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Next big update to Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by vitaliy, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. vitaliy

    vitaliy Member

    Jun 17, 2015
    Tysons, VA
    I'm going to buy my first Model S as soon as next new big update happens. What do you think it will be?
    My best guesses are as follows:
    1. More sensors/cameras/radars/etc to be able one day make Tesla fully autonomous over the air. Most obvious one and I hope they will make it soon.
    2. Model S P70D
    3. Convertible Model S
    4. $10k price drop with top model being Model S P100D
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    San Diego
    I think you'll be waiting for a while. Probably nothing major until after X gets launched.
  3. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    yep and after that model 3. Safe to say model s updates for the next 2-3 years are going to be incremental. The D update was pretty big.
  4. JER

    JER Member

    Apr 25, 2015
    Bristol, UK
    V7 firmware for sure. Probably V2 core computer modules, as better SOCs are now available. Maybe V2 Autopilot sensors. Maybe some better basic seats and/or improved interior. These will be low priorities until they get the Model X out the door, though.

    Perhaps, though don't expect anything too radical; they probably don't want to fork their Autopilot development into two platforms with different software requirements.

    Unlikely. The smaller pack has more limited power, the existence of a cheaper performance model would confuse their market segmentation and an additional variant might detract from their manufacturing efficiency. Customers can just buy an 85D if they want more performance than the 70D.

    Unlikely. Design and validation would divert resources from Model X/3 development and compromise efficiency of Model S production, which is all in direct conflict with their current objectives. There's already a panoramic roof option. Third parties are already offering full conversions, with no risk to Tesla.

    Not for a while. A higher capacity battery would require a new cell design. $10k price drop would require something equally dramatic. Don't expect anything like this until the Gigafactory is operational.
  5. Joules Verne

    Joules Verne Member

    May 6, 2015
    Boston, MA
    1. Battery capacity bump
    2. Nose job: bye bye nose cone
    3. 360 camera view
    4. LTE and bandwidth bump for higher quality (320kbps) slacker
    5. Gentex hybrid full display rear view mirror
    6. Minor 0-60 acceleration bump

    - - - Updated - - -

    Regarding a convertible: This goes against their core design principles.

    We're talking about a company that eliminated protruding door handles to reduce drag, and is looking to eliminate side mirrors next. If you want a convertible, you'll have to look elsewhere.
  6. Duma

    Duma Member

    Nov 16, 2014
    Dream on. I think the focus for the remainder of the year will be on the Model X. I wouldn't expect any updates to the Model S until 2016, and even then I expect something less obvious than your list. In hindsight, the dual motors upgrade seems obvious as a way to prepare for the Model X, but no one saw it coming. Sensors were needed to compete with similar features on other luxury sport vehicles.

    In terms of the OP list, here are the challenges I see:
    1. Sensor upgrades will be coming, but I think it will be multiple generations before we get to sensors (and compute power) adequate for full autonomous. Tesla is gaining experience and between the data they can capture and software updates to tune algorithms, their engineers have a huge advantage over everyone else for the moment. That said, they will also learn where the current generation of hardware falls short and needs to be enhanced. Others are over-engineering the hardware because they are less nimble. However, not everything can be resolved in software. So 2016 seems right for some sensor upgrade based on what is learned from the current generation of autopilot cars.
    2. I don't think a P70D makes marketing sense. The performance model is intended command a premium price and saving on the battery is a minor factor in that equation.
    3. In general, convertibles are heavier (need a much stronger frame) because the roof acts like a truss that adds rigidity to the frame. Correctly designing a convertible requires a nontrivial change to frame, as I remember from my junior level applied math class. Between the likely increase in weight and the engineering effort, likely a very low priority.
    4. Elon is already on record dismissing an increase in battery capacity, although some in these forums disagree. Improvements in battery technology (greater energy density) enabling a 100 kWh battery would also enable a lighter 85 kWh battery that also improves range. Whether this also translates into a lower cost battery depends on manufacturing cost. And how this affects the price of a Model S - who knows - Tesla may elect to improve their profit margin on the Model S to enable a lower profit margin on the model Ξ.

    As a step on the road to the Model Ξ, lighter 70 kWh and 85 kWh batteries for the Model S (and maybe a larger one for the Model X) in 2016 based on an updated cell design produced in the Gigafactory seem like the next obvious upgrade. Perhaps some of the promised "surprise" features from the Model X would make sense to share with the Model S.

    Beyond that my imagination fails. Everything else that comes to mind is minor, incremental stuff, and that is my tribute to the superb job Tesla has done with the Model S design.
  7. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

    Oct 21, 2012
    So Cal
    Well we know the Model X will have a more sophisticated array of autonomous driving sensors. It would make sense for TM to begin implementing these changes on the Model S assembly line a month or so before MX production begins.
  8. Joules Verne

    Joules Verne Member

    May 6, 2015
    Boston, MA
    Is that not why we read this forum?
  9. YBT

    YBT Member

    May 28, 2015
    It's hard to imagine the X won't be coming with a more powerful chipset inside of the main tablet interface. If this were the case an optional upgrade for Model S users would be logical (although not cheap).
  10. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

    Oct 1, 2014
    San Rafael, CA.
    Get one now with the Autopilot hardware. D drive if you think you need it. Otherwise any big upgrades to MS will be shadowed by Model X and Model 3.
  11. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Dallas, Texas
    My answers to the above conjectures:
    1. Possibly, but getting production Model X revealed, orders processed and cars delivered in Q3 is TMs first priority. Maybe part of trickle down from Model X Features into Model S.

    2. No. Not going to happen. No P for the 70D, as it would fragment distinctions in product line.

    3a. No. At least not by Tesla Motors using the current platform. Custom fabricators can have their go at it. Watch the videos for how a Model S is stamped, fabricated and assembled. A convertible body would add too many new specialty pieces, fittings and complexity to a thoroughly developed process.
    3b. Well after Model 3 is underway and rolling, and if TM can afford to allocate time and money to develop, there will probably be a top flight sports car. But this is waaayyy off over the foreseeable future's horizon.

    4a. No price drop, at least until giga-factory is fully developed and batteries are under production. If anything, they will roll more Options/Features into base price.
    4b. Possibly a future bump in battery capacity. Engineers will be over-tasked and scrambling to develop and bring this to market with all the other things they currently are working on. If this were to occur, it might be implemented with newer battery chemistry.
  12. Fiver

    Fiver Active Member

    Apr 10, 2015
    I wouldn't expect a price drop on the S or X even with the Gigafactory running. The point of the roadster was to fund the S (and X). The point of the S, and X is to fund the model 3 and the gigafactory. If they get the gigafactory up and running, and drop their cost of the S battery cells, that's a higher margin on the S, and gets them more profit to put towards the last original goal of the Model 3. More profit on the S and X also helps expand the supercharger network, which again will help sales of the 3.

    One the 3 is a huge hit they spin off the car company and focus on the real cash cow: Commercial/Utility scale battery deployments.
  13. redevries

    redevries René de Vries

    May 22, 2013
    Oosterhout, Netherlands
    This means you will never buy one. There is always a new update coming... :)

    Just kidding. Get one, and you will immediately regret you didn't do that earlier ;)
  14. ksdprasad

    ksdprasad Member

    Jan 31, 2013
  15. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    Canyon Lake,CA
    I would imagine that some upgrades might be coming along about the time the Model X is released.

    Both vehicles will be coming down the same assembly line, and it would make sense for them to share as many components as possible.

    Dash might change a little, frame maybe a little stronger for SUV duty, radio update, sensor update, things like that.

    Waiting for the vehicles to stop developing and improvements made will be a never ending policy.

    Expect what ever Tesla you order to be really great, and that the ones that come after it be even a bit greater.
  16. caps04

    caps04 Member

    Aug 14, 2014
    NJ USA
    Always expect major updates around the corner. When I put my deposit down early last year, I was told that no major updates were expected for a long time. A few months later AutoPilot and AWD was introduced. You never know. I have heard a couple of big things are coming this year but not sure what. If you are planning to own long term, it doesn't hurt to wait if something you want is missing and rumored to be coming. Otherwise, I would just go for it.
  17. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
    Sorry, price cant drop without destroying existing car values.

    Again, P70D would mess up the values of the product line.

    More cameras around same time as X for that Birdseye view they are working on.
  18. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Mar 12, 2015
    Huntington Beach, CA
    If X side mirrors are the same as S ones, this would seem likely. Do you think they would add cameras to S mirrors even if the X ones are a different size/style?
  19. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    I agree with most of this. I'm pretty sure the X will get better sensors (and a better processor to handle them?), and I'm expecting them to trickle back into the Model S as you say.

    However, I'm not at all convinced that'll happen before the X is produced - I was actually thinking they'd wait until they had any issues worked out and had a solid supply of new parts, then let the old parts run out and upgrade the S - maybe 1-3 months after the X production.

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