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Tesla Updates Model S With New Front-End, Air Filtration System, Faster Charging (theverge.com) 123

An anonymous reader writes: The Model S has received several new features and improvements to help it stay relevant with the newer Model X crossover and recently released Model 3 electric vehicles from Tesla. It has a new-look fascia and adaptive LED headlights that hew closely to the design found on the Model X crossover which debuted late last year. In addition to a couple new interior finish choices, the Model S is receiving a version of the Model X's cabin air filtration system as an option, which promises to filter out "99.7 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria and other contaminants from cabin air." The Model S now has a 48-amp charger standard -- up from 40 amps -- which Tesla says will enable faster charging when connected to higher-amp outlets. Tesla's design language is trending toward a grille-less front end, possibly in an effort to squeeze as much aerodynamic efficiency out of the car as possible. What's missing in the update is the rumored 100kWh battery, which would improve the vehicle's range.
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Tesla Updates Model S With New Front-End, Air Filtration System, Faster Charging

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  • Or else they will become the Duke Nukem Forever of the car world. A fate the Tesla roadster narrowly escaped
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      They announced the model 3 over 10 years ago already? Wow, seems like it was only a month.

  • I wish they'd put that HEPA filter as a separate option; I don't need it but I'd like some of the other stuff in that package and I would hope they'd bundle the filter in places with really poor air quality such as Beijing.
    Ah well, still too rich for me to buy new so it's either 2ndhand or wait for Model 3.

    • Anyplace with gas or diesel vehicles on the road there is poor air quality in the traffic lane, where you are when your car sucks the air in.

      I do a lot of driving in rural, mountainous areas with awesome air, but that doesn't mean the air quality is high in the middle the of the road.

      This is something that people with $10k cars are usually willing to pay for. For a luxury car, it is a no-brainer.

    • by crow ( 16139 )

      Tesla has always had bundles of options where most people had to choose whether to buy the whole bundle when they only wanted one or two items. Last year the power liftgate was part of the premium interior package. It was the only item there that many people cared about. That's just the way they do business.

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @08:17PM (#51896539) Homepage Journal

        It also greatly reduces the number of configurations you have to support, both mechanically and software side of things. If everything is ala carte, you quickly run in to tens of thousands of configurations, which you have to test for. Multiply that by recalled and unrecalled cars, different model years, etc and testing to avoid serious failures quickly reach nightmare levels.

        • by adolf ( 21054 )

          It also greatly reduces the number of configurations you have to support, both mechanically and software side of things. If everything is ala carte, you quickly run in to tens of thousands of configurations, which you have to test for. Multiply that by recalled and unrecalled cars, different model years, etc and testing to avoid serious failures quickly reach nightmare levels.

          To use an antagonist antonym computer analogy (since we're talking about cars, this is probably befitting): Dell will never be able

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I suspect the DOA rate for Dell is substantially higher than for Tesla. And Dell doesn't have to do safety recalls.

            • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

              Your laptop is much less likely to have a brake failure and mow down some preschoolers in a crosswalk. If your trackpad stops working you just roll back the drivers and nobody dies. The only way your laptop is going flying off that cliff at 60mph is if you throw it off.

        • by crow ( 16139 )

          Tesla doesn't do model years. They make small changes to the cars all the time. They make big changes several times a year. Tesla follows a model much more like what you would expect from a software company putting out weekly bug fixes, only they're changing their hardware.

          They certainly could unbundle all the options. I'm sure the factory would have no difficulty building what the configuration said to build. The software undoubtedly already handles it, as the software writers don't know how the bundl

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )

        That's just the way they do business.

        And doubtless that's exactly how they intend to continue. Musk tweeted he expected an average $42,000 spend on the Model 3 so he expects people to fork out $7000 more than the $35,000 headline price. I assume some of that might be for a charger but undoubtedly other things that will be bundled to deliberately nickel and dime people into paying more.

        • by crow ( 16139 )

          I expect lots of people will buy:
          *) all-wheel drive
          *) larger battery
          *) Auto Pilot
          *) Supercharging (if not standard)

          Less popular options will include:
          *) air suspension
          *) cold weather
          *) higher performance

          Of course, the exact options and the prices aren't clear, but the above is quite likely. The Auto Pilot and Supercharging are both features where the hardware is included, but it may be disabled in software unless you pay an additional fee (Supercharging was extra in the lower-end Model S at one point).

          If yo

    • by Anonymous Coward

      HEPA filters are pretty common in all but the cheapest cars. The price of a replacement HEPA filter is in the order of $20. I doubt making it optional would make the car any cheaper.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @07:26PM (#51896297)
    Telsa's happy days with the media will soon be coming to an end. Traditional car manufacturers are some of the biggest advertisers in pretty all forms of traditional media. They will soon do what Toyota did with the acceleration problem. They told the various outlets, keep blaming our shit software and we will stop advertising in your publication.

    Now that Tesla is competing with products such as the Ford Fusion mid level products they aren't going to let Tesla continue with the free press. There will come a day when pretty much every old media article we read will be about a Tesla battery fire, or Telsa recall, or anyone killed in a Tesla will somehow be national news.

    The good thing is that old media doesn't really matter as much anymore. The average age of a newspaper reader is advancing nearly 5 years for every year of real time. That is huge, 5 years is a massive demographic who just downed their newspapers.

    This assumed ability they think they have to warp public perception won't change all the 20-30 somethings who are going to be driving their Teslas in 2 years.
    • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @07:38PM (#51896347) Homepage

      Notice how Tesla is a car manufacturer, not a media outlet?

      So no, the thing about Toyota is apples and oranges. Toyota was pushing back over coverage of themselves. They're not going to call up and ask the media to stop giving coverage to others, that opens a giant can of worms that you didn't consider, and isn't like your example. Even attempting to interfere with the relationship between two third parties is not going to happen. There is no way that Ford, who has lawyers and PR people in their employment, is going to attempt to interfere with whatever relationships or contracts there are between a media outlet and a competing brand. That sort of speculation is suitable for television sitcoms or AM-radio, it is not serious thought or analysis.

      Media outlets do not engage in exclusive contracts where they agree to only talk about one brand of an item, and that is the only type of situation where you can lock others out. So a computer company can make a deal with a store, for example, to only sell their brand of computer. But they can't go to companies that sell their competitor's brand and try to interfere with that, other than by making offers for an exclusive contract.

      • It will happen, it will come out, and a maybe few fines will be paid. It has, happened, it is happening, and in the past, I don't remember even any fines. Newspapers came forward and said that dealerships were coming to them with this very threat.
        • When newspapers tell you that people did something like that, it should be pretty obvious that they saw that as an outrageous or funny thing, not a serious request that would be considered. Otherwise, they wouldn't even tell you about it.

      • by nadaou ( 535365 )

        are you trying to tell me that John DeLorean wasn't set up?

        that Preston Tucker was subject to the same rules as the big guys?

        that Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post because he's into newsprint?

        • are you trying to tell me that ...

          No, you're trying to tell me those things, but since you don't know who is me and who is you, I'm going to assume you're posting drunk and I'm not even going to consider any of it at this time.

          The things I said, are the things I was saying.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The good thing is that old media doesn't really matter as much anymore. The average age of a newspaper reader is advancing nearly 5 years for every year of real time. That is huge, 5 years is a massive demographic who just downed their newspapers.

      The only problem is, old people vote. They vote in large numbers. They write letters to the editor, attend town-hall meetings, and get outraged about things together. These things are much easier to do when you don't have a job, children, and a larger home to maintain. Until the Baby Boomers actually start dying off, they will be a significant political force. That means the newspapers will continue to have real power.

      I know my father watches the news religiously and takes all of it seriously. I don't

      • You have hit upon a horrible horrible truth, and it has some horrible sauce. There is a huge demographic bulge called the boomers that is still fed by old media, and they are hard core voters. Hopefully with the legalization of marijuana they will chill a bit.
    • The good thing is that old media doesn't really matter as much anymore. The average age of a newspaper reader is advancing nearly 5 years for every year of real time. That is huge, 5 years is a massive demographic who just downed their newspapers.

      Because "newspapers" just turned into stupid gossip columns littered with click-bait. It was a race to the bottom and they're all winning.

      • In the late 90s I was hired to be part of this trend. I built some software that fed the machine. Interestingly enough I think that they were just newspapery enough and had unions that kept the few journalists under control, in that they were paid to stick around and vaguely be journalists. But now they are being laid off in droves, papers are closing, and with various payment options out there, the real journalists, as in the ones who will state the truth and do more than a google search for investigations
    • by Chalex ( 71702 )

      "anyone killed in a Tesla will somehow be national news."

      It would be! 0 people have died in a Tesla so far!

      • by Chalex ( 71702 )

        Oops, I'm wrong, 4 ever: http://electrek.co/2015/12/22/man-dies-tesla-model-s-crash-dump-truck-first-death/

      • There was at least one. This tool stole one and while screaming down a street managed to cut the car in two on a telephone pole. There were sparking batteries all over the place.

        There have to have been a few others that managed something equally stupid. But these aren't a typical GM product that only builds to the test with no actual consideration toward passenger safety. So I suspect the number is shockingly low.
    • Telsa's happy days with the media will soon be coming to an end.

      Next up, Elon Musk announces his plans to build a global media empire!

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Old media is dying, the number of magazines being published has steadily decreased for decades now and newspapers are going away too. Tesla gets a lot of coverage on tech sites and by doing Apple style reveals on stage.

      The real test for the old manufacturers will be later this year. The Chevy Bolt is due, and Nissan have hinted that they will release a new EV too. Tesla did the smart thing and revealed the Model 3 early so that now every other EV will be compared to it.

      • I keep reading breathless articles about the Bolt being a Tesla killer. What? It's a chevy. When I rent, chevy's are some of the crappiest cars available. That ignition thing was not a one off. It is a cultural problem. Then there are the layers of old car company problems. I really really want to go to a Tesla store. I regularly walk by chevy dealership and I cringe at what I see. Sort of broken men in cheap suits, fleecing harried looking buyers.

        I know someone who bought a Tesla. The bulk of the transa
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Yeah, I'm not really expecting much from the Bolt either. Nissan... Well, they are serious about EVs and a Leaf update has been in the works for a few years, but they really need to step up their game. Their telemetrics and the electronics in general need a big upgrade. Tesla has autopilot too. They need to boost range and charge speed. Boost performance. It's possible, and the Leaf is a great car, but it won't be easy for them.

          • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

            Yeah, I'm not really expecting much from the Bolt either. Nissan... Well, they are serious about EVs and a Leaf update has been in the works for a few years, but they really need to step up their game. Their telemetrics and the electronics in general need a big upgrade. Tesla has autopilot too. They need to boost range and charge speed. Boost performance. It's possible, and the Leaf is a great car, but it won't be easy for them.

            They just need cars that actually look good. Why every car manufacturer besides Tesla thinks an electric car needs to be a hatchback (or at least look like a hatchback) is beyond me. The Model 3 has attractive lines that makes it look more like a luxury car. Hell, my Focus looks better than a Leaf does. When I bought a new car 2 years ago that was one of the things that kept me away from electrics (that and my 40-mile each way commute).

            Of course, the Southerner in me is still waiting for the day we ha

    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      Now that Tesla is competing with products such as the Ford Fusion mid level products they aren't going to let Tesla continue with the free press. There will come a day when pretty much every old media article we read will be about a Tesla battery fire, or Telsa recall, or anyone killed in a Tesla will somehow be national news.

      At least until a reporter from a competing media company gets wind of the under-the-table deals going on at their competitor, and can't resist the chance to slam them publicly for it.

  • Oh no (Score:4, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @07:56PM (#51896429) Homepage Journal
    Time for me to throw my older model S in the trash! I can't be seen with an older model! People will think I don't care about the environment enough!
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Time for me to throw my older model S in the trash! I can't be seen with an older model! People will think I don't care about the environment enough!

      You're in luck. I offer a free Model S recycling service. Just give me your address and leave the car unlocked and charged in your driveway and I will even come remove it for you.

  • Update your phone I mean car. Dont want to have the old model.
  • by amstrad ( 60839 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @08:02PM (#51896463)
    If Elon is looking for a low coefficient of drag, why don't we drop the side mirrors in favor of high resolution wide angle cameras? I've always thought we could replace the center mirror with a long full car width LED display monitor showing a 180 degree view behind and sides fed by 2 wide angle cameras on the back or sides.
    • by crow ( 16139 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @08:07PM (#51896485) Homepage Journal

      If the NTSB agreed and the various state laws that specifically require a side mirror (not camera) could be changed, then yes. The prototype Model X had cameras, but the lawyers made them switch to mirrors.

      • by amstrad ( 60839 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @10:28PM (#51897079)
        Yeah. I'm sure that's the case. It would be nice if the laws were written as functional requirements such as "Vehicle shall provide a means for driver to see at least, blah blah blah....." Rather than naming a specific required outdated and limiting technology. Once again, the legal system stifling innovation.
        • Mirrors are outdated?
          • by Anonymous Coward

            When cameras can give you a better view (no blind spots) and improved aerodynamics... Yes.

            • It's just one more thing that can break. Try and replace the battery; can you? Drop a different motor in; can you? Change the charging option to reduce the charge time; nope. Seems strange to me that Musk engineers can't make this happen. Damn nice looking car though.
              • by hublan ( 197388 )

                Side mirrors snap off all the time. Replacing them can be a expensive proposition, depending on whether the mirror has an anti-snap feature or flows into the body. I'd take a camera, myself.

              • by SpiceWare ( 3438 )

                Seems strange to me that Musk engineers can't make this happen.

                They already did...

                The battery can be replaced in 90 seconds - https://www.teslamotors.com/vi... [teslamotors.com]

                There are three different motor configurations: Rear Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive, Performance

                Standard 48 amp charger can be replaced with the 72 amp High Amperage Charger

              • When you consider that probably 75% of drivers aim their side mirrors behind the car rather than the blind spots, eliminating them in favor of side view cameras is ideal. When you go out driving track how many drivers' faces you see in the side mirrors when you are behind them; you should never see the driver's face when you are in the same lane behind them, but you should when you get close in the lanes to either side. If you can see the driver's face when you are directly behind them, they're clueless fuc

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Mirrors maintain depth perception and long-distance eye focus. Cameras don't. Mirrors also have zero lag.

              *I own a Model S and drive with the rear camera on all the time. It's not a replacement for the rear view mirror.

        • Part of the problem is that functional requirements need to be very specific to match a certain performance. I forsee a 20 page definition of mirror talking about resolution, angle, adjustability, latency, brightness of image, etc etc at the end of which the only technology left that can meet that requirement is a mirror.

    • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 )
      My only concern would be if that would be distracting at night. I find navigation screens, needless color radio LCDs that aren't navigation systems, and GPS units to be distracting at night despite the night modes due to the backlight hindering my night vision. A full car width display would surely put off even more light. Although it could be in IR, which would have some balancing safety features I guess.
    • Government regs don't allow for it, even though cameras are superior. Why? Mirrors can't break like cameras do(?!?!), is the thinking behind it. There is some validity to it - you can always stick a crap mirror on the mount in a pinch if a mirror has broken. You lose that capability with a camera. I would like to see both - but smaller more aerodynamic, convex mirrors as a backup to full coverage and elimination of blind spots* through having the fixed-placement cameras cover the areas that actually need co

    • As I've said before, You CANNOT replace mirrors with cameras. The reason is that the image you see in the side, or the rearview, mirror, is at full distance, same focal range as the road you're viewing ahead. Camera displays force you to focus on the monitor screen, i.e. a couple feet or less from your face. It's difficult and tiring to continually refocus (and rather expensive to stick a collimating lens in front of each camera monitor to move the image to infinity).

    • Cameras aren't 3D. Have you tried using a screen instead of a wing-mirror?
    • The great benefit of mirrors is that they preserve depth perception, and furthermore you can move your head slightly to get a better angle to view something. In short cameras suck because of loss of parallax.
  • It makes me wonder how much further they'd go without any air filtration at all.

  • The title on The Verge talks about the new "Front End" of the Tesla S, yet in the story the cosmetic surface of the front fascia is the topic. In North American car jargon, the term "front end" means the steering and suspension apparatus of the front wheels. Going back many, many years, it was common to book one's car into a repair shop for a "front end alignment", and some mechanics were "front end" specialists. I just had an Abe Simpson moment there...

  • headlights that hew closely

    WTF?

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