First refreshed Tesla Model S spotted in Australia, but wait for deliveries continues

1 month ago The Driven |

The first refreshed Tesla Model S has been spotted on Queensland roads by a Tesla enthusiast. This is the first time the updated Tesla Model S has been spotted on Australian roads after the deliveries of the model’s previous generation stopped in early 2021.

The photo (above) taken by a Tesla enthusiast has then been shared on Tesla Motor Club (TMC) forum. So what do we know about this car and does this mean anything for hundreds of Tesla Model S order holders in Australia?

It gives several clues that the spotted example in black is the updated refreshed Tesla Model S. That includes:

Wider rear section

Dark chrome delete under the Tesla logo in the rear

The darker tail lights with the refreshed pattern

This example also happens to be a Left-Hand-Drive (LHD) model with a dual motor which is also true with the production timelines of the Tesla Model S. 

Tesla Model S VIN Decoder 2021 Refresh Model STesla Model S VIN Decoder 2021 Refresh Model S

It is believed that no Right-Hand-Drive (RHD) models which are suited for Australian customers have been produced. LHD versions of the car have recently been exported from the US where every Tesla Model S and Model X are produced at Tesla’s original Fremont Gigafactory.

The spotted version is also fitted with the Yoke steering wheel which is also a unique but polarising feature.

In Australia though, customers are yet to see any deliveries of the new Yoke steering wheel equipped Model S. Many of the last Australian-delivered Tesla Model S sedans were the 2020 build cars.

It’s currently unclear whether the spotted black refreshed Model S is here for testing or for another reason. Given its “commercial-use” Queensland number plates, it’s likely to be for country testing before the eventual launch in our market. 

Looking at other markets where Tesla Model S has recently launched might give an indication of when it may get to Australian shores.

The first exports have made it to Tesla’s European customers in markets like The Netherlands and more recently Germany.

More photos of first New Tesla Model S in the The Netherlands 🇳🇱 🇪🇺

— Steven Bink🎯 (@sbink) November 12, 2022

In the European markets, even the Plaid version of the refreshed Tesla Model S has made it. This version according to the European registration system reveals the 0-100 km/h time of 2.1 seconds along with the 750 kW power output from the tri-motor power delivery system.

According to registration it is a plaid.

— Steven Bink🎯 (@sbink) November 12, 2022

Apart from Europe, Tesla is also planning on exporting the car to the world’s biggest car and EV market, China. This was announced in November with details of deliveries made in January. The refreshed Tesla Model S and Model X will land in China in the first half of this year.

Tesla also cut prices on the refreshed Tesla Model S in the US in January by up to $A30,000.

Since there hasn’t been any production of this model for the Australian market which could still be many months away, it’s unlikely that local Model S order holders will know if they’d be getting a price cut on their orders.

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP Crash TestTesla Model S Euro NCAP Crash Test

In recent months, the Tesla Model S has also received the highest possible five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP on the strictest testing standards which makes it one of the safest cars in the world.

With hundreds of order holders still eager to get behind the yoke (or wheel) of the new Model S, it’s good to see Tesla making ground in getting the car to Australia, even if it’s still 12 months away.

Riz AkhtarRiz Akhtar

Riz is the founder of carloop based in Melbourne, specialising in Australian EV data, insight reports and trends. He is a mechanical engineer who spent the first 7 years of his career building transport infrastructure before starting carloop. He has a passion for cars, particularly EVs and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.

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