Both the Tesla Model S and Model X are almost identical in looks to their early ancestors. We continuously see software updates and hardware improvements, such as the recent Raven powertrain, but interior updates are almost minimal. Owners have been antsy and find current features stale with others saying they’re willing to switch to a new brand before repurchasing the same car over again. It’s been years of speculations but it seems like a Tesla Model S refresh is right around the corner.
A pronounced Tesla hacker known as Green has found some new Model S & X specific hardware code that could be hinting at a potential, long-awaited, Tesla refresh.
New hardware incoming.
Integrated inductive phone charger (Qi) for S/X cars.
Two new S/X battery types in several configs (not yet sure of the capacity – TBD)
new lumbar (so new seats?)
New charge port type.
New suspension version.
I would speculate all these are imminent 1/
— green (@greentheonly) January 25, 2020
A new wireless charging mat for the Model S & X was recently leaked through the parts supplier. Many expected this to be an aftermarket option as seen with the Model 3 but this could very well be directly integrated into a Model S refresh. Although, it could still be an aftermarket feature with added software benefits. There’s no confirmation on any of this until the features are actually revealed.
Green also reports seeing two new battery types in three configurations each. We are already on the fourth version of the 100 kWh battery so these new battery types do not confirm a larger battery. With the second battery type we could possibly see the Standard Range Model S & X make a reappearance. The three configurations could be linked to the Model S, Model X, and Model S Plaid.
A new lumbar system could be just that, a new lumbar system. Or it could imply a whole new set of seats. Potentially racing seats for the upcoming Model S Plaid? This could also just be general improvements to the current seating options.
Model 3 premium seats are said to be made available from a company called Yanfeng, a luxury automotive interior specialist. Interestingly, the options availability is separated from driver seat, passenger seat, or both with all options pointing solely to the front seats. There’s no confimration on whether or not this will be strictly for made in China Model 3’s.
Recently Tesla released an update including support for CHAdeMO adapters. This allows the Model 3 to charge at just about any DC fast charger in the U.S. with the applicable adapter, something already available to Model S & X owners. The new charge port type reported could be support for CCS adapters in the U.S., something owners have been requesting for some time now.
Tesla just recently upgraded their vehicles suspension system with the introduction of the Raven powertrain. This new suspension version is not a new suspension, rather a software update for the current one. If history is any indication we could see some drastic improvements brought over-the-air.
Unlike others, Tesla opts against doing full refreshes to their vehicles. Instead, they release improvements and updates incrementally. The odds of us seeing a full transition at once to a new interior is slim to none. But these changes could very well be step one with some more coming shortly after. Prior to the drastic MCU2 upgrade, Tesla released new seats, new wheels, new materials, and a new sun visor all spontaneously but compacted inside just 2 months. Green believes that based on the past it can take “weeks up to 3 months” to see the new features implemented.
Get this question a lot, so need to clarify that there’s no such thing as a Tesla “refresh”. Other car companies do this every ~3 years, but Tesla constantly upgrades vehicle hardware every week.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 23, 2018
Leaks like these get released through code inside of software updates. The Tesla hacker states the company froze updates at 2019.40 while only releasing the essentials. The fact that this code is all now within present day updates implies the hardware being used requires it. This means cars currently coming out of production could already have all these improvements added. The Model S Plaid edition could be much closer than expected.
Another previously discovered code in the speech recognition module states that your cars microphone is always on. This hints at a ‘Hey Tesla’ feature similar to Alexa or Google Home devices. Or, you know, Tesla could be spying on us.
Tesla firmware’s are the same globally. Every U.S. car has code such as “China positioner”, a China required GPS tracker, in it. The code is just not enabled unless you’re within the region.