Tesla is still the new kid on the blog among major auto companies, but it is already freshening up its two “oldest” models, the Model X SUV and the Model S. Tesla has apparently already absorbed one of the business’ most lasting lessons: change is the only permanent thing in the auto industry. It’s the car world’s version of publish or perish.
That’s why today’s news is as unsurprising as it is welcome. Today Tesla announced its first big styling update for Model S since the car launched in 2012. The blacked-out nose cone is now smooth, giving it the same no-grille look as the Model X. The decision also puts the Model S closer to the Model 3, which features no grille. It also signals that consumers are beginning to get used to the lack of grille work on electric cars. Without an internal-combustion engine, there is no need for venting to keep the heat down.
The stylistic change wasn’t the only upgrade to Model S. The headlights also have a look that is closer to the Model X. The HEPA air filtration system that was a hit on the Model X is now available on the Model S. Why is that a big deal? Because the HEPA filter on the Model is is over 99% more effective than any other automotive air filter, giving it incredible power to cleanse cabin air from pollutants, pollen, bacteria and other allergens. For those with serious allergies this is a great feature.
The standard Model S charger has been upped from 40 to 48 amps, which will help as long as the car is plugged in to a higher amp charging source. These changes result in a slight bump in the standard Model S price, to $71,500.00. Some of these upgrades are in a revised premium package, which is explained in detail on the Tesla website. The premium upgrade runs $3,000 and also includes leather seats, a power liftgate and upgraded LED headlights.
Customers can begin placing orders now for a hopefully-May delivery.
Design Your Own Model X With Model X Configurator
Tesla also announced the opening of an online “design studio” for an ostensibly less expensive version of the Model X. The base price will be $83,000 with shipping. This version of the crossover vehicle is called the 75D. It includes a 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack offering an EPA range of 237 miles and a 0-to-60-mph time of 6 seconds.
Tesla is also offering a May delivery for those who take advantage of the Model X’s premium trims known as 90D and P90D. trims. For people who order the 75D, they can expect delivery of their crossover in June. Some of the new options people will be able to order include changing the standard five seats to a custom order of 6 or even 7 seats, and upping the standard 75kw battery to an 90 kw battery or a 90kw battery with performance.
If you check off all of the available upgrades for the Model X 75D, you will wind up with a price of over $111,000. Although Tesla issued a recall earlier this week for the Model X to fix a seat back issue, the company expects its first recall to be just a minor annoyance on what has been a very good spring for the electric car dynamo.