Tesla Model S with design refresh potentially spotted at Fremont Factory [Picture]

Model S refresh

While the focus is on Tesla’s recently unveiled first mass-market car, the Model 3, its flagship sedan, the Model S, is now expected to take center stage with some updates this month. We reported on Tesla confirming that “price changes” are coming in “early April” and hinting that it would add new features.

One of the rumored upgrade is a refreshed front-end that would look more like the Model X’s, and now it reportedly has been spotted at Tesla’s Fremont factory.

TMC member and Model S owner WestCoastP85D was in Fremont this week to service his car when he saw several parked Model S’s with protective tape. He took a few pictures, but didn’t think much of it.

Then he wrote on TMC:

“However, after I saw the “delivery delays”, I opened the picture and zoomed in. It’s grainy, but is that nose different than the nosecone equipped model S cars? It’s covered with shipping tape, as is the bumper — but it looks like all of them have the same careful cover on the front and rear bumpers. If it is a refresh, looks pretty minimal as the doors, trim, hood, lights don’t look different.”

By “delivery delays”, he is referring to several new buyers reporting that their Model S deliveries have been pushed. Some are speculating that the reason for the delay is that Tesla will introduce an updated Model S and the transition could create a gap in its production.

WestCoastP85D shared the picture on the Tesla Motors Club:IsThisTheModelSFacelift

Our analysis:

It’s difficult to tell due to the quality of the picture, but it certainly looks like there’s a concave crease in the protective tape between the hood and where the nosecone should be. A regular Model S front-end shouldn’t be able to allow such a crease to form, while a Model X-like front-end could.

It could also simply be an illusion due to the zoomed-in picture. What do you think?

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.


  1. Tsli - 7 years ago

    Different covering due shipping in container?

  2. fromNY2LA (@onestopnyc) - 7 years ago

    yeah, it’s the covering.

  3. BEP - 7 years ago

    My prediction: the front will be updated with a grille-less version, similar to Model X’s front, but the lights (if updated) will not be the same as Model X. They will keep the daytime running lights’s shape and position. The S is a low car and the DRL are on the top part of the lights, while the X is higher and the DRL are on the bottom.

  4. Daniel Zorrilla - 7 years ago

    How do you get to the auxiliary battery terminals if there’s no nose cone to snap off? You’d have to pull the whole bumper off, or relocate the terminals.

  5. Chris Lang - 7 years ago

    Definitely new nose. You would see the outline of where the nose cone would be on the sides if it was just removed.

  6. Michael - 7 years ago

    Uh-oh. See, this is what happens, I went and mentioned on reddit (one username) and on the Tesla forums (another username) that I had my delivery delayed and now I’m one of “several new buyers.” There’s only been two domestic people in the forums who complained about delay, and one person in Hong Kong (probably a totally unrelated delay) – not “several.”

    Though I agree, a refresh is almost certainly coming 🙂


Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email: fred@9to5mac.com

Through Zalkon.com, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.