Tesla Model S loses fake grille, gains faster charger in model update

No sign of rumoured P100D version

TESLA Motors has revealed an updated Model S pure-electric saloon via its online configurator.

The new version loses the fake grille, which gave the nose of the debut Model S a traditional look but served no purpose (as there is no internal combustion engine to cool). The result, which follows the design direction of the Model X SUV and is likely to be replicated on the recently launched Model 3 compact saloon, is a smooth front end with the Tesla badge now housed in a slither of black between the headlights. Some wags have already labelled this design feature a “moustache”.

There are very few notable exterior updates. However, the new Model S gets an uprated charger, from 40 amps to 48 amps, which would improve recharging times when connected to an outlet capable of providing the increased power.

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The new Model S also gains the “Hepa” air filtration system from the Model X, which has been referred to as Bioweapon Defense Mode. Tesla claims that this filter can remove at least 99.97% of allergens, bacteria, smog, and exhaust pollution from outside air, although experts aren’t necessarily convinced that the filter would protect occupants from bioweapon attack.

Inside, two new wood interior trims are now available, known as “Figured Ash Wood Décor” and “Dark Ash Wood Décor”.

A Tesla spokesperson told Driving that these changes will go into production today at its Fremont, California factory. In addition, customers will continue to receive new features and functionality through over-the-air software updates.

A leak had suggested a potential P100D version of the Model S (which would likely feature a 100kWh battery — the largest available), although there is no sign of this specification on the Tesla website and there has been no confirmation from carmaker.