Tesla Model S Sorely Needs to Hit ‘Refresh’

Make no mistake, Tesla Model S needs to hit a huge refresh button unless Tesla wants its younger, nimbler and faster sibling, the Model 3 Performance, eating its bigger brother’s lunch as well as dinner.

After pricing the Model 3 Performance variant near the lower end of Model S, Tesla has been pushing Model S pricing higher and higher. In July this year, Tesla increased the price of Model S by $2,500, pushing the starting price of Model S 75D to $77,000. Throw in Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) and Full Self Driving (FSD) capability and you are looking at a car in the mid-eighty-thousand-dollar price range.

The Model S has been getting minor exterior updates since the time it was launched in 2012. The price is slowly edging north in the past few months  – it’s almost as if Tesla wants to create a gap between that and the Model 3 Performance version. But +85K for a car that’s in its sixth year of production doesn’t sound that exciting at all.

Tesla should accelerate its plans for either a face-lift or even a complete interior/exterior update for Model S considering the response Model 3 is getting; the sooner a new Model S rolls out the better it will be for Tesla to justify the new, higher price point for the EV.

The earlier it happens the better it will be for Tesla’s margins as well, but we don’t think it’s going to happen for the next two to three quarters at least, thanks to the Model 3 production ramp and the on going delivery hell.

Tesla will have to stay focused on reducing its Model 3 backlog in the United States and quickly start shipping Model 3 overseas. Even if Tesla gets the new design ready over the next few months, pushing it into production will be near impossible considering the circumstances, and in part due to their race to stay profitable.

Fun Facts From the Frunk of the Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S was the first full-sized luxury all-electric sedan launched by Tesla, Inc, in June 2012. Designed by Tesla’s long time Chief of Design Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla Model S won the Time Magazine’s Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 Award.

Tesla offers three Model S Variants: P100D (100 kWh Battery Pack) starting at $135,000, 100D (100 kWh) starting at $99,800 and 75D (75 kWh) starting at $80,300.

The P100D, which offers an EPA-rated 335 miles of range, offers the longest all-electric range of any car in the world. According to Tesla, users can recharge to 170 miles in 30 minutes at Tesla superchargers.

Model S is one of just a few cars to have ever achieved a 5-star safety rating from both Euro NCAP and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Model S was the only car in 2014 to have achieved both a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and 5 stars in every NHTSA subcategory, including frontal impact, side impact, and rollover.