Boasting up to 294 miles of range, the Model S is the all-electric dream car envied by many. That its Ludicrous mode blasted the top-dog P90D to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds in our test is icing on the cake. As you move downward, lower-spec models get reduced ranges and features, but the base 60 still gets to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Luxury items like an air filter that Tesla says can protect occupants from bioweapons and pollutants—plus available high-tech features like Tesla’s Autopilot—seal the deal.
The Tesla Model S has benefited from constant revisions throughout its life cycle, but its looks have stayed almost exactly the same since it was introduced in 2012. That finally changes with an update for the 2017 Model S that brings it in line with the recently revealed Model 3 sedan and the Model X crossover. Gone is the faux front grille, which is replaced by a new front fascia with slightly reshaped headlights and a sleeker, more streamlined look.
Tesla also claims increased driving range for the 90D and P90D models but doesn’t cite any mechanical changes that account for the improved numbers. The 90D, with its 90-kWh battery, improves from 270 miles to 294 miles on a full charge, while the P90D sees range go from 253 miles to 270 miles. These numbers haven’t yet been published on the EPA’s website, although Tesla’s own site says they’re EPA-official.
Another significant mechanical change is the newly standard 48-amp onboard charger that replaces the previous model’s 40-amp charger. Tesla says it enables quicker charging than before when connected to a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 power outlet or to a Tesla Wall Connector. We don’t have exact numbers for the new charger, but the old 40-amp system was estimated to deliver 29 miles of range per hour of charge, so expect more than 30 miles per hour for the new car. This change won’t affect the amount of time it takes to juice up with Tesla’s Supercharger network of quick chargers, and a $1500 upgrade that equips the car with a 72-amp charging system is available.
A few new features also join the Model S sedan’s options list. The Model X’s HEPA air-filtration system, which is said to be significantly more effective than conventional air filters at removing pollution and allergens from the air, is now included in the $3000 Premium Upgrades package, and two new interior trim choices—Figured Ash Wood and Dark Ash Wood—are also newly available.
To go along with these changes, pricing for the 2017 Model S is up by $1500 across the range. The rear-wheel-drive 70 trim, with 234 miles of range, starts at $72,700, while opting for the all-wheel-drive 70D (with six extra miles of driving range) costs $5000 extra, as before. The Model S 90D, which has the highest range of any Tesla at 294 miles, costs $90,700, and the more powerful P90D tops the six-figure mark with its starting price of $110,700.
Tesla says that all of these revisions go into production immediately at the company’s factory in Fremont, California. Because the new face is not something that Tesla will be able to apply as an over-the-air software update, we wonder if some current Model S owners will be jealous of the newer car’s sleeker looks.