Tesla Model S, X Refresh Not Happening Until Q3 2019

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The question of when Tesla might refresh or redesign its models is recurring and it can be looked at in multiple ways.

If you ask Tesla, you might be told there is no immediate need for any drastic redesign since the cars are updated on a constant basis. Tesla doesn’t rely on a traditional model year system, but rather, updates are made regularly, whenever the automaker sees fit. However, this doesn’t mean that the cars don’t go through generational changes, refreshes, or eventual full redesigns.

For example, the Model S has been on the market since 2012 and has only seen one major refresh (2016 exterior update), yet Tesla says the sedan is in its third generation. Most people anticipating the Model S redesign continue to refer to the upcoming vehicle as a “second-generation” Model S, while others have coined it a “third-gen,” due to the 2016 fascia change. Nonetheless, the whole situation can become a bit confusing.

The Tesla Model X arrived in 2015 and is still in its first generation. However, being that it rides on the same second-generation platform as the Model S and has shared the very recent interior update, it too could be considered “refreshed” to some degree. If you’re more confused now, it really makes no difference, because the automaker’s future plans for these vehicles is all that really matters at this point. The rest is just a discrepancy of words and definitions.

According to Electrek, internal documents reveal that Tesla will extend the life cycle of the current Model S and X through 2021. In order to make this happen, the automaker will begin production of the vehicles with a substantial interior overhaul during the third quarter of 2019.

This is not the timeline that many expected. Several stories and forum posts have pointed to a refresh or redesign coming soon. There is a regular opinion in Tesla circles that the update is long overdue, as well as much speculation surrounding Tesla beginning this process before the end of this year. However, with Model 3 production and profitability taking precedence at this point, it appears that we’ll have to wait another year or more.

Additionally, if these reports are accurate, the updates will revamp the S and X interior to the more minimalistic styling and setup of the Model 3, but aside from that, there doesn’t appear to be any other plans for a more significant redesign for another three years.


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Tesla Model X at Supercharger
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Source: Electrek

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27 Comments on "Tesla Model S, X Refresh Not Happening Until Q3 2019"

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Additionally, if these reports are accurate, the updates will revamp the S and X interior to the more minimalistic styling and setup of the Model 3, but aside from that, there doesn’t appear to be any other plans for a more significant redesign for another three years. ————————— There seem to be illustrations here: http://www.burlappcar.com/2018/07/new-interior-for-tesla-model-s-and-x.html

Plus, that’s decades (or weeks) in Tesla time.

I don’t think so – the S and X are the cash cows right now, and the sales of each must be protected with constant updates.

“…revamp the S and X interior to the more minimalistic styling and setup of the Model 3…”

It’s strange and, frankly, uninformed for anyone to make that suggestion. The Model 3 isn’t a “premium” car like the MS and MX, and Tesla certainly isn’t going to dump the luxury touches in favor of the minimalist interior of the TM3. In fact, some already called the MS interior minimalist; Tesla certainly isn’t going to go even farther in that direction!

Will Tesla get rid of the instrument panel in the Model S? Will it go for the TM3’s smaller horizontal touch screen in the Model X?

Of course not! Don’t be ridiculous.

How about you read the actual source instead of guessing? It clearly says (and shows) that according to these documents, they are going for a more minimalistic interior.

I hope a new chief designer is hired for that time.

This refresh looks like a downgrade to improve margins, especially when it comes to turn-by-turn navigation, which is today embedded in the instrument cluster. The more delay, the better.

Thats exactly what I thought… Tesla is going to downgrade the interior… This might be a ploy to get people to order before the refresh, do not want to get stuck with that cheap Model 3 looking interior.

To be honest, if they add cooling, maybe massage, to the front seats, then minimalist will make sense for the front.
They need to do a lot more on the rears of both the S/X. Ideally, they will enable the X to have the middle seat turned around.
In addition, from that console, a shared table should be capable.
Regardless, the MS back really needs work.
Keep in mind that Tesla hired away 2 of the top interior ppl from volvo.

I will be curious to see if Tesla will switch the MS/X to the electronic set-up of the MY. Based on what Elon has said about it, it would likely mean a much lower manufacturing costs.

For purposes of discussion here, I’m going to write as if the report in question is accurate. (Maybe it’s not, but it looks like this is the best info we’ve got to go on.)

While one part of me is disappointed that the refresh will be put off for a year, at the same time I’m glad that Tesla is focusing on what’s most important right now, and that’s ramping up Model 3 production as quickly as possible.

I presume that when the “refresh” happens, Tesla will switch over to using its new, less expensive (per kWh) 2170 batteries for the Model S and Model X. I certainly wouldn’t want there to be any slowing of TM3 production because of batteries diverted to the MS or MX!

Go Tesla!

This is about an interior refresh — a battery upgrade could happen independently of that. A major redesign is apparently not planned until 2021; and I have a hard time believing they won’t switch to the newer cells before that…

Tesla does not have enough production of the 2170 cells until GF1 is finished being built, so that timeline should coincide.

I don’t see a problem. The 35 GWh/year they are talking about here should already cover the planned 500,000 yearly Model 3 production. Adding Model S and Model X would add maybe 15 GWh on top of that, assuming significantly rising sales. That doesn’t sound like a major hurdle.

The 2170 cells are taller and will require a redesign of the battery case I believe. Likely this and other power train changes will wait for the 2021 major redesign (if that’s when it happens) As it is the MS, especially the exterior, is a very elegant design; they should, IMHO, be careful with the “improvements” they make.

While the X & S may be a little long in tooth, they are still the best EVs on the market. Tesla is still a fairly young company that is being squeezed in many directions. They can’t become profitable, while building multiple factories, expanding Super Charging, launching the upcoming Model Y, Roadster, and Semi. Plus all the solar city stuff. I think once 3/Y/Semi get going they may have more bandwidth to refresh the X/S.

Some argue that the Model 3 is the best EV on the market…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I want the refresh to include 6AWG “+” & “-” 12VDC lines to the trunk and frunk and have high impedance RCA audio channels from the stereo to the trunk and frunk so I can wire my Soundstream amps with my 10″ Sundown subs easier!!

This will give them a tough market position in the coming years especially for the Model X. Customers like new stuff and wait for the next real update. The Audi Etron or MB EQC or Jaguar will just be fresher

Any three of those crushes the x minivan styling. The E Tron is particularly sexy.

Yes, and they are also going to be more conventionally convenient. Tesla should be killing the market with Model X right now, if you draw parallels with the SUV craze for ICE cars.. It should by far outsell the Model S. But it never really resonated as much with customers.

Firstly, it doesn’t look like an SUV, it looks like a minivan, which is probably the most derided segment of the auto market; soccer moms don’t want to think of themselves as soccer moms, and nothing screams “soccer mom” like a minivan. Secondly, it doesn’t have SUV-like ground clearance; although 99% of SUVs never leave the pavement, SUV buyers like the added ride height, which the X doesn’t have. And finally X-wing doors, the most gimmicky, useless answer to a question no one asked in auto history.

Of all the missteps Tesla has made, the biggest was the X’s design, and that’s saying something. As you point out, the X should have been their money-maker, and instead, it’s the least popular model. They should abandon pie-in-the-sky dreams of tractor trailers and pickups (do they really think they can out-pickup Ford? That shows a stunning ignorance of pickup market dynamics), and totally redesign – not refresh – the X as quickly as possible.

True. A Model S / X update is going to bring Tesla a fast return on investment. Entering the market of commercial vehicles might overstrain finances and may not allow them to stay in their EV competitive position. It’s going to be a different game once there are some real alternative options on the market that could threaten their cash cows. Today consumer only have Tesla if they want a luxury sedan or SUV. This is going to change. It would be a shame for all EV fans If Tesla would not further drive the market.

If there is serious competition, Tesla doesn’t *need* to further drive the market… Rather, they can focus on new areas that don’t have attractive EV options yet.

Both Tesla Model S/X are stagnating in sales for a year while the EV market is growing rapidly around the world. At the moment they lose share except in North America due to Model 3. By the time Model 3 is introduced in significant numbers to Europe there is competition possibly with cheaper options available (VW ID, EQA, next Leaf, etc), China is anyway already a totally different animal where both US and European EV manufacturers play only a minor role.
If I was Tesla I would focus on where I make my money by updating X / M model rather than investing in areas that are not going to get any cash mid term (trucks). Also expect costs of sales going up in a competitive market.

All the more reason for Tesla to create a “true” SUV version of model X using the same internals but without falcon doors but innovative interior design and some carbon fibre like trunk and roof. This model can be party outsourced to Magna to manufacturer in Canada!.

Wouldn’t a *true* SUV imply a completely different construction, built on a light truck frame?…

I think the time of “refreshments”is nearing its end for Model S, looks like new competitors like Porsche’s Taycan may up the ante considerably for Tesla. For the same money (at least that’s what Porsche is suggesting…)Model S just doen’t seem very competitive with something with a Porsche badge, interior, fit &finish and 20 minute quick charging.