A Tesla Model S “Refresh” with widebody, an updated rear diffuser, and new wheels were spotted near the company’s Silicon Valley-based headquarters on New Year’s Day.
Photos of a blue Model S with chrome-deleted trim and a visibly-wider stance could provide further validation that Tesla’s flagship sedan is on course for its long-awaited design refresh that includes Tesla’s next-generation Tri-motor Plaid Powertrain.
Ryan Levenson of The Kilowatts Youtube channel spotted the unique Model S with manufacturer plates on Friday, early afternoon, near the intersection of Arastradero Road and Purissima Road in Palo Alto, California.
It’s the first known sighting of a Model S with factory widebody on public roads since the company’s September 2020 teasing of a record-setting Plaid Model S.
Arastradero Road near Tesla headquarters is no stranger to seeing Tesla alpha and prototype vehicles, and a pathway that’s become synonymous with an unofficial testbed for new vehicles and Autopilot development.
In addition to the matte black window trim seen on the Model S Refresh, further suggesting that Tesla will be doing away with chrome trim altogether and will likely upgrade futures versions of its flagship Model X SUV with similar “chrome delete”, new wheels, and revised headlights were also spotted.
Design changes to the Model S front fascia appeared minimal in the photos seen by Teslarati. While it’s not clear if Tesla will be making any significant updates to the front bumper design (as it did in 2016 when the Model S “nosecone” was replaced) when production of the Tri-motor Model S begins this year, sightings of the race-ready Nürburgring Model S would suggest that additional cooling vents and a slightly more aggressive lower lip would be the extent of any major cosmetic updates.
Delivery of Tesla’s Model S with Tri Motor Plaid powertrain is expected to begin in late 2021, at a starting price of $139.990. Tesla Model S Plaid will be capable of 520+ miles of range and have 0-60 mph performance in under 2 seconds, according to the manufacturer.