HomeVehicleCarsTesla Hints At Model S/X Refresh, Production Shut Down For Extended Period

Tesla Hints At Model S/X Refresh, Production Shut Down For Extended Period

Tesla has announced an extended shutdown for the production of the Model S and Model X in the upcoming weeks. While a vacation during the holiday season isn’t new, the range of dates is quite long. This has fueled the rumours of both vehicles possibly getting a refreshed design in early 2021.

Tesla Hints At Model S/X Refresh

Tesla Model S/X Production Shut Down For Extended Period

The Model S

Tesla had first launched the Model S back in 2012. It was their first car of this line-up and acted as a base for further designs as well. While the company has been providing small performance upgrades every year, there hasn’t been a major change in the design. In fact, since 2016, there has not been a major design change for the premium sedan. This has affected the sales of the Model S in the past few years.

In the automobile world, it is not common for a car to have the same design over an extended period of time. Every company brings out an updated, or refreshed, design after 3-4 years. This helps them in keeping in touch with the taste of the market. By that logic, it is high time that the Model S should get an update.

Reasons Behind The Rumours

Tesla is known for giving performance upgrades to its vehicles regularly. This helps them to provide significant performance boosts to their existing customers without having to call them to the garage. Hence, the performance of a Model S bought in 2017 and one bought in 2020 won’t differ by much. This enables them to keep the market attracted to the Tesla brand, as the performance parameters of their vehicles stay relevant even after 4-5 years.

Despite this, the sales of the Model S haven’t really soared, while the sales of the relatively cheaper Model 3 and Model Y have skyrocketed. This has prompted many experts to talk about a possible design refresh for the sedan. Reduced sales, a slightly higher price and the 4-year-old current design are all pointing towards a design refresh. And Tesla already has come out with a refreshed design for the Model 3, so it seems logical to expect a similar upgrade for the Model S.

The Model S Plaid

Another major reason for predicting a possible refresh is the unveiling of the Model S Plaid. The high-performance variant of the premium sedan has already proven itself on the track, and it is expected to launch late in 2021. Apart from other impressive specs, one of the biggest changes has been the transmission system. Tesla has announced that the Plaid version will be equipped with a Tri-motor system, which allows for amazing performance capabilities.

This means that there will be a significant change in the design of the Model S, at least for the Plaid version. And knowing Tesla, they will not keep two different design bases for the different variants. The design foundation will be common, and according to the variant that a customer picks, the software will help in locking the capabilities of the hardware. For example, the motors used in the Long Range Plus and Performance variants are the same, but their capabilities are governed by the software installed in the respective variants. For this purpose, it seems likely that the design refresh will come soon keeping in mind the timeline of the Model S Plaid.

Price Hike in Europe

Another reason to believe this theory is the recent increase of the Model S variants in European countries. In Germany, the Model S now starts at €82,000, which is roughly $99,000. As compared to this, the prices in the USA start at $70,000. This is a difference of close to $30,000. The reason for this gap has a lot to do with taxes, but Tesla themselves increased the prices of the Model S and Model X by almost $6,000 last month. These newly-priced models will be delivered by March 2021.

This price hike might have something to do with a new design. The refreshed design will consist of some fundamental changes to accommodate new components like the third motor, and this will increase production costs. Once again, this points towards the possible announcement of a refreshed design.

Our Opinion

There are a number of points pointing towards a refreshed design for the Model S. Tesla has focused a lot of its attention on the Model 3 and Model Y recently. The Model S, on the other hand, has been on the market with the same design for the last four years. Yes, it has received performance upgrades, but the visual impact also matters. The fact that the Plaid version will be available next year, and the increase in prices in the European market are even more compelling reasons to believe in this rumour.

It’s been quite a bit of time since the Model S and X have received a major upgrade, and we’re hoping that Tesla will announce something early next year.

Mihir Tasgaonkar
Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.


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