If you’re considering purchasing a new Model S or X, you’ve probably wondered about an impending refresh and the implications it may have on your purchase.
Will Tesla refresh their flagship models soon? What will that do to the value of the old models? Is now a good time to purchase a Model S/X, or should you wait? Let’s jump into all of these questions!
What We Currently Know About a Model S/X Update
Recently, Elon tweeted about the rumored refresh and said:
“There is no ‘refreshed’ Model X or Model S coming, only a series of minor ongoing changes. Most significant change in past few years was to use high efficiency Model 3 rear drive unit as S/X front drive unit. That went into production 3 months ago.”
So, coming from the man himself, that’s basically gospel—right? Well, sort of. The key to understanding this lies in the meaning of “minor ongoing changes.” Everyone knows that Tesla is famous for making changes throughout the year as they see fit and not waiting for a new model year to implement updates to vehicles. So, is Elon talking about this? Or could there be more significant updates looming that he still considers “minor changes?”
Potential Model S/X Changes
In the past, most people who follow Tesla (and specifically Model S/X), know that one of the biggest changes to Model S was the updated front fascia/nose cone in 2016. Elon and Tesla did not consider this a refresh, but it was a significant change to the front of the car, giving it a much more modern/updated look. So, what types of minor changes can we expect? That’s always hard to say, but some of the following things may be on the more likely side:
- Minor interior changes (bezels, seating, colors/configurations)
- Exterior color changes (different pricing structures, adding/removing colors to simplify production)
- Hardware changes (upgraded FSD computers, upgraded MCU or other computer hardware)
- Suspension/minor drive unit changes (altered caliper configuration, different suspension components, etc.)
- Range or other updates via software
Changes That Probably Won’t Happen
There are a lot of changes that people have speculated on, but most likely these major changes won’t be implemented until the Model S/X are totally redesigned. And right now, that’s not Tesla’s focus—they’re working on optimizing production for Model 3 and releasing Model Y, as well as the 2020 Roadster and possibly even the pickup truck.
Some of the speculated Model S/X changes include:
- A single, horizontally-mounted display (similar to Model 3)
- A redesigned front fascia
- New headlights/taillights
- New seats/interior layout
- New gadgets/features that are not software updates
Most of the aforementioned items fall under the category of a “refresh” but not a complete redesign. And again, because Elon himself said there wouldn’t be a refresh anytime soon, it’s not likely that we’ll see any of these items come to fruition.
When you look at the case for these changes, it just doesn’t make sense for Tesla at the moment. Again—their priority is focused on Model 3/Y and the Roadster, as well as some other initiatives like autonomy/Full Self Driving. Putting time and effort into redesigning a car that already looks modern and is selling well just doesn’t make sense. Sure, eventually they’ll completely update Model S and it’ll most likely be amazing. But right now, it’s just extremely unlikely.
Should You Buy a Model S/X Now, or Should You Wait?
All of this talk about updates raises the question of what you should do about purchasing a Model S/X.
Based on all of the available information, and the way we interpret it—there’s really no reason to put off purchasing a Model S/X right now if you had already planned to do so. There’s no indication that an update will be coming anytime soon, so there’s nothing poised to accelerate depreciation other than the usual factors that are applicable to any car purchase.
If you’re looking to hedge your bet a little bit, you may want to consider purchasing a used Tesla. When you do this, someone else has already taken the big depreciation hit (which is much more substantial on Model S than Model 3, etc.) and also paid the destination/doc fee (currently $1,200), adding even more to what you can save. Find My Electric offers the best way to search for and purchase a used Model S, 3, X, or Roadster, allowing you go electric and join the Tesla family on a budget!