Model S

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Why we don't have an interior refresh

edited November -1 in Model S
Model S is going on 8 years with essentially the same interior design. I'll submit that the reason Tesla has not refreshed the interior is that their redesign presumes FSD, and can't be released until FSD is ready. I bet Franz has penned a beautiful new interior at Elon's direction that literally isn't compatible with a steering wheel.

Remember when the Model 3 was revealed, and Elon tweeted "that's not the real steering system," and then it was the real steering system? Then for months after it was released, an unprecedented number of cars went to employees, who were (I'm guessing) beta testing early FSD (under NDAs) until Elon was forced to concede FSD was not ready. FSD has been less than a year away for at least three or four years now, so it would make sense that they would plan a revolutionary interior design to go along with it. They wanted to do this with the Model 3, but were forced to punt. By comparison, holding up a Model S interior refresh is comparatively easy.

Just speculation of course, what do you guys think?


  • edited November -1
    With respect, I disagree. I think Tesla is redesigning the S and X. The three motor prototype in Germany is proof they are hard at work. However when they will decide to spend the money to retool for the new model is anyone's guess. My bet it could be as much as two years away. I think delivering the Y will help pay for the retooling.
  • edited October 2019
    Logical thoughts. Not saying it’s true, I don’t know, but It could be. However I think it’s clear based on how smart summon is doing, we still have a way to go before FSD. And since Elon has talked about wanting to do Nurburgring, a more human driver focused cockpit would be needed in a new Model S Performance version. Triple digit speeds will need information in an instrument cluster in view of the driver. A steering wheel with better grip and car controls. An improved front seat with better lateral support. FSD optimizations and racing optimizations are competing priorities.
  • edited October 2019
    I think any redesign based on FSD will be focused on the Model 3. Tesla might redesign the S/X, but I think that’s a lower priority for them now than it was when they talked about the redesign previously.
  • bpbp
    edited November -1
    Unlike the other manufacturers, Tesla introduces model changes as soon as they are ready - not on in a "model year" annual cycle.

    To avoid depressing sales - Tesla usually doesn't announce these changes far in advance, often quickly introducing the changes, which then has an impact rippling through all of the orders currently in process and causing frustration among owners who had just purchased vehicles before the change.

    Most of the time, these changes are a surprise when they are announced. Rapid introduction of AP2 several years ago was unexpected in the Tesla community.

    It seems highly likely Tesla is working on improved designs for both the S & X, likely a combination of increased manufacturing efficiency (possibly to allow both vehicles to be built on the same line) and to refresh the features to be more competitive, and better fit a vehicle operating under FSD.

    Musk indicated a few months ago that the refreshing S/X wasn't a priority - and that's probably true for this year. Tesla doesn't want to discourage S/X sales this year. But that doesn't mean Tesla isn't working on S/X improvements - it isn't a matter of "is Tesla going to upgrade S/X" - it's really "when will Tesla introduce those changes".

    My guess - we will see some major changes to S/X sometime next year: V3 supercharging, new million mile battery packs, 400+ mile range, motor improvements/changes, landscape console display (like the 3, better oriented for video streaming), interior improvements, ...
  • edited October 2019
    It's notable that Elon announced the Model S Plaid a year + out. I think with legitimate competitors now, Tesla will adopt some traditional and proven marketing strategies for big feature updates. For me, not knowing what is on the roadmap for Model S gave me pause at the thought of upgrading. Now that I know a new one is coming in a year, I am more likely to wait for it to see what it has to offer instead of going to another manufacturers car. I think it gives Tesla more flexibility with pricing changes as well.
  • edited November -1
    But hopefully not that single Model 3 display! Please nooooooo!
  • edited October 2019
    They have been upgrading the interior much like the rest of the vehicle. Better seats, new finishes, subtle changes in the trim. I'm totally fine with that. I dont see anything wrong that needs to be fixed.
  • edited October 2019
    At $100k+ the interior quality isn't where it needs to be. We also have an S Class and the difference is striking. Tesla can still keep things minimalist and upgrade the materials, fit and finish.
  • edited October 2019
    I may be an outlier. My other favorite vehicle is my Mercedes G. The G was incrementally improved for decades starting in 1979, until they finally released a new version in 2019. The initially Spartan interior has been slowly upgraded over the years, but some of the added plush took way from the interior room and utility. They are selling in the $130k range these days, both before and after the new model.
  • edited October 2019
    We need and interior and exterior refresh, and soon. The 2020's will be out in 2.5 months and that will make 9 years of the original design. Now granted, the S is still a beautiful design, and the wonderful and continuous software upgrades over the years have been fantastic like nothing ever in the auto industry, but aesthetically it's beyond the point of being stale. We need something new to regenerate the buzz. All car manufacturers tweak their models every 2 years or so, and come out with new redesigns about every 5 to 6 years years. They do this to keep up with the latest technologies (Tesla has this covered), but also to stir up new excitement. I mentioned this in a post a while ago and was told I was only interested in looks and that basically I needed to get my priorities straight. Well, for most of us, a vehicle is the second most expensive purchase we will ever make in our lives. For me, that is something that you should get excited about. If the Plaid is simply going to be a more powerful version of the S with flared fenders and bigger tires, it won't appeal to me. If it has a new battery system, faster charging and more range, great, but it will still be on a nine or ten year old car. I've read here that Tesla doesn't have the resources to design a new S, they can't improve on the looks and the drag coefficient, and they need to focus on the Y, the pick up, and so on. Maybe so, but it's a shame, because you can't stand still in the auto industry, and that doesn't just apply to technology. I can only speak for myself, but I have been ready, willing and able to upgrade to a new S for over a year, but I won't until version 2.0 comes out, and then I'll be first in line.
    Regarding build quality and materials. I have owned many premium cars from Cadillacs and Lincolns back in the day, to Jaguars, Lexus's, and Mercedes including an S600, a CL600 (both V-12'S), an SL550 and two SL63 AMG'S. Some of these were high end models of the high end cars. I think I'm qualified to compare, and probably more so than most. What a bunch of BS to hold these models in such high esteem in comparison to Tesla. Yes, the top line models have many more bells and whistles, but their quality is no better than my Tesla. They break plenty! You get to know their service departments intimately, and they sure aren't shy about charging. For instance, at one time the entire leather dash in my S600 had to be replaced because a seam was opening up - thank God it was under warranty or it would have been thousands. While they were working on it, they called me and said that they noticed my back two tires were getting a little low on tread, but they could replace them while they had the car for $1100.00 - 2 tires! Teslas are on the sparse side in the interior, but that's by design. Minimalism is futuristic. If they were draped with pleated leather, wood and chrome, they wouldn't be the space ships that they are. I've driven plenty of the entry and mid level "luxury" cars over the years (usually as loaners while getting service), and my take was often, how cheap, or this is supposed to be a Mercedes? I test drove a BMW once and the salesman had to prove to me that the seats were leather. They were so hard and stiff - I guess that was supposed to make it sporty. My S is an early 2016, and I have never had a problem with fit, finish, squeaks or rattles. It is by far the most problem free car I have ever owned, not to mention practically maintenance free. So when I read others raving about the quality of the competition, I wonder what planet are they living on?
    Sorry for the long post, but that's my two cents.
  • edited October 2019
    Imagine that Tesla will refresh that interior when they feel doing so will create increased sales in ammounts necessary to cover the additional costs of doing so.

    There have already been countless updates to the Model S interior. First no center console, then yacht flooring, then center console. Several generations of seating have been released. Leather, Vinyl, Cloth, perforated, active cooling, heated seats, vegan seating, and lots of different colors have been rolled out and retired.

    Several different dash wood accent, brushed and dark metallic trim, motorized headrest adjusters, etc.

    7 seat packages have come and gone (and may be coming again with plaid. Seat bolstering has been changed, even accent seating stitching has been released and retired.

    I notice that while other manufacturers have released interior refreshed one after the other, basicly nothing has changed much over the past 25 years. They may announce big changes, but really they are just making changes to make changes. Little improvement for all the $ wasted.
  • edited October 2019
    >>We need and interior and exterior refresh, and soon.<< I'm with dtodd16 on this one.

    Model S sales September 2016 = 4,350
    Model S sales September 2017 = 4,860
    Model S sales September 2018 = 3,750
    Model S sales September 2019 = 1,100

    I have not yet replaced my 2015 Model S primarily because the current Model S has almost the same interior. The lack of a refresh is holding back my purchase of a replacement, and judging from the most recent sales, I am not the only one.
  • edited October 2019
    How about a refresh with no console! I won't replace my car because I do not want to lose that space that disappeared with the last refresh.
  • edited October 2019
    I think it's clear that Model S sales are being cannibalized by Model 3. If I was buying a Tesla today, it would be hard to justify the premium for the MS. I wouldn't trade my now depreciated MS for a M3 which is around the same price. But would I pay 2x for the MS? Nope.
  • edited October 2019
    Overhead grab handles, and door pockets. Overhead grab handles and door pockets. Overhead grab handles and door pockets...
  • edited October 2019
    The ability to control driving functionality from the steering wheel. A new screen for the "instrument cluster". The current screen scratches too easy and is dull.
  • edited October 2019
    Captain_Zap | October 9, 2019
    How about a refresh with no console! I won't replace my car because I do not want to lose that space that disappeared with the last refresh.

    Amen, @CZ.
  • edited October 2019
    Dear Franz,

    It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve got the seven year itch. Don’t get me wrong, your design is lovely... I just feel like I want to try something ...different... now.

    (Cough) Door pockets
  • edited October 2019
    +1 @ Madatgascar.
  • edited October 2019
    +1 Madatgascar & avesraggiana. A few practical additions and some upgraded interior options would be a start.

    But if they go to the single screen of the model 3, I reckon I'm on my last S.
  • edited October 2019
    @Darthamerica "At $100k+ the interior quality isn't where it needs to be. "

    Agreed, but they aren't $100k cars anymore unless you really try. My new X was about $91k. The days of $120K X & S models is over. I actually feel better about the interior in our new X given the more "reasonable" pricing. The most you can now spend on a MS, fully optioned, is about $108k. A fully-equipped long range MS with FSD is now only about $87k. A nicely equipped long range MX with FSD can be had for under $91k. Given the tech and expensive windshield and falcon wing doors, pretty exotic stuff for the money.
  • edited October 2019
    @P_Dave I agree the new price is much better, I also understand that the earlier crazy pricing was to help Tesla stay profitable enough to survive. However at close to $100K it's still not in line with competing cars for interior quality and luxury. Some of this is related to needing to keep weight down of course. I'm just hoping that with better longer ranged batteries Tesla can give more attention to fit, finish, durability and luxury accoutrements. The rattles must absolutely go! A little more sound deadening would enhance the car as well. Especially if the new suspension is as good as @2015P90DI says.
  • edited November -1
    S is definitely a much better car now than it was just a year ago, for a lower price. Should be quite compelling, but S sales continue to decline. I think a big reason is that everyone is acclimated to the standard auto industry expectation of refresh cycles, and nobody wants to buy one of the last cars before the big change is announced. I’m certainly in that camp. My 2014 P85 is still serving me well, the only thing that gets me to buy a new one is a new interior, with at least the basic stuff the Model 3 has: door pockets, adjustable seat belt tensioners, rear seat fold down center console, coat hooks, linear diffusers, dual phone chargers, etc. Some extra stuff would be expected - I would like to see a couple of driver’s side glove compartments, maybe a HUD. The center armrest should get rid of the plasticky bit where the USB ports are and use more satisfying materials in the high touch areas.
  • edited October 2019
    "S sales continue to decline. I think a big reason is that everyone is acclimated to the standard auto industry expectation of refresh cycles, and nobody wants to buy one of the last cars before the big change is announced."

    I guess I'm something of a contrarian, but I think that Model S sales are declining because, even though today one gets more for less money than ever before, the Model S is still at a price point where many people will buy a Model 3 rather than stretch their budget for an S. (And sales of all brands and models at the Model S price point are declining.)

    Also, unlike many posters, I can do without things like door pockets and coat hooks. Never did use coat hooks, and when I cleaned out the door pockets of the ICEV I sold when I got the Model S all I found was out-of-date stuff that reminded me of the Hotel California - once the stuff went in, it never left. My clutter-free Model S is so much nicer.

    I do agree with most posters that any refresh should not replace the dual screens with a Model 3 type single screen.
  • edited October 2019
    @avesraggiana "Overhead grab handles, and door pockets."

    Some love them, I'm in the camp that dislikes them. Door pockets are just trash collectors - almost every car I've been in that has door pockets is stuffed with trash and crap. It makes the car look cheap.

    Not a fan of grab handles either - much rather have a clean design. Yes, I know many cars include them, but just because they have them doesn't make them look good. I never needed them, but I understand some do need/want them. Not a huge deal to me if they are unobtrusive, but given the choice, I'd rather not have them at all.

    That's the difficulty with design - some buyers think items are must-have because they are in a $15K Yaris, while others buy the design because it doesn't have all the ugly junk all over the interior. There really is no easy way to satisfy everyone. I hope Tesla doesn't feel they have to make an ugly interior to duplicate other car makers. I find many luxury cars (MB, BMW, Lexus) stuffed with so much crap. 20 cupholders, bins everywhere, 6 or more grab bars, etc.
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