.9 for the standard model.

It has a hand-wound motor stator and increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque.

Other changes include Yokohama Ultra High Performance tyres and improved suspension with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars tuned to the driver’s preference.

The Sport starts at US$128,500 in the US and EUR112,000 (excluding VAT) in Europe. Deliveries begin in late June.

The Sport is the first derivative of Tesla’s proprietary, patented powertrain. The San Carlos, California-based all-electric carmaker plans to begin producing a five-passenger sedan called the Model S in 2011.

Tesla has so far delivered more than 150 Roadsters to customers and reported 1,100 people on the waiting list. The outstanding orders can be upgraded to the new Sport model.