A heavily updated Tesla Model S could be put into production as soon as September, insiders say, as the car manufacturer's most expensive sedan gets upgrades to better compete with luxury rivals. Although not the first EV to carry the Tesla name, the Model S was Elon Musk's first mass market vehicle, paving the way for the Model X SUV, Model 3, and the upcoming Model Y crossover.
Launched in mid-2012, Model S makes the oldest vehicle in Tesla's order. That is not to say that it has not changed between then and now, mind. The car manufacturer eliminates the traditional model year system most car companies follow, where changes are made regularly, annually.
Instead, the company takes more ad hoc approach. This may mean you make trim and design changes based on when it's most economically feasible for the factory, or, more commonly, replace new features via Tesla's powerful over-air software software. Still distinctive in the industry, it has seen features most rivals would charge money for as alternatives to new cars being delivered, free of charge, to existing cars.
The most obvious physical update came in 201[ads1]6, when Tesla gave Model S a new front-phase treatment among other changes. It helped bring it in line with model X. But other areas, especially the cabin, have generally been unchanged since the original car.
It has become an increasingly controversial point among potential model S buyers, which contrasts EV with similarly priced options. While pure electric electric sedans are still scarce, designs and materials from automotive manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi are generally considered much better than what you would find in model S. The big central touchscreen, which Tesla uses as an interface for almost All of the car's features are still among the largest in the segment, but the rest of the dashboard begins to show its age.
It's something that Tesla is said to address this year. Sources in the company say its Fremont, CA factory is currently upgrading its facilities, both for the start of Model Y production and for what CNBC describes as "a complete update" by Tesla Model S. The production of the latter is apparently aimed at beginning in September.
The updated car will have a new interior strongly influenced by the aesthetics of model 3, it is said and echo previous rumors about Tesla's new cab strategy. Model 3 showed a strong deviation from most dashboard designs, pushing the typical shape of the jacket and instead suspending a large, central touch screen on an extended post. It handles all instrumentation, as well as features such as autopilot, navigation, multimedia and HVAC. Clean surfaces and hidden vents add a generally minimalist feel, as Tesla is said to echo on the redesigned model S.
The smaller, more affordable car will also donate the power units, it's reported, along with the seats used in the more expensive, premium cabin. The range will also be expanded, with Tesla said to be targeted 400 miles from the updated car. Currently, Model S is rated for up to 370 miles of the EPA series.
Tesla owed a number of factors for a decline in model S and model X deliveries in the first quarter of 2019. The combined figure fell to 12,100 cars, which the automaker said was primarily down to weaker seasonal demand, people trying to get orders during the fourth quarter of 2018 to get the maximum US federal tax credit before halving it at the beginning of the year, and discontinuing the minimum 75 kWh battery. Changes in pricing for the performance versions of the cars, meanwhile, showed that orders for these trim were Tesla's production capacity especially for them.
Nevertheless, it is not denied that time is ripe for an updated model S in the light of luxury competition such as S-Class, 7 Series and A8. Waiting in the wings, meanwhile, is expected all-electric cars like Porsche Taycan, which are expected to compete with Tesla directly on performance and range. It leaves Tesla to some deep-pocketed rivals, at a time when the car manufacturer is already at a tightening station.