Elon Musk: Actually the Tesla Model S and Model X Aren't Getting a Refresh

Photo: Mike Ballaban / Jalopnik
Photo: Mike Ballaban / Jalopnik

Back in May, CNBC reported that the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X would be getting a overhaul, adopting the style of the minimalist interior of the Tesla Model 3 while getting a few additional hardware upgrades. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted that it isn’t happening.


Earlier this year, rumors started to swirl that Tesla was working on updates for the Model S and Model X, its two oldest cars currently for sale. At the end of May, CNBC reported that the Model S would get a new, minimalist interior, new premium seats, and an upgraded battery capacity of up to 400 miles of range, aiming for a September production date.

It was also reported that Model S and Model X production would move to share one line, potentially to make room for production of the upcoming Model Y crossover at the Fremont factory.

It would appear that CNBC’s reporting was wrong (or at least no longer accurate), considering the CEO’s recent tweets. When asked specifically if there would be at least an interior revamp soon in a followup tweet, Musk simply responded, “No.”

The Tesla Model S was last substantially updated back in 2016, where it got the redesigned Tesla fascia from the Model X that debuted the year before, as well as the Model X’s HEPA air filtration system, two wood interior trim options, and an upgraded on board charger.


Both the Model S and Model X went into production with the Model 3's upgraded drive units with a new inverter, gearbox and motors earlier this year, as Musk confirmed. It now looks like that’s the only major upgrade we’ll be seeing for both aging models for awhile.

So far this year, Model X sales in the U.S. are almost on par with last year, currently at a year over year total decline of 325 sales through the month of June, according to CarSalesBase.com. Following two years of steady sales decline, the Tesla Model S is already down 3,270 sales year over year through June of this year.


It’s certainly an interesting choice for Tesla to not invest in a significant and obvious overhaul for both models considering the new and growing amount of competition. The Model S will face the Porsche Taycan EV later this year, with more electric sedans from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Ford, and more planned to soon follow. The Model X already faces competition from the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi E-Tron electric crossovers.

But the company also had a strong second quarter, and despite concerns, it seems there’s still plenty of demand for the Model 3. But it’s beginning to look like the company is going to have to rely even more on it and the upcoming Model Y to keep the lights on, and it’ll have to eliminate any risks of the production hiccups it keeps running into for that to work.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik



Can’t afford to make the sales drop even more by saying there is an update coming. Either it won’t happen or it will drop with absolutely no warning at a keynote and piss off everyone who bought a model S in the previous 6 months.