Tesla Model S Changes From Past Few Years

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

The Tesla Model S has been out for quite awhile now — with enough years now passed since the launch that some owners of early units have begun upgrading to the refreshed Model S.

So, what exactly has changed design-wise in the years since launch? There’s the new nose… larger battery-pack size options… an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option… Autopilot… what else?

Tesla Model S new nose

A recent post by “SteveW25561” on the Tesla Motors Club forum explored this question in quite a bit of depth. Here are some excerpts:

I am eagerly awaiting my refreshed Model S that I ordered last week. This is the first time ever that I’ve upgraded in less than 3 years, not to mention staying with the same brand, and same model of vehicle! Not to mention that I’ve also pre-ordered the Model 3 to ensure yet more Tesla-fication of my family…
My original VIN (delivered Aug 2013) is around 16,200 (due end of June 2016) and my newly issued VIN is in the 145,300’s.

This has me reflecting on the growth of Tesla and the developments I’ve watched in this short time. While we all know Tesla doesn’t have model years, there have been continuous improvements. Things that have been added to the car over the last 130,000 cars include (in rough order of release by my memory):

Parking sensors
Folding mirrors
Titanium undershield (Tank Mode!)
Better fit & finish
Enhanced front (and somewhat improved rear) seats
New braking system
Dual motors
90 kWh battery (and 70–75)
New face and rear diffuser (subtle)
Integrated center console
Bioweapon defense filter
LED headlights with cornering
Expanded Supercharging network
Numerous software enhancements
…and that’s all I can remember for now.

Seems like a long list already, but anything missing?

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

9 thoughts on “Tesla Model S Changes From Past Few Years

  • Steves list shows features. Like options (and now battery configurations), features come and go. I’d imagine if you looked at the parts Tesla used in 2012, and the parts they use now, it may be difficult to find many that have not been modified, replaced or changed in some way. From turn signals to drive trains.

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    • Steve’s list is pretty complete for features. The number of design fixes in parts is insanely large. The drivetrain has gone from revision “A” to revision “Q”, and a lot of other parts have had similarly large numbers of design changes.

  • They changed the door handles and the sensors therein.

    Didn’t the older models have a completely different turn signal/cruise control stalk configuration? I remember getting an old P85+ as a loaner once and feeling like everything was backwards.

    • Yes true. The original turn signals would have been very familiar to Mercedes owners – from the MB parts bin.

      • Yes. Turn signal and cruise control swapped locations.

  • These are my favorites from his “numerous software enhancements” item:
    Hill hold
    Dynamic backup lines on rear camera display
    Range estimator that incorporates elevation changes
    Traffic-aware navigation
    Supercharger trip planner
    Smartphone App with remote operation and locating

  • Here is a smallish change, my 04/2016 Model S can both close and open the charge port door whereas my 09/2014 Models S can only open it.

    • Oh yeah, a much-requested feature!

Comments are closed.