Tesla Model S history of changes by year

Last updated 15-Sep-2022

Over the years Tesla have made numerous changes to the car design and model line-up. We've tried to capture the history of each of the key hardware changes and model updates and in which year they occurred. The exact date is of little benefit as the transition is often blurred with cars appearing in different parts of the world with different specifications, for instance the 82kwh Long Range battery fitted to the Model 3 has varied by factory and country the cars have been delivered to.

The following is a list of the main changes we can find. We are sure there are some changes we may have missed, either due to small production numbers or country specific (Canada for instance had a compliance version of the Model 3) but feel free to email us with any significant errors and we'll happily take a look and see if we agree. We're also only recording the history of when features actually arrive, not when they are announced or promised.

We also have a list of the Tesla software release notes over the last few years, with the ability to filter by subject area to see how it has evolved.


Model S

2012 MS

Founders Series Model S cars begin production in June 2012.

2012 MS

Technology Package option for MS, consisting convenience lighting, keyless entry, homelink, rear camera, xenon headlamps, cornering lights, fog lamps, power rear liftgate, navigation, chrome visual cues on rear diffuser and front air intakes.

2012 MS

Adjustable height air suspension became available for MS as an option

2012 MS

Supercharger capability, initially an option became standard on the MS 60

2012 MS

Optional for third row rear-facing seats on MS

2012 MS

Optional sound system upgrade, originally called sound studio, later called Ultra High Fidelity Sound and then Premium Sound on MS.

2012 MS

Standard interior is black leatherette / cloth and optional seating cover material is Nappa Leather. Colours are black, tan, grey. Steering wheel is black. Standard dash trim is Piano Black on MS.

2012 MS

Optional Panoramic Roof upgrade on MS

2012 MS

Optional Carbon Fibre rear spoiler for MS

2013 MS

MS P85+ (Performance Plus) with staggered 21” performance Turbine wheels (silver or grey), Suspension dynamics were improved for performance and comfort via upgraded dampers, bushings and stabilizer bars. Brake calipers were initially black changing to red a short while later.

2013 MS

Optional European Security becomes available for European MS only.

2013 MS

The standard textile upholstery became available for MS

2013 MS

Heated front seats became available for MS

2013 MS

Memory seats became a feature of the Tech Package including mirror and steering wheel position as part of the Driver Profile on MS.

2013 MS

Generation 2 door handles started being fitted. Many MS cars were retrofitted with the new version of the door handles during yearly service appointments or when maintenance issues arose. A known weakness and even the Gen 2 handles have had poor reliability

2013 MS

Option to have coil suspension on MS P85.

2013 MS

Option to have front and rear parking sensors on the MS

2013 MS

Option to have a black and not body coloured roof on the MS

2013 MS

Folding, heated side mirrors added to the Tech package.

2014 MS

Driver's instrument cluster display resolution improved to 1920 X 720.

2014 MS

MS P85 and P85+ models replaced by the P85D. The frunk became smaller on dual motor cars (pre facelift). There was some controversy over Teslas performance metrics as they quoted motor power when the battery could not deliver full power to both simultaneously, and 0-60 times quoted with 1 foot roll out on the Performance cars.

2014 MS

MS 85D launched with a smaller rear motor to the P85D. The 85 single motor car continues.

2014 MS

Right Hand Drive MS introduced

2014 MS

The rear door hinges on the MS were changed allowing for a wider opening and easier entry to the rear seats.

2014 MS

The black roof option on the MS was discontinued

2014 MS

The Sub-Zero Weather Package was added as an option providing heated front and rear seats, heated side mirrors and a heated wind-shield area to prevent the wipers freezing. The heated steering wheel arrived later.

2014 MS

The Parcel Shelf, formerly a stand-alone option was changed to standard equipment

2014 MS

The introduction Gen 1.5 seats with a softer and more comfortable lower front seat cushion.

2014 MS

The screen resolution of the instrument cluster (Driver's Dashboard) was upgraded from 1280 x 480 to 1920 x 720. In addition, the chrome bezel or surround was changed in design. The thick lower portion was thinned out and modified.

2014 MS

An additional power circuit was added to the MS reducing the risk of vehicle damage due to improperly installed third-party equipment.

2014 MS

A black alcantara headliner was added as an option to the MS.

2014 MS

The Next Gen seating option became available in the MS P85D model which offered much better side support. These were made by Recaro.

2014 MS

Premium Interior Lighting (LEDs) became part of the Premium Interior Package Option.

2014 MS

Yacht Flooring became standard on the MS

2014 MS

A heated steering wheel was added as a component of the Subzero Weather Package

2014 MS

Larger sun visor size and a larger vanity mirror first appeared on the dual motor MS

2014 MS

Parking Sensors become part of the Tech Package on the MS.

2014 MS

AutoPilot hardware, known as Driver Assistance Features, were added to the MS via the "Tech Package with Autopilot" option.

2014 MS

TACC Traffic Aware Cruise Control and Lane Departure sensors and Speed Assist (Speed Limit recognition) were added and the control stalk was changed to a new version. The steering column added a vibration as part of the Lane Departure warning.

2014 MS

Tyre/Tire pressure sensors (TPMS) design was changed. The old and new are not cross compatible. The in car display also started showing individual tyre pressures.

2014 MS

An electrically opening, self-closing charge port door first appeared on the dual motor Model S in the US. It came to Europe and ROW a year later.

2014 MS

The Air Suspension on the MS was upgraded to the Smart Air Suspension with a height adjustment feature. The car changes height based on speed and can remember locations where manually overridden.

2014 MS

Frunk redesign from 2 to 1 catch, also a change in 12V battery (cars with 1 catch frunks are easier to replace).

2014 MS

Trim was refreshed late in the year including alcantara trim to the roof if the panoramic roof was fitted and better sound insulation.

2015 MS

The CHAdeMO adapter began shipping. It would later become available in Europe and for the MX

2015 MS

Executive Rear Seats (ERS) became an option on the MS which comprised 2 rear seats and a centre console. These seats didn’t fold and was not that popular an option.

2015 MS

P85D coil suspension became available on the MS

2015 MS

Next generation seats become available on non P MS models.

2015 MS

MS 70D was introduced replacing the MS 60.

2015 MS

The Tech pack was dropped on the MS and combined with the Premium Interior Pack which was also remamed to the Premium Package. It included ambient interior lighting, power liftgate, lighted door handles, cornering lights and the chrome accents in the front and rear bumper.

2015 MS

The panoramic roof design was updated on the MS, you’d be hard pushed to notice the difference but it reduced the incidents of leaks.

2015 MS

Autopilot Convenience Features Option, later known as AP1, becomes a real thing based on Mobileye technology, the hardware having been included on the car for a while. Auto steer and traffic aware cruise control were the main features together with auto parking. Lane change and summon would be added at a later date via a software update.

2015 MS

A range upgrade to the 85 became available in the late summer as a result of a silicon coating in the battery creating the 90. This resulted in a forecast 6% and a reality 3% increase in range. This was not entirely successful with early cars suffering some initial degradation and giving little benefit over the 85 batteries. This also later became a model in its own right and the P90D cars, especially with ludicrous performed noticeably better than the 85 batteries.

2015 MS

Ludicrous was introduced in Aug as a result of the introduction of a higher rated fuse, available as a paid retro fit to the P85D and as an option on the P90D replacing the previous Insane mode.

2015 MS

The 21" wheels flipped from staggered to a square set-up. The MS P90DL with the 21" wheels then changed back to a staggered set-up where the rears are slightly wider.

2015 MS

The next generation rear seat on the MS reverted to a flatter bench seat making folding flat easier.

2015 MS

The alcantara headliner became part of the premium pack and not a standalone option.

2015 MS

Executive Rear Seats dropped for the MS

2015 MS

The cruise control stalk design changed removing the small button on the stalk end.

2015 MS

Parking Lines were added as an overlay to the rear camera display.

2015 MS

3G cellular connectivity was upgraded to 4G LTE. The option can be retrofitted at a cost and included in an MCU2 upgrade.

2015 MS

Launch Mode was added as a new performance function to P85D and P90D Model S cars.

2016 MS

85 battery option dropped having been replaced by the 90

2016 MS MX

MS and MX 60D were introduced as software limited 75 batteries.

2016 MS

Model S was face-lifted with a new rear diffuser, painted side skirts, new LED headlights, true HEPA air filtration system inc bioweapon defence mode (if the premium pack was optioned, this also reduces the size of the frunk on all models include RWD), the front radar sensor was moved, the 22kw twin charger option was dropped, replaced by a 17kwhigh power charger, and a smaller frunk on all cars to make space for the hepa filter. The most notable change however was the new front end which has design queues similar the front end of the Tesla Model X.

2016 MS MX

MS P100D introduced superseding the P90D. The P100D initially had ludicrous as an option.

2016 MS MX

Mobileye Autopilot dropped and replaced with Tesla's own system, the hardware known as AP HW2. The first software package was called Enhanced Autopilot. The software took some time to be delivered through over the air updates.

2016 MS MX

Full Self-Driving Capability became an option although even in 2021 it offers virtually nothing beyond EAP.

2016 MS

New seating choice called Premium Seats which are offered in White, Tan and Black leather including a cooling feature with air flow capability as well as adjustable headrests. Around the same time the centre console had rear cup holders and USB ports added.

2016 MS

Solid glass roof introduced as an MS option.

2016 MS MX

A new vegan interior option and next-gen premium in-house seats for all its models

2017 MS MX

Interior options start becoming bundled as part of the basic car specification.

2017 MS MX

Tesla improves performance of the 75D which for many cars could be performed by a software update became known as Uncorking. 60Ds which were software limited 75Ds could also be uncorked if they upgraded the battery first.

2017 MS

Smart Air Suspension became standard across all MS models

2017 MS MX

Unlimited free supercharging became a referral benefit which did not transfer to the second owner

2017 MS MX

A number of EAP features finally arrived including basic summon.

2018 MS MX

MCU upgraded to the MCU2, a faster system. This also resulted in the loss of AM radio

2018 MS MX M3

Wifi changed to also support 5GHz.

2018 MS MX

Premium pack, Premium Hifi and Cold Weather become standard on all models.

2018 MS MX

Bezel/surround colour changed to a smoked/grey colour.

2018 MS MX M3

Tesla introduce Pin to Drive, an optional security feature.

2018 MS MX

AP Hardware updated to HW2.5

2018 MS

The glass roof (not the panoramic opening roof) on the MS became standard. The metal roof was dropped.

2018 MS

Rear facing seats for the MS were dropped as an option.

2018 MS MX M3

Dashcam introduced for those with HW2.5 and above.

2018 MS MX

MS and MX key fobs changed to a version 2 which can be reprogrammed.

2019 MS

AP hardware updated to HW3 on MS and MX. It is unclear if this also applies to M3 as all Model 3s report the HW2.5 config code.

2019 MS MX M3

Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) features split, TACC and Lane keep becoming Autopilot and included in the standard car spec and the remaining features moving to Full Self Driving.

2019 MS MX

Smart air suspension changed to an Adaptive air suspension system on the MS and MX

2019 MS

The panoramic roof which was finally dropped as an option on the MS (it was removed from the configuration studio in 2018 but available off system).

2019 MS MX

Free unlimited supercharging stopped for all cars, then reintroduced on the MS and MX for the first owner only.

2019 MS MX

EU/Asia chargers updated to include CCS capability. Retrofit to older cars also became available

2019 MS MX M3

V3 superchargers launched and increases to V2 supercharger speed.

2019 MS MX

MS and MX front and non P rear motors changed to the permanent magnet version first seen in the M3. This improved the range of the MS and MX and with the adaptive air suspension system has been known as Raven.

2019 MS MX

As part of the motor change and Raven, model numbers on MS and MX changed to model names e.g. Standard Range, Long Range and Performance etc. Tesla also dropped publishing many of the detailed configuration codes on their new car listings.

2019 MS MX M3

Sentry mode introduced for those with HW2.5 and above.

2019 MS MX

The European UMC is changed to a 16A single phase version although connectors are available to make it a 32A single phase.

2019 MS MX M3

Navigate on Autopilot became available

2019 MS MX M3

Pedestrian sound generator added for some markets

2019 MS MX

Autopilot HW3 upgrades being selectively performed for cars with FSD option

2019 MS MX M3

Version 10 introduced including, subject to region and hardware, Smart Summon, Karaoke, Music and Podcasts and video streaming to the browser. Scheduled departure also added.

2019 MS MX M3

5% Power increase and 1 foot driving (Permanent magnet cars only, ie Raven MS and MX, and M3)

2019 MS MX M3

Ability to read and respond to text messages on all models

2019 MS MX M3

Autopilot enhancements regarding variable speed depending on adjacent lanes and stop sign identification. The ability to use these features typically varies by country.

2020 MS MX

Started to convert EAP to AP on CPO cars, and changed premium connectivity on used cars to a subscription model. This follows the previous changes to supercharging which was also removed from all used cars sold by Tesla.

2020 MS MX

Increased the battery range of the MS and MX Long Range creating the Long Range+. The increase is relatively small and buyers should be aware that this coincides with Tesla changing the warranty documentation to say they can remove range without penalty through a software update.

2020 MS MX

Upgrade option to MCU2 from MCU1 allowing owners to then have the benefits of the additional MCU2 features. This is initially linked to those who also have FSD as some of the driving benefits/visualisations of FSD require the MCU2 hardware.

2020 MS MX

Performance boost for Raven Performance models and new Cheetah stance launch. (SW 2020.12.5)

2020 MS MX M3 MY

A new suspected deep sleep mode to preserve battery life when the car is being left (SW 2020.12.5)

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Side cameras when in reverse (SW 2020.26). The side cameras now appear beneath the rear camera when selecting reverse. These cameras point backwards and not down so they do not operate as a surround view type camera setup.

2020 MS MX

Enhanced suspension options and dynamic brake lights (SW 2020.32.1)

2020 MS

Plaid announced and order book opened although not due until late 2021 at best

2020 MS MX

New battery with slightly better range and performance (code BTXA)

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Improved security with the introduction of multi factor authentication

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Boombox feature added (the car needs to have the external speaker) and other tweaks as part of the end of year release.

2021 MS

Plaid+ dropped before being produced via a Tweet. Musk cites the Plaid is as good as you could want, a little ironic given that argument could have been applied for some time to the other models.

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Subscription version of FSD now announced in the US. Up to date info can be found on our FSD FAQ

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Tesla introduce driver testing before allowing the deployment of the latest version of FSD.

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Supercharging network being trialled in some countries with other makes of car.

2021 MS MX

Cars built prior to November 2017 will need hardware updates to the cameras to enable FSD beta using Tesla Vision. This is in addition to the AP computer that has previously been known to need upgrading to HW3. Owners without FSD will need to pay before thay can purchase FSD.

2022 MS MX

A native CCS port has been incorporated into the rear light cluster in the 2021 Model S for markets that use CCS.

2022 MS

Small detail changes the rear of the MS to accomodate new charge flap design (presumably compatible with native CCS for Europe) and rear light details and trim. Plaid badge has also returned. Headlights also appear updated.

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