Everything We Know About the Tesla Model S and Model X Redesign

By Nuno Cristovao

Tesla new 17 inch center display

Yesterday Tesla finally unveiled the long expected redesign of its flagship cars, the Model S and Model X. Fans and buyers have been wanting and waiting for a refresh for several years, but Tesla has now pulled the trigger, and it did not disappoint.

Here's everything we know about the redesign so far.

New Horizontal Center Display

New Tesla displays compared to Model 3 and Model Y

Tesla has transitioned to horizontal screens for all models doing away with the previous 17" vertical screens on the Model S and Model X. Instead replacing them with 17" horizontal screens (about 2" larger diagonally than the Model 3 and Y's screens). This seems like a relatively small difference in size, but it actually results in a 28% larger screen in terms of surface area.

We also learned that the center screen will have the ability to tilt left to right, either toward the driver or passenger. We can see this being a great feature when driving alone and being able to more easily see and reach the far end of the screen, especially given that the screen will be about 1.5" wider than the Model 3's screen.

Updated Instrument Cluster Display

We know that the instrument cluster will be slightly smaller than the current one seen in these models, however it's not clear yet what the main differences will be. We can speculate that some information normally shown in the IC will be moved to the larger center screen, such as maps, reserving the IC display more for car visualizations and navigation directions.

New Rear Display

Tesla new rear display

The newly introduced 8" rear display adds entertainment and more for rear passengers. This is somewhat of a catch up move to many other luxury vehicles. However, the size and location of this display is somewhat puzzling. With it being right behind the front armrest, it appears that it may feel rather low for comfortable viewing, and the display can even be obstructed completely by the legs of a middle passenger. Tesla may have had limited location options for this display as the roof of the car is mostly glass, but it seems like there could have been other considerations like behind the driver and passenger headrests. Either way, it's hard to complain about a feature that didn't exist previously. This is a great addition that we're sure many passengers will find useful.

Although Tesla shows off a game being played in the rear display, it can be speculated that there will be an entire GUI for that display, likely different from the GUI used on the front display given the smaller form factor. It's likely that rear passengers could also use this display to change music, adjust volume and turn on seat heaters.

One additional detail that hasn't been talked about much is that it appears Tesla will finally loosen the restriction of playing video only when the vehicle is in park. This means that you can take full advantage of the premium connectivity package and stream shows on Netflix and other streaming services while on road trips.

Updated Rear Armrest

The updated rear armrest now features two USB-C ports (in addition to the two USB-C ports underneath the rear display) and also has wireless charging for up to two phones.


Tesla redesigned exterior

The exterior of the Model S and Model X has stayed relatively the same, with the exception of a more aggressive looking front bumper. We can speculate that this was more of an interior refresh and there may even be an exterior refresh down the road, although we would not expect this any time soon. Tesla likely wanted to minimize changes, while bringing these cars more up to date with the competition.


Tesla has long teased their Plaid trim level coming soon to the Model S, with a three motors set-up and much higher performance. Yesterday they replaced their Performance line with Plaid and Plaid+. The Plaid trims are available on the Model S and Model X, while the Plaid+ version is exclusive to the Model S. Aside from replacing the wood trim interior with carbon fiber, these changes are all about performance, with the Plaid+ model reaching 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds. Yes, that's about 30% faster than the Aerosmith Rock 'n Roller rollercoaster at Disney, which goes from 0 to 60 in about 2.8 seconds. Yes. This is insane.

More Luxury

Tesla new glass roof

Just about the entire interior of these cars is brand new. They now feature more luxurious materials throughout the cabin, a new glass roof, new wood trim (or carbon fiber on Plaid versions) and so much more than we likely haven't been able to see yet. The interior door handles now also more closely match the Model 3 and Model Y handles, with door pockets and a push to open button. There are many details that were added that bring an updated look and feel to these cars, while adding an additional touch of luxury.

New Steering Wheel and Lack of Stalks

Tesla new yoke steering wheel

This is a controversial one. Tesla has shown off a new steering wheel that they're calling a Yoke. It looks very similar to the steering wheel they showed off in the Tesla Roadster 2.0. It's much more squared off and it looks like the top portion is missing. Tesla will likely offer a more traditional steering wheel in some markets or as an option, as evidenced by additional images on their site. However, our biggest concern isn't the steering wheel itself, but the complete removal of the left and right steering wheel stalks. The left stalk, traditionally used for turn signals, has been replaced by touch-capacitive buttons to the left of the left scroll wheel. There are now three buttons used to signal left, signal right, and to control the high beams.

There are also touch-capacitive buttons to the right of the other scroll wheel, used for honking the horn, windshield wipers and microphone. The scroll wheels themselves look to also be similiar to the ones in the Model 3 and Model Y, with the ability to scroll the wheel up and down and tilt the scroll wheel left or right.

If you're wondering where the gear stalk is, well the short answer to that is that there isn't one. Tesla will attempt to automatically detect the direction you're going to move in. When you come to a complete stop, Tesla will analyze the scene with their cameras, sensors and AI and determine whether you would like to be in Reverse or Drive. It doesn't take too long to think of scenarios where this isn't going to work. For example, if you wanted to back up when maybe you've stepped over onto a crosswalk or passed the stop line at a stop sign or traffic light then we're not sure the car will pick the correct direction, given that there is no obstacle in front of the vehicle. We're sure you can think of many others. Tesla, however will also let you select the gear with an on-screen display. Our biggest worry here isn't that Tesla is determining the direction using AI, or that you'll have to use the display to manually change direction (although image a K turn!), our concern would be that Tesla gets the direction of travel MOSTLY right. This could lead to a false sense of comfort with this feature, and cause problems in the rare situation when you expect the car to go forward, but it goes backwards, or vice-versa. We hope we're wrong in this regard, as the stakes are quite high.

To wrap up this steering wheel/stalk conversation, if Tesla is going in this direction, with touch-capacitive buttons on the steering wheel, we would much prefer to see a very small screen curved around the scroll wheels. This would would give you the ability to have different colored icons to help guide you to the correct button and you could even customize them, so that if you wanted to have Drive and Reverse on the steering wheel, then you could do that. The great thing about Tesla though, is that they're not afraid to try new things and they're constantly evolving. If this doesn't work, they will be quick to adapt.

User Interface

Tesla 17-inch horizontal display

This is an unexpected and exciting change. We don't think anyone expected a new UI for the center display, whether Tesla went with a vertical or horizontal screen, but it's clear this is completely different from what we see in previous Teslas. We have only seen limited images of the UI, but Tesla is obviously focusing on entertainment and simplicity. Part of the reason for the changes could be due to a larger display, or a display that can now tilt toward the driver, giving them the ability to easily add buttons to the right of the screen without worrying whether the driver can reach them. It's unclear whether this UI will come to existing models. There's a chance we're getting a preview of how Tesla version 11 will look.

Gaming PC

Yes, you heard that right. Tesla will essentially be including a gaming PC with all new Model S and Model X models. Tesla has stated that the graphical performance of hardware is on par with the newest PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles. Additionally, you'll be able to play some of the latest games, like The Witcher Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077, on the center or rear displays.

In addition to the new hardware, Tesla will also now support wireless controllers, so that players will no longer have to plug in their controllers in order to play with a gamepad.

I believe there's a lot we don't know about this yet. There's A LOT of performance builtin here. Is this the expected MCU 3? Will it carry over to Model 3 and Model Y? Will Tesla add an App Store to buy additional games? Time will tell, but we can likely expect some of these to be true.

Sound System

Tesla noise canceling speakers

Tesla has also greatly upgraded the sound system in this redesign. They now feature 22 speakers throughout the car, providing you with the best sound you've ever heard in a Tesla, which was already fantastic. Furthermore, they're also introducing the ability to use noise-canceling waves to increase cabin comfort by reducing road and wind noise. This is an exciting feature and one we'd be excited for. These cars are already very quiet, especially when compared to the Model 3 and Y.

Vents and HVAC

Taking another cue from the Model 3 and Model Y, the refreshed versions of the Model S and X will feature the same vent system as their smaller counterparts. It provides a much sleeker appearance and better distributed air throughout. You do lose the ability to manually adjust the air direction with physical buttons, but any Model 3 or Model Y owner will tell you that this isn't much of an issue and the benefits outweigh the cons.


Elon Musk has often said that there would not be a major redesign for the Model S and Model X, and that Tesla continously develops and makes changes throughout the year. However, we all felt a major redesign was coming eventually. We think Elon was right and Tesla does make continous changes, but there comes a point when you just can't piecemeal the new design elements together because so many of them rely on each other. This is an overdue update, but that doesn't make it any less exciting, and we're thrilled to see what else we find out about this redesign over the coming weeks and months. Deliveries are now being scheduled for March, so it won't be long now.

Tesla Updates Hazard Lights Frequency To Improve Safety in Software Update

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Emergency Safety Solutions

Tesla is rolling out a significant safety enhancement through a software update. Teslas, already the safest vehicles on the planet, got a little safer thanks to a small company based in Texas. While this article will highlight the advancement in safety, it will also applaud the work of Emergency Safety Solutions, which dared to challenge the old way of doing things.

Overnight Evolution: The Game Changer

Tesla North America didn't mince words when they announced: "If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility." Elon Musk added, "New Tesla safety feature uploaded via over-the-air software update. Your car just got better while you slept."

It got much better thanks to a partnership with Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), which we spotlighted a year ago. The small company, now just five years old, used a Tesla Model 3 to display its advancements in the hazard lights system, which had remained unchanged for more than 70 years. After numerous studies, the company changed everything about the hazard lights and approached Tesla with its findings.

Chilling Frequency: Every seven minutes, a disabled vehicle is involved in a crash on American roads. The result? An alarming 15,000 injuries or fatalities annually.

Ancient Flaws: The primary culprit behind these startling figures is a hazard light system that hasn't been updated in over seven decades.

The Solution: A frequency shift by adjusting flash frequencies from the sluggish 1.5Hz system to between 4Hz and 6Hz immensely heightens driver alertness. Hertz is a unit of frequency, which equals the number of cycles per second. In this case, the frequency of flashing lights is increased from 1.5 flashes per second, up to 4 - 6 flashes per second.

Real-World Outcomes: When 5Hz flash frequency was tested, drivers reacted a crucial 12 seconds faster. Moreover, they recognized an issue of more than three football fields sooner than the 70-year version. The number of drivers shifting to the safer side of a disabled vehicle also shot up dramatically — from 30% to an impressive 87%.

Emergency Safety Solutions also posted on X: "Great step toward making our roads safer for people in disabled and vulnerable vehicles! We appreciate our partnership with Tesla and applaud this major milestone in our mission to protect drivers when they need it most."

Software Update

Tesla states in their post on X that this update is rolling out now in the U.S. to Model 3/Y vehicles and newer Model S and Xs.

It's not clear whether Tesla means this enhancement is available in update 2023.32, or whether it's in the upcoming 2023.38 update, which is currently in employee testing.

It's more likely that H.E.L.P. is implemented in update 2023.38, but we have yet to receive release notes for vehicles in the U.S., so we'll have to wait and see if this enhancement made it in.

More H.E.L.P. to Come

Keep an eye out for even more safety advancements courtesy of this partnership with ESS and Tesla. The company created the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol or HELP. Beyond the lightning-fast flashes, HELP seamlessly integrates with in-car and phone navigation systems, giving drivers a heads-up about potential hazards before they become visible. It's like giving your Tesla a sixth sense.

Unfortunately, that will take longer as it would require more automakers to get on board with this new system. However, as we've realized, automakers are following Tesla's leadership on several fronts, and they may also increase road safety and implement the advanced system.

Video Reveals the Tesla Cybertruck's Unique User Interface [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI

It's not a good day to be named Max and work at Tesla or on the security team assigned to the Cybertruck. You can't help but wonder how a daring individual found himself in the driver's seat of this highly anticipated vehicle. This perpetrator spoke in Russian and joked that a bag in the truck belonged to Elon Musk before zooming in to a name tag reading "Max."

While we certainly don't condone breaking the law, we were provided with a risky reveal of the Cybertruck's interior courtesy of a mysterious and perhaps too-bold-for-his-own-good infiltrator.

Cyber-Theme UI

The video is less than a minute long but provides new information, notably on the updated user interface (UI). For weeks we've had Cybertruck sightings, but this is our best look at the Cybertruck's display.

Updated Icons and Font

The UI appears designed specifically for the Cybertruck; icons possess subtle sharp edges, mirroring Cybertruck's angular aesthetics. This design philosophy also extends to the unique font choice, giving the UI a rugged, distinct look.


A further advancement is the seamless transition between vehicle visualization and maps. The once-clear partition is a fading background, allowing for a more unified appearance. This unity is further emphasized with the vehicle now being depicted atop a 3D polygon terrain, which has been discovered before in firmware updates.

Icon Placement Changes

One of the first distinctions users would notice is the transition from horizontal app icons. This design has been the hallmark of previous Tesla models, to a vertical arrangement along the lefthand side of the screen.

The vehicle control icon is at the bottom, followed by climate controls and other apps. The gear indicator has evolved, too, switching from its usual horizontal layout to a vertical orientation in the screen's top left portion.

A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI

The status icons, such as time, temperature, Tesla profile used to grace the top of the display, but they have now been realigned to the left side and can now be found directly above the vehicle visualization.

Cameras, Front Camera Confirmed

Another intriguing update revolves around the Camera app. Where previously users had to decipher camera views, they are now labeled for convenience, as showcased in the video with marked "Left" and "Front" camera views. Yes, there is a front camera view, finally answering the question of Tesla introducing the front bumper camera. We previously had a look at how we expect Tesla's updated Camera app to work with the front bumper camera.

Battery Icon

One of the standout features in the video is the battery display. Gone are the traditional battery icons. Instead, we are introduced to slanted lines, each symbolizing 10% of the battery charge. This visual representation is intuitive and integrates with the Cybertruck's angular design.

Music Mini Player?

Beneath the vehicle visualization is what appears to be a minuscule music control feature, though its precise functionality remains uncertain from the short video clip.

Inside the Cybertruck: More than Just a Fresh UI

Ambient Lighting: Drawing inspiration from the latest Model 3 Refresh and the Chinese Model Y, the Cybertruck incorporates a colorful ambient lighting strip. Strategically placed, this lighting adds a modern aura to the vehicle's groundbreaking design.

Interior Layout and Accessories: The video takes us on a mini-tour of the truck's interior, revealing several intriguing features:

Hexagonal Design Elements: Keeping in line with Cybertruck's geometric aesthetic, the backup camera icon flaunts a hexagonal design, intriguingly contrasting the octagonal design found on the cupholders.

Center Console: A spacious tray area reminiscent of the old Model S finds a home between the front seats. Decked with some wires and a yet-to-be-identified document, the console boasts "cyber cupholders" with an octagonal design. Furthermore, it's equipped with dual phone charging spots right in front of the cupholders.

Sun Visor: The video briefly showcases the two-stage sun visor, which resembles the one found in the Model X. The video provides a glimpse of the massive glass roof, promising a panoramic view that will undoubtedly make the interior feel even more expansive.

Rear Window View: A feature with many talking is the clear view through the back window. Although the video offers only a short glimpse, obstructed by tires placed in the truck's bed, it's evident that when the cover is open, drivers and passengers will benefit from an expansive, unobstructed view.

As one viewer pointed out, this video will probably be used for evidence one day. Whoever was in the Cybertruck owes Max an apology, and poor Max needs to remember to lock the door.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


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