Tesla to Release Updated Model S (Report)
The refreshed Model S could debut as early as next week.
Tesla Motors is preparing an updated version of its iconic Model S that adds luxury features and a new front grill, CNET reported Friday.
The refreshed car could debut as early as next week, unnamed sources told the tech website.
Introduced in 2012, the Model S quickly became Hollywood's dominant status car, driven by everyone from Steven Spielberg to Jeffrey Katzenberg (who credited the car with saving his life after it was involved in a serious accident).
The Model X SUV, which went on sale in September, is expected to solidify Tesla's hold on Hollywood, as is the Model 3, an entry-level luxury sedan that is scheduled to start production in late 2017 and is priced at only $35,000.
The Model 3 already has logged more than 325,000 reservations, at $1,000 apiece, since Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the car at a lavish event last week. Musk since has predicted the Model 3 will exceed 500,000 orders, if the current pace continues.
Tesla has had the market for luxury electric cars and SUVs largely to itself — the Model S is currently the best-selling large luxury sedan, gas or electric, in the U.S. — but it faces increased competition from electric vehicles in development by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Aston Martin and other luxury brands.
While the Model S has received updates to its power plant and tech — most recently the Autopilot hardware, which allows semiautonomous operation of newer cars — the overall design hasn't changed since the car's 2012 debut. The Model S interior appointments, in particular, lag behind state-of-the-art designs from BMW — which launched an update of its 7 Series flagship — and the Mercedes S-Class, which received a $1 billion makeover.
CNET's sources said that Tesla will raise the price for the updated Model S an unspecified amount. The Model S and Model X currently start at around $80,000, but quickly top $100,000 when options are added.
In a statement, Tesla responded: "We don't comment on rumor or speculation about future releases. Tesla is constantly innovating and adding new features to our vehicles."