Tesla to Release Updated Model S (Report)

Red Tesla Model S on Road - H 2014
Courtesy of Tesla

Red Tesla Model S on Road - H 2014

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."