The Tesla Model S and Model X Might Be Getting Some Updates, But Is it Enough?

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Photo: Michael Ballaban/Jalopnik

The Tesla Model X has been around, virtually unchanged except for some incremental upgrades, since 2015. That’s not so bad. The Tesla Model S, except for the same incremental upgrades and a slight refresh, has been around since 2012. That’s not great. But now there are rumors both are getting some updates, and whether or not that excites you probably depends on how you view Tesla in general.

Is it a startup, bravely producing vehicles that will save the world?

Or is it a car company, like any other?

First, the rumor, from the repository of a lot of iffy Tesla rumors, Electrek:

Sources with access to Tesla’s latest software told Electrek that the code shows that the automaker is now working on Model S and Model X vehicles with the same battery architecture based on the 2170 battery cells found in Model 3.

It’s still unclear what kind of battery pack capacity Tesla could deliver in Model S and Model X with the new architecture, but it is expected to be higher than the current 100 kWh top capacity.

On top of the higher energy capacity, the new pack should enable a higher charge rate to help Model S and Model X catch up to Model 3’s new 250 kW top charge rate with the new Supercharger V3.


A new battery pack, with architecture based on that in the latest Model 3, certainly would provide an upgrade to the Model S and Model X. It could enable longer range, more power, and with the company’s Supercharger V3 quick-charge stations, significantly faster re-charge times.

Which leads to two takes, as anything mentioning Tesla whatsoever [MASSIVE VOMIT NOISE] must have Takes.


Take 1:

It’s good! All of that is good. It’s great that Tesla, a startup company, has the flexibility to not wait until major model updates before giving its customers significant, if incremental updates. After all, why wait until an all-new Model S, when you can get one that’s still noticeably better? And since Tesla does this sort of thing all the time, is the Model S really still the same car that it was when it went on sale seven years ago? Plus, the Model S and Model X are still really good cars!


Take 2:

But, on the other hand, it’s bad! All of that is indicative of things that are bad. It’s bad that Tesla, a car company, is measured by a different yardstick than other car companies. The current Mercedes S-Class, for instance, has been in production since 2013, and will likely be given an all-new replacement in 2020 or so. Because that’s what real car companies do. They build all-new cars all the time, across their lineups.


So the real question becomes, what do you want in an electric car? The latest and greatest, like in any car? Or maximum range and convenience?

If it’s the former, then these updates might be too little, too late, what with offerings on the horizon like the Mercedes EQC, Audi e-Tron, and Porsche Taycan, all of which will have nothing but the best in terms of interiors and design and chassis work from the Germans, whereas the interior of the Tesla Model S is certainly getting a bit long in the tooth.


But if it’s the latter, then the Teslas still come out on top. The EQC and e-Tron, especially both sport ranges of significantly less than 300 miles.

Is it enough? Tesla Model S and Model X sales have dropped significantly in the wake of the Model 3, and what with Tesla apparently trying to develop the Semi and the Roadster and the Model Y all at once, we can’t wrap our heads around how Tesla could also have the resources to develop an all-new Model S.


So it might just have to be.