It isn’t obvious, but this is the latest Tesla Model S
Tesla revealed an updated Model S as part of a presentation for its 2020 Q4 earnings report and, for an eight-year-old model, the EV sedan is still looking fresh.
Those outside the Tesla faithful will be forgiven for not identifying the newest model at first sight. The main exterior difference lies in the lower front fascia: The center air dam features a smoother profile, with slits for brake vents on either side replacing the fog lights—à la 2022 Mini Cooper—for a cleaner look. Those tweaks aside, the 2021 Model S looks almost identical to the refreshed car from 2016.
The changes that most buyers will care about lie inside the cabin. The vertically oriented screen of the current Model S will apparently yield to a horizontal one that’s very similar, at first glance, to what we’ve seen in the Model Y. Cues from its high-riding sibling are evident in the Model S’s minimal seams, straight lines, and exposed wood trim. The layout is more elegant, we think—hopefully Tesla can consistently deliver quality fit and finish to match the car’s sleek aesthetics.
The steering wheel of the new Model S takes a major step into the aerospace realm, with a similar shape to the yoke in the as-yet unrealized Roadster concept first shown in 2017.
Rear passengers may soon get their own screen, albeit viewable at a neck-wrenching angle.
Details are scarce as of this writing, but our first impressions is that the Model S is aging rather gracefully.