Model S Changes

Model S Changes

Can someone explain the future Model S changes from year to year. I have heard that there would not be any changes except for future battery technology enhancements. Any other info, ideas?

jat | 11 april 2013

There are no model year changes -- when your car is built, you get whatever is current. Software updates can obviously be applied to older cars, but other things would have to be retrofitted, probably at the buyer's cost (assuming that is even an option).

rdalcanto | 11 april 2013

That is one thing that makes me wonder if I should wait. In 6 months they might suddenly add adaptive cruise or blind spot monitoring, make suspension changes to improve performance, etc., and you lose out by buying early....

mikhaila | 11 april 2013

Uhumm. Like it never happens in other cars...

rdalcanto | 11 april 2013

Well, it usually doesn't happen in other cars mid cycle, with no announcement. When the new Grand Cherokee came out in 2011, there was a delay in the adaptive cruise option, but they stated that immediately and told consumers when it would be available for ordering. Does anyone know if that will become an option on the Tesla, and when?

jat | 11 april 2013

@rdalcanto - just like with computers, there will always be something new just around the corner. Either decide you are ok with that and enjoy the car now, or wait arbitrarily long until you become ok with that.

DerekCrosby | 11 april 2013 my feeling on that statement is, at that rate you might as well wait for FTL* drives... because there's always something better around the corner... @rdalcanto Happiness with a product isn't about worrying about what's next, it's about feeling gratified that you have made a good choice, second guessing your decision will always make you unhappy.

*(Faster Than Light)

smd | 11 april 2013

There aren't model year specific changes, but several significant changes come to minds since production was started in June 2012:
-no more Signature series
-40kWh is no longer available to order
-Performance Plus package available now
-Red color now available
-prices higher than last year

Runar | 11 april 2013

I feel this is a bit like with Apples products, updates every 6-12months. (another Tesla-Apple comparison.. sorry guys)

The products are very good, userfriendly, but you have to get used to the idea that every 6-12 months there will be a new version, it contains relatively smal updates, but fanboys want to swap right away..

I guess you cant really compare a phone to a car, but the added packages and updates IMO are on the level with the updates between iPhone/iPad generations.

iPad - retina display, not a huge change, but a nice improvement, and enough so that many wanted to swap out their "old" models, but many are happy with their old(me)

iPhone 4S - iPhone 5 : A change slightly larger screen, change og charging plug, faster(?).. not a huge change, but again many want to swap to the new model, but more are happy with their old(me).

I see Teslas new packages as this.. nice to have options, but the car is damn nice as it is. You just have to realize that there will be a steady flow of upgrades every 6-12 months(?).. so its pretty futile to wait for those if you want the car, then you'll wait forever. :-)

Just decide if what is available now, is something which will satisfy your need, and go for it.. and get comfortable with the fact that there will be updates regulary, which you might not be able to retrofit, that will seem pretty sweet.

If you stick with the car 3-4 years, you may consider if the combined new updates, make it worth the money to trade up to a new version. Perhaps some "old" 1-year old car which a fanboy changed to get the absolute latest will satify your needs.:-)

This is my plan. Standard for now.. and in 3-4 years, hopefully I can get a nice used Performance+ from someone whom need to have the latest "performance+extreme AWD" or something.;-)

jat | 11 april 2013

@DerekCrosby - that's exactly my point -- there will always be something better, and if you wait for it then there will be the next something better. Either decide you are ok with having it just before the something better comes along, or keep waiting forever.

Brian H | 12 april 2013

Yep, the best deal is always the second-latest model, even new.

defmonk | 12 april 2013

+1 @Runar

njelectric | 12 april 2013

I felt that Tesla was not like Apple. If you do not upgrade your phone this year, Apple will go on. If enough people wait to buy their Model S, there will be no Tesla next year.

djm12 | 12 april 2013

If you knew for sure that the Model S was going to have some amazing features that you couldn't live without, I'd recommend you consider delaying your purchase. But I haven't seen any hard facts - just some rumors. Certainly, the battery isn't going to change much, if any, for a few years. Maybe a few extra bells and whistles "might" get added for the 2014 model.

Mike C | 12 april 2013

I like the idea that many of the new upgrades will be able to be retrofitted. Keeps the customer from buyer's remorse and it is another income stream for TM.

rodhoffman | 12 april 2013

Remember - this is NOT a typical car. It is tech-savvy and many of the features are software driven - unlike ANY car you have seen or used in the past - this is a game changer. For instance, WiFi capability is already built into the car. They just need to activate it once it has been tested. This is how "creep" was added. Many other features will arrive via software.

Granted, some things require "sensors" or mechanical servos or small motors but that is small compaired to whole design changes required in ICE cars.

Look at aging (10-yr) Lexus, MB, BWM - they all look ancient when looking at their tech packages. The MS is always going to be "fresh" with tech updates to the software.

Yet, the basic "bones" of the car are elegant and clean-lined. Much of the cosmetic skin work was to reduce drag, so little chance of major shifts there. A powered frunk, maybe - but is that worth waiting for - seriously?

Believe me - it is not!!!! I cannot believe how much I am re-enjoying driving again. It is hard to explain untill you drive an MS for a few weeks. It is pure joy!

Rod in Evergreen, CO

Captain_Zap | 12 april 2013

I completely disagree with Runar. I think that Tesla is doing its best to keep our cars current and offer us any new options that are retrofittable.

For example, the Performance Plus package can be added. I have several features in my car now that were not even on the horizon when I got it.

That is one of the beauties of Tesla and it is something that makes it a better value than other cars. I think they are on their way towards making a dent in the wateful car model flipping paradigm.

Solarwind | 12 april 2013

Seekingalpha had a article titled 3 Tesla Secrets. Supposed 3 things to be announced by Elon soon. One thing was called, Something under a nose. The writer assumes this will be a offer of 4WD or AWD, for the Model S. If this is true I may have to change from the X to the S. Any other rumors to this around?

Jolinar | 12 april 2013

usually I like Randy Carlson's articles on SeekingAlpha, however I don't think AWD will be availabe that soon. I'd like it though...

Runar | 12 april 2013


I however agree totally with you, so i cant see what is it you disagree with me on?;-) There will be packages that wont be retro fitable, but that doesnt exclude other packages to be retrofitable - thats a bonus for current owners IMO.

Performance pluss is one that wont be 100% retro fitable, only partly. Other new ones might, i say might also not be. But that is ok:-) tesla rocks anyway, no need to wait with a car order

Brian H | 12 april 2013

The 2012 model = the 2013 model = the 2014 model. With the same options, you couldn't tell the difference. Visually or otherwise.

Kit-60kWh now 85D | 12 april 2013

A subtle change that came with the price increase is 12-way power adjustable, heated seats in the standard, non-leather option. I regret not having it, but I don't think I'd have been willing to wait to get it, even if the price hadn't gone up. My 3k miles have been great. It makes me smile even to type that. I had waited almost 3 years.... I have no regrets for having been an early adopter!

Brian H | 12 april 2013

The changes happen whenever they're ready, not by model year. It's just coincidence if they seem to follow the calendar in particular cases.

FLsportscarenth... | 12 april 2013

If your finances allow it, buy it. I would advise against waiting much longer at this stage, seems as though a lot of the bugs are going away, and you are losing fuel savings and joy of driving for the months you wait for some minor option or feature. If on the fence financially, wait till the next price increase announcement and pull the trigger before the effective date.

If you are stuck on some major hardware feature yet to come out (AWD or convertible version), you can always sell your lightly used S and get another. I am sure there are many buyers out there that want instant gratification and do not need a bespoke car so you would not take a huge hit on it. Most of the used listings I have seen are at or near purchase price.

M5toMS | 13 april 2013

This thread reminds me of what they used to say about computers -- if you want the fastest, cheapest one possible, wait until the day before you die.

Mireille '&... | 13 april 2013

Wouldn't trade the four and a half months of driving for any of the extras that might/will be available in the future. It's just too amazing to get in this car every day :)