Tesla Facelift differences
Image Credits: Tesla

Tesla Model S Facelift vs. Pre-facelift

This article describes the differences of the post 2016 Facelift Tesla Model S and the Pre-facelift Version of the car.

Upper car = Facelift since (since April 2016)
Lower car = pre-Facelift (before April 2016)

Tesla Model S Facelift differences
Image credits: Tesla


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External differences

  • The front of the Facelift Model S is completely closed. While the previous model was still equipped with the so-called “nose cone”, an implied radiator grille, the Facelift Tesla Model S is completely closed. In an electric vehicle, the radiator grille is simply no longer necessary
  • Some add-on parts are newly painted in body color: The side sills are painted in body color and no longer made of black plastic. At the rear, the chrome clasp above the diffuser is missing.
  • The facelift model has LED headlights. The predecessor has Xenon bulbs.
  • In the first two months of production the facelift models were still equipped with the conventional manual charging port and loading status LEDs in the rear light unit. However, as a rule all Facelift models have the new charging port, which opens and closes automatically. The charging status LED is now located in the charging port.

Internal differences

  • The facelift model is equipped with a center console with storage compartments and cup holders. The predecessor has only one large shelf on the floor of the vehicle.
  • The autopilot. The Facelift models usually have Autopilot 2 or higher, the predecessors have Autopilot 1, but this does not apply to all vehicles because for a short time the Facelift models were still produced with AP1.
  • The seats in the Facelift model are narrower, of higher quality and newly designed. The old seats in the predecessor offer slightly less lateral support.
  • The Facelift model has the extra large HEPA filter with Bioweapon Defense Mode Filter capability.
  • Charger: The predecessor was delivered with one or two built-in chargers (11 or 22kW charging power. See also the topic “twin charger”). The twin charger was available for an additional charge of about 2000 USD. The Facelift models are now only produced with a charger with 16.5 kW. Facelift models produced between April 2016 and about August 2017 were delivered with a charger limited to 11 kW by software. The maximum charging capacity of 16.5 kW can be activated on these cars at an extra charge.
  • In the Facelift model, the mobile phone speed was equipped with LTE/4G as standard. The predecessor initially only had a maximum of 3G, but from June 2015 LTE was standard. (LTE could be retrofitted in older vehicles for about 500 USD).
  • The predecessor has a larger frunk (front trunk).
  • The “round instrument” in the instrument cluster display was already abandoned in October 2014 with the introduction of Autopilot Hardware 1. So, there are Pre-Facelift with and without round instrument. Facelift models, however, are always equipped without round instrument.
  • Many of the options that came as standard with the Facelift were sold as optional extras with the Pre-Facelift. These include for example: glass roof, air suspension, cold weather package, tech package, premium interior equipment, premium sound system. But even here not all Facelift models have all these options. They only gradually became standard.

Conclusion Tesla Model S Facelift vs. Pre-facelift

The differences between the Tesla Model S facelift and pre-facelift are striking. There is a lot of speculation that another facelift of the Model S could come. Maybe the CCS connection and the more powerful battery cell type, which has only been used in Model 3 so far, will also be used in Model S and X at some point.

Some information about retrofitting a Pre-Facelift model S is discussed here in the TMC forum.

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