Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Rumors of a Tesla Model S refresh that would bring the smooth front end of the X to the S have been swirling around for several months now, and it looks like we get our first look at it today. A Redditor posted a picture of a new canvas going up in the Tesla store in Richmond, Australia, that shows the new Model S front end. It’s essentially just the Model X front end … pasted onto the S. It gives the front end a sleeker look that’s more consistent with the rest of the lineup.
In addition to a the front end overhaul, the new Tesla Model S is expected to have a larger battery pack, as a hacker supposedly uncovered an encrypted hash that read “P100D.” In addition to just being a nice round number, a 100 kWh battery pack should get the Model S up to the 300 mile mark, which is also a very pleasing plateau to talk off of.
With the Model 3 boasting 215 miles of range in the base model battery size, a larger battery in the S would be a nice feature to set it apart and continue to raise the bar. One of the things we have a love/hate relationship with when it comes to Tesla is that they are never content to settle. On one hand, this means we get a car that is always better than the car that came just days before it, but at the same time, we might miss out on features that are released only a few weeks into the future. Usually, it’s small stuff like a garage door opener or a trunk gate lift button … but occasionally it’s huge, like autopilot, a new front end, or an extra motor.
Beyond some botox for the front end and some extra junk in the frunk (oh wait, that’s just an extra 10 kWh of batteries), the new Model S might bring with it the second generation of autopilot hardware that Elon hinted at a few months back in Paris. Is it possible that a new suite of autopilot hardware would be sufficient to enable fully autonomous — aka Level 4 autonomous — driving? Back in October 2015, Elon shared that he felt that fully autonomous driving would be ready in 2 years, so we are still a bit ahead of that curve, but perhaps AP hardware version 2 is a key requirement.
Whether new AP hardware is included or not, we can rest assured that the new Model S will have all the Tesla style that we have come to love, packed with the latest tech, and will surely blow our minds in at least 1 completely unexpected vector.
Lastly, the Model S refresh should carry forward some of the features debuted in Model X (and no, I’m not talking about the falcon-wing doors :P), like biohazard defense mode, auto-presenting doors, press-to-open door handles (vs the awkward, error prone Model S handles), upgraded LED headlights, and maybe even a supersplendulous windshield.
For now, all we have is an image, but it’s likely that details will start creeping out over the next few hours, days, or weeks. We’ve reached out to Tesla to confirm the image and lock in some details on the update, and will keep you posted as we learn more.
- The front fascia and headlights of Model S now have a design similar to that found on Model X.
- The Tesla HEPA air filtration system which was previously only available on Model X is now available on Model S too. The filter is 100 times more effective than all other premium automotive filters removing at least 99.97% of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria and other contaminants from cabin air.
- The standard charger in Model S is upgraded from 40 amps to 48 amps, enabling faster charging when connected to higher-amperage charging sources.
- Two new interior décor choices: Figured Ash Wood Décor and Dark Ash Wood Décor.