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How to tell old S from refresh S from the back while driving.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Maximilien, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    I used to believe that Model S had refresh only on front fascia in April 2016.

    But I found out finally today that the back is a little different if you look closely on the bottom bumper.

    I guess Tesla is doing favor to make old customers still happy as it is not very easy to tell from behind. :p

    Old Model S
    upload_2018-8-29_17-22-38.png

    Refresh Newer Model S

    upload_2018-8-29_17-23-1.png

    The paint extends to the bottom on the newer one.
     
  2. mattreidy

    mattreidy Member

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    Newer ones also don’t have the chrome in the bottom center of the back. That’s the easiest way to tell.
     
  3. glide

    glide Member

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    It’s a completely different diffuser. Not paint.
     
  4. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    If you get real close, you can look for raised lettering on the "Tesla" across the back. Also, color can be a giveaway for, for example IIRC solid white disappeared as an option around the time of the refresh.
     
  5. Ciaopec

    Ciaopec Reservations at Restaurant at Universe end

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    Was going to get a RFRSH license plate to make it easier for those who have missed the subtle cues!:D
     
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  6. PhilDavid

    PhilDavid Member

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    Still what a great timeless design! Not easy to make cars look this good from the back...

    The 2012 Model S design still looks modern and elegant from the back in 2018. Franz is a master designer and among the best in the world for what he does. Tesla was very fortunate to hire him when the company was so young.

    It must be so rewarding for him to see his designs redefine the modern automobile for the next century.
     
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  7. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    Good observation. I just found out after reading your comments.
     
  8. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    I agree. Without Franz, I don't think Tesla would be where it is now.

    Tesla is one of the few nice looking EVs out there. All other EVs look terrible because they try to look too futuristic design that doesn't align with our tastes of design, although it may differ from person to person.

    First time I saw Model S, I fell in love. And I still do and I take a second look when I lock. Still beautiful car and I get a lot of positive comments from people.
     
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  9. BLKTSLA

    BLKTSLA Member

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    As mentioned the rear diffusers are different, IMO the legacy diffuser looked more aggressive and actually match the new aggressive front fascia, the new one looks too tame. They also skimped on adding diffused brake lights like the Model X, which also makes it difficult to tell them apart.

    LEGACY DESIGN
    [​IMG]

    NEW DESIGN
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    Many people damaged the chrome diffuser when backing up into parking lots with the space bumpers. The front edge of the chrome hung down just a little lower than the rest of the plastic panels under there. People would back up too far and hang the tip on concrete. Sometimes the air suspension would let the car down. The driver would not know and would hang the tip on the bumper and pull the diffuser down and nearly off. I know a couple friends that did it just as I described. And it was not covered by warranty. I guess Tesla had a lot of complains and decided to adjust it so it did not hang on things.
     
  11. timvracer

    timvracer Member

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    Of course you cheated by showing the Legacy in black, and the new one in white...

    I definitely prefer the refresh design on the back, the legacy chrome part just doesn't look well integrated into the design to me. And yes, the extended paint makes a big difference (unless you have a black car).




     
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  12. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    An even more subtle difference between the legacy rear design and the refresh (actually introduced prior to the front refresh):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The tip of the chrome fascia trim piece that extends into the rear taillight now has a smaller cutout area.
     
    • Informative x 2
  13. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    Wow, you guys are so into details! No wonder TMC people know more about the car than the Tesla sales people.

    Are you guys all experts in "finding Waldos"? I bet you guys are.
     
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  14. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    Pass it if you can !
     
  15. sorka

    sorka Well-Known Member

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    I have the new version on my 2015 because the tail lights had bugs in them so they replaced the entire rear applique with the current one.
     
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  16. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    The old one had its own lens. It was collecting water. So, the second gen version did away with the applique lens.
     
  17. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    One could get a five-gallon bucket of white-out and make the black diffuser stand out on the black S.
     
  18. BLKTSLA

    BLKTSLA Member

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    Yeah couldn't get a good straight on back shot of the new design in black...you know I would have put it in there if I did ;)
     
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  19. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    While I agree the refresh back looks nicer with the overall design, the older design definitely looks more sporty.
     
  20. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S / Model X Forums

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    Also on the newer applique, the "TESLA" letters are larger. But you'd probably notice all the other cues before that.

    Bruce.
     

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