No Model S Refresh Anytime Soon

No Model S Refresh Anytime Soon

I was at my Dallas Service Center today and had a lengthy conversation with a few of the Sales and Service guys. Since I pick up my 2018 MS 100D on Friday, I asked about anticipated refresh or redo of the MS. Here is what I was told:

The Model 3 was designed to belong to the current S and X family. No refresh on any of these models is coming until after Roadster, Model Y, and Semi are well into production. Tesla believes the current family is optimized from a hardware perspective and efforts are now on producing the upcoming models and increasing service efforts. For Models S/X/3 it will be software updates.

They estimated 5 years or more before any consideration of MS changes.

I’m not the originator of this information, but found it worth sharing.

rxlawdude | November 20, 2018

For what it's worth, the local SvC and Sales staff know nothing. Like Sgt. Schultz.

Bighorn | November 20, 2018

Elon tweets similar denials about any major redesign

EVRider | November 21, 2018

The sales staff will find out about any redesign shortly before we do, of maybe even later.

Silver2K | November 21, 2018

Why would anyone by a Tesla vehicle if they know if design changes in advance?

That's why everyone denies or knows nothing.

thranx | November 21, 2018

Other priorities.

rednairb | November 21, 2018

@Silver2K. If they announce the rumored "after thought bolt-on display" like the M3 has, I would definitely anti-up before the refresh. Of course, that would be if I didn't already have one. So here's to hoping the OP is correct, and things will stay as is for a while, besides maybe better batteries, and software improvements.

jordanrichard | November 21, 2018

I don’t think there is anything wrong with a delayed redesign of the MS. The longer the look is out there, the more people recognize it as a Tesla. Go down the road and you can spot 6 different versions of the Honda Civic or Accord because they keep changing the design every 3 years. In other words, Hondas don’t stand out.

Boonedocks | November 21, 2018

I will guarantee there WILL be a Model S refresh

dtodd16 | November 21, 2018

That's what I'm waiting for. Now I love the current design, but I'm not going to buy another S just to replace what I already have. When a new S comes out, I'll be first in line.

p.c.mcavoy | November 21, 2018

Gee whiz, I thought I already owned a refresh MS. Wasn't the refresh when they redid the front fascia change in mid-2016?

Key question I have is when will there be a Gen2 or Next Gen Model S.

Muzzman1 | November 21, 2018

I'm guessing they will get the MS & MX up to speed with Model 3, such as vent etc. I'm still in love with my daily driver 89k VIN 85D, so until FSD is in full effect and potentially a larger battery and possibly refreshed interior, I'm holding off on my future P1XXD.

Yodrak. | November 21, 2018

"I don’t think there is anything wrong with a delayed redesign of the MS."

I agree. S and X still look 'fresh' compared to their competition, and Tesla should be spending its design dollars on the Y and a pickup.

"I will guarantee there WILL be a Model S refresh"

Of course there will, the question is when.

Darthamerica | November 22, 2018

Most likely in the interior in my opinion. There are always minor exterior changes that could be made that don't complicate manufacturing. Things like headlights, wheels, some body panels...ect. They let thing to me is Musk stating that Tesla doesn't do Model year updates. Instead, if they come up with something good they just roll it in when practical. If you believe ramping up production and efficiency are paramount concerns them the existing Model S body style could be around a while. I think that when Porsche Taycan and other high end luxury EVs show up, there could be competitive pressures for more drastic styling changes. But that's ~2020ish and beyond. Tesla is worried about scale now so if a new Model S is in development, we may start seeing leaks like with traditional autos as they start sourcing parts and testing cars with those hideous covers to hide from auto press. But again, this is Tesla so if a totally new Model S appears tomorrow don't be surprised!

jordanrichard | November 22, 2018

When they do redesign the car, the change won’t be radical. They won’t do anything to lower the drag coefficient which would affect energy efficiency/range.

bp | November 23, 2018

The major changes that we're likely to see before a major redesign of the S/X:

- New battery packs using newer battery technologies; more likely at the roughly the same capacity as the current packs, at a lower cost, and possibly improved charging

- V3 supercharging support, which may not be fully supported with the existing S/X battery packs

- Increased smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or equivalent)

If/when Tesla is close to achieving FSD, we could see some changes to the interior, to better support a person sitting in the "driver's seat" who is no longer driving - changes such as swivel front seats, rotated/larger console display, reduce impact of the steering wheel, possibly elimination of the dashboard display, work surface, …

Tesla's plate is pretty full rolling out new vehicles (Y, pickup, Roadster 2.0, semi) - which makes it less likely we'll see a full redesign of the S/X - and that may only happen if Tesla finds the other manufacturers with vehicles that are able to seriously compete with Tesla in the $75-125K price range.

tes-s | November 23, 2018

There is no refresh coming. Until it does.

DanFoster1 | November 23, 2018

From the beginning, Model S was such a fantastic design that 6 years, five months there is still no need for a complete redesign—all Tesla’s resources are better spent developing the Pickup, the Y, the Semi and the Roaster.

Little and not /quite/ so little things? Sure—e.g. improvements to the door handles which are now in their third generation and break less often. But seriously, a ground-up redesign is completely unnecessary.

Of course there are those who need to be seen with the newest of everything.

jordanrichard | November 23, 2018

You have to keep in mind that the reason car companies update the design of their cars to get people to buy the newer version because us “sheep” have been raised to believe we have to have the latest and greatest.

Sam_S | November 23, 2018

There will be a lot of competition for the S in 2020.

I don't know about cosmetic design changes, but it will be important for Tesla to keep raising the bar on battery, charging, technology, and performance.

tes-s | November 23, 2018

I hear that all the time.

There will be a lot of competition for the S in (current year + 2).

The problem is (current year + 2) is always in the future.

Tesla and everyone else wishes there would be more competition. Tesla cannot meet their mission of saving the world without help from other auto manufacturers.

Uncle Paul | November 23, 2018

Tesla has a stated policy of continous improvements, rather than major new designs.

The current X and S are still far ahead of the competition.

Expect ongoing partial refreshes, like nose, tail, electronice, interiors, wheel/tire packages. Maybe even significant battery pack or motor updates, but I don't expect to see an entirely new S or X out any time soon.

All the new stuff is going to be implemented first in the upcoming Model Y, Semi, Pickup, and New Roadster. After they get rolled out, it will be time to re-invision the Model S/X.

Remember, the world could still benefit from Tesla busses, airplanes, lawn mowers, automotous taxi fleets, and driverless Uber type services. Their plate is indeed full.

Bighorn | November 23, 2018

I too question what the great competition will be a little over a year from now. Who will be building a great competitor in sufficient volume to make a dent in demand?

jordanrichard | November 23, 2018

Bighorn +1.

Where is the competition for the MS and Model 3?

Only Porsche is working on a sedan that may be considered competition for the MS.

Hell, Subaru doesn’t even have a hybrid and they are never mentioned when it comes to discussion of future EVs. | November 23, 2018

Tesla will have plenty of competitors someday, but so far most upcoming EVs appear like just more compliance vehicles, designed not to upset the ICE lineup. They purposely limit volume - just enough to get the ZEV credits they need. To help accomplish these "goals", it seems they use the "C" design team or grab something from the ICE reject bin and cram in a few batteries. At least they are getting their feet wet on these 1st generation designs. Expect Tesla will be on their 5th gen designs in the next two years.

sentabo | November 23, 2018

Tesla's ace in the whole is (and will be for some time) the Supercharger network. Nobody is close and won't be for many years, if ever.

Darthamerica | November 23, 2018

The other auto firms could EASILY launch competitive alternatives. Again, EASILY. What they make now are superior in terms of production quality, support infrastructure, interior and distribution. Adding electric propulsion would be child's play. I think the only area they would struggle a bit initially is the software. But that's not insurmountable even in the short term. The only reason they don't do it is that they don't have to and they are more focused on short term profitability. I'm not saying that I don't think Tesla can't remain a leader in EVs. I'm just acknowledging the reality of the situation. Tesla can keep operating as it does as long as EVs remain a niche part of the auto market. However as momentum shifts Tesla will be driven by the same market forces that others are and they'll need to make styling changes to keep people interested. It's a good thing they are considered a premium luxury brand. That will allow them to be a little more stubborn about changing things the way other high end brands do.

Bighorn | November 23, 2018

You don’t seem to be paying attention as to why established brands can not compete without risking bankruptcy. There have been some very good analyses as well as admissions to that effect from players such a s BMW.

Chunky Jr. | November 23, 2018

I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla canceled the S and X and focused on 3 and Y once the Y comes out. Not sure if it makes sense to keep S and X going given the relatively low volume compared to 3. I hope they don't cancel them though.

tes-s | November 24, 2018

I'd be surprised if they cancelled the S or X. They make plenty of money on each one, so why cancel?

I think they can continue to operate at capacity (100k per year) for the next several years.

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

@Bighorn I'm not sure how you're correlating a difference of opinion with not paying attention. Especially since we don't know each other. However feel free to agree to disagree. One thing you may consider is that Tesla opened up its patents. Competition have torn down many Tesla vehicles and understand how they are built. Copying it is only a matter of will and finance. SW is the one outlier but as I said, it's not insurmountable within a short time. It's simply a matter of timing and profitability for big auto. Gas powered cars are more profitable, still better overall in most aspects and much easier to sell. The thing that makes Tesla Tesla is its mission statement and that they are the "first mover". That being the case the striking styling of the Model S is a primary driver for its appeal. But car buying is an emotional thing and even a timeless classic can get dated. A styling change can do miracles to appeal to the emotional side of car buying. It can justify slight price increases to boost margin. It can ease production. It can enhanced user experience. Think of the REAL difference between a new iPad Pro and last year's model vs perceived difference. It's the same thing. Especially since Tesla unlike most autos is as much a tech company as an auto company. In fact I'd say it's more tech company then auto company. That being the case the pressure on Tesla to update could be greater not less than a traditional auto firm. We are in new territory here but not because of the electric power train which is trivial for big auto if you set aside profitability. | November 24, 2018

Actually Tesla is eating dramatically into segments it competes with - and it is doing it at a gross margin far larger than other automakers. So why are other automakers unable to compete? Yes, they could, but they are so wedded to ICE and outdated and expensive sales models (dealers), unable to offer long distance travel for EVs, or create the batteries necessary for a profitable EV. It will be a long time before Tesla gets any serious competitors. Clearly designing a great EV is not easy or everyone would be doing it. Old-line automakers have a tired design strategy, are clueless about software and are run by execs that live in a shell and are clueless about EVs. Automakers are starting to wake up, as best cars they offer today are dogs when compared with Tesla's vehicles. Their sales continue to decline in segments where Tesla competes month over month as Tesla ramps up, and Tesla is doing it without a dime of advertising! You'd think they would be paying attention, but nope - most still have their head in the sand and hope Tesla and EVs just disappear. Unfortunately, these dinosaurs may become extinct as management runs them into the ground (again).

inconel | November 24, 2018

If ICE manufacturers have really good EV offering they risk obsoleting the billions of dollars of their current investment and research.

The competitive advantage of Tesla is their speed in technological innovation and it might be hard for other manufacturers to compete if they are tearing down current production cars to look at Tesla technology a few years ago.

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

As much as we all like EVs, the reality is that they are still not competitive in terms of overall performance and cost. They have the potential to be one day, sure. But not for a while. EV battery tech is still at the infancy stage. ICE on the other hand is a well matured tech with a loooong way to go. When you think about it this way, it's perfectly reasonable why they haven't pushed EV vehicles to complete with Tesla. The timing is wrong if you're a big auto. But no don't there are lots of engineers working behind the scenes doing R&D. Lots of product, marketing and SCM professionals roadmapping out how, when or if EVs fits into their product mix. It's good that Tesla took advantage of timing and had a leader that was driven by more than short term profitability. That's the reason why when competition shows up Tesla will likely still have a seat at the table. But along the way Tesla is going to have to stay vigilant and do things like styling changes and refreshing it's cars to keep new customers coming. If they don't there will be trouble. Think about it. Imagine an S/E Class variant unveiling at the LA Auto show for 2019 model year that has ~300 miles range. That's not difficult anymore. It's just that right now Mercedes week make more money on a new ICE version. That money is what motivates them. They aren't chasing some idealistic sustainable transport mission statement which in their case would be premature. Slow and steady is a wise business decision...

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

Please pardon the typos... iOS/Gboard issues!

Bighorn | November 24, 2018

Ok, agree to disagree over much of what you said. Not competitive in overall performance?! I'm not a big Star Wars fan, so what planet are you living on?

freeewilly | November 24, 2018

I think the refresh is referring to the "Styling" of exterior and interior.

redacted | November 24, 2018

ante up. Not anti-up.

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

@Bighorn, premium ICE luxury sedans still drive further, aren't limited by charging, can sustain speed longer, higher top speed, have more luxurious interior options, more creature comforts, gas is more readily available, gasing up on the go is faster than charging and they are easier to repair. Yes a sub 3 sec 0-60 is great, I use and enjoy it, but it's not something that negates the issues above. You could argue that Autopilot offsets much of that and I'd agree. But it's not fully developed and MB/BMW/Cadillac now have similar driver assistance features. Model S is better on a subjective basis. But objectively it's got a lot of room for improvement and catching up in the areas I mentioned. After driving Model S for 5 years, I'd say that it's close enough to be comparable/adequate with S Class. Close enough in most use cases that if chosen, it's a matter of preference.

akikiki | November 24, 2018

Darth are you really Bob Lutz in camo?

hammer @OR-US | November 24, 2018

"premium ICE luxury sedans still drive further, aren't limited by charging"
Perhaps, but the gap is closing and MY range is less than my batteries.

"can sustain speed longer"
My "S" has no problem sustaining higher than legal speeds over long distances.

"higher top speed"
Irrelevant, I bet 99% of car owners have never been over 100.

"have more luxurious interior options, more creature comforts,"
I dont even know what this means, I came from Audis and recently drove a brand new Caddy, I'm not missing anything. Is "luxury" worth destroying the planet.

"gas is more readily available"
Really, I dont have a gas pump in my garage.

" gasing up on the go is faster than charging"
True, but not by much and my family actually prefers the breaks now.\ that we having been doing road trips for a while now.

" they are easier to repair."
No, not really.

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

@hammer all of your input is valid but it's mostly subjective subjective. I'm simply stating objective facts about the car vs alternatives and why styling has been and remains an important tool Tesla can leverage to offset the disadvantages I mentioned. If we want to pretend Tesla's 0-60 time make it the better, ok, as long as we know we're playing pretend. Now as I said, the car is "good enough". But it's not better in anything except 0-60 time and software objectively when compared to something like an S Class. It's not even really more environmentally friendly when you considered production carbon footprint. Sure it saves gas, but any savings are lost in the purchase price. Top and sustained speed matters in some markets to some customers so don't discount that. What's important though is Tesla was smart enough to know this and styled week enough to attract buyers. They were so savvy that the first version has a faux air intake nosecone. | November 24, 2018

Premium ICE cars still have tiny displays, awful UIs, most with horrible iDrive like controls, hundreds of confusing buttons, interiors from the 70s with doodads everywhere. From styling, the (to me) ultra ugly huge grills common now speaks more of an inefficient design that has both poor CD and cooling problems. And don't forget the massive amount of noise, air, heat and liquid pollution these vehicles emit compared with EVs.

Tesla is in another league altogether. Yes, some prefer all that junk, but considering Tesla is decimating every ICE vehicle category they compete in, it appears most owners prefer Tesla's designs, visually and functionally and are willing to pay a premium price for it. In Q3, the Model 3 is the #1 car by revenue, significantly more than the nearest competitor - a Toyota Camry, and #5 by volume sold. This against all cars - ICE and EVs! Tesla is still limited by production, not customers - something I suspect others wish they could do.

There will always be some in the 80-to-death age category that likes antique style and operation, and so far it seems that's the primary target of other luxury makers. Clearly they've not learned anything by looking at or pulling apart a Tesla. Same old junk still being made by these old-line manufacturers.

Bighorn | November 24, 2018

You’re regurgitating long since disproved BS about production carbon footprint negating lifetime benefits. And performance is far more than 0-60 times. What other car has such telepathic, instantaneous responses to any input? The superiority of the electric motor over the internal combustion engine is settled debate. Hard to believe you’ve lived with an S for 5 years and still are parroting 2013 arguments from Seeking Alpha. I bought mine sight unseen based on Consumer Reports and Motor Trend declaring the Model S unparalleled in their long histories. And after 237k miles, 47 states, 5 provinces and 6 Mexican states, I concur.

Bighorn | November 24, 2018

Well, superchargers in six different Mexican states—I lost track of the others.

Darthamerica | November 24, 2018

@Bighorn it's not BS. You're not any more green than a H2 Hummer unless you're getting power from solar or nuclear. Sorry but that's just reality. Any reduction in carbon is trivial at best. That's just the cold hard truth. I don't deny the long term benefit and that we need to move in that direction. I also agree that EVs in general have some better driving characteristics. I'm just more objective in my judgement.

Bighorn | November 24, 2018

Being wrong isn’t objective. And no, I won’t accept anything from Alex Jones in counterpoint. | November 24, 2018

@Darth - now you really don't know what you're talking about. I and a very larger percentage of EV owners do get all the power from Solar. In our area, 100% those that plug in are also getting 100% renewable power. Even if you live in a 100% coal powered state (which I don't think exists anymore), and use only power from such plants, an EV is still better far better than ICE cars. An H2 dumps so much pollution and gets such poor mileage, GM stopped making them. Here's just one of many scientific acticles that may be worth a read:

What's also often left out of the analysis is about 60-70% of EVs are driven in the cleanest power states. Coal states seem to attract people who don't care about the environment or their families health, and have very fews EVs per capita. So the worse producers of electricity also has the fewest EVs.

hammer @OR-US | November 24, 2018

"You're not any more green than a H2 Hummer unless you're getting power from solar or nuclear."

What about Hydroelectric and Wind?

SO | November 24, 2018

@Darth - why are you on a Tesla forum when it’s obvious you still think ICE vehicles are superior? Go buy your ICE.

For me and most Tesla owners, we have owned both iCE and EVs. We are familiar with both and obviously prefer a Tesla. | November 24, 2018

@hammer - Good note. From the grid, our area also gets geothermal in additional to wind, hydro and solar.