Summer 2014 Tesla Model S New Features Reported

It’s no lie that the Tesla Model S just gets better with age. I took delivery of my Model S at the end of April of this year and have been loving all of the new feature additions through their periodic Firmware updates. And now, just four months after taking delivery, I’m reading that additional updates to the Model S are being rolled off the Fremont plant.

Color Update

One of our writers reported that Tesla was spotted testing new color palettes at the Tesla Hawthorne Design Center not too long ago and it looks like this is now coming to fruition.

I chose the “Grey Metallic Paint” color for my Model S and absolutely love it. Some people call this “Dolphin Grey” but apparently Tesla has changed the paint composition to a grey that’s much darker in color. I haven’t seen one in person yet and would love to line mine up next to the new color, but from what I’ve seen on the internet, I think I like the original lighter grey better.

Below is the best picture I could find comparing the original grey (left) to the new and very dark, almost black, grey on the right.

New Grey 2014

Tesla Grey Metallic Paint – left: original, right: new Grey

Model S Interior Changes

New Headliner OptionsThe Tesla Motors website now shows a new option on the order page that separates the Alcantara headliner from the Alcantara upper dashboard trim. The second option is new and is available when selecting the $1,500 Alcantara headliner upgrade.

I wasn’t interested in the headliner, especially at that price, but I find it fascinating that Tesla thought it was desirable enough to break out as its own individual option.

The parcel shelf (covers contents within the trunk) which was originally an optional component for $250 is now included for free.

I think it would be a nice gesture if Tesla could offer this parcel shelf to current owners as a free upgrade when performing their annual service. Right now it remains a $250 purchase post-delivery at the Shop Tesla storefront which I just find silly.

Feature Addition

Some Model S owners from the Tesla Motors Club forum are reporting a new feature that’s available on new deliveries – an Ionizer.

Tesla Model S New Feature - IonizerIonizers reportedly clean up particles that enter the cabin through open windows and doors. The ionizer emits positive and negative ions that attach to airborne bacteria, viruses and molds, theoretically neutralizing them. Toyota and Volvo among others offer this in their higher end cars.

New owners with firmware version 5.12 are seeing this new feature appear within the touchscreen controls. New Model S supposedly have extra hardware in the car to support the ionizer which means existing owners like myself will likely not get the ionizer feature even after upgrading to 5.12.

Luckily ionizers can be easily added to any car through the addition of a portable 12v automobile friendly ionizer.


Tesla continues to quietly evolve the options and configurations available for the Model S. I wish Tesla had an owners newsletter to keep us informed of the available changes and whether they affect existing owners. It will be interesting to monitor the features and price changes that take place over time and watch the Model S grows up. While some of the changes above would have been nice to have, nevertheless I’m an extremely satisfied owner with zero regrets.

Rob M.

Author: Rob M.

Rob's passion is technology and gadgets. An engineer by profession and an executive and founder at several high tech startups Rob has a unique view on technology and some strong opinions. When he's not writing about Tesla, Solar City and related news he's off hacking code, playing video games or hiking the trails of New England with his dog.Rob's Model S details: S85 | Grey / Tan Interior | Obeche Matte Trim | 19" standard | Parking Sensors | Sub-zero | Pano | Premium Lighting | Dual Chargers | VIN: 36801 | Took delivery 4/21/2014.Feel free to follow him on twitter @teslaliving for random thoughts, lots of pictures, news updates etc.

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  • Leif Egil Reve

    Is there any way to find a list of all that has happened to software, hardware and firmware on the Tesla, leaving out all about bugs and such.

    A simple way to see what has been added over time? Ie creeping, this liner, the titanium shield, parking sensors, and what with these that are able to work with “old cars” and not.

    It would be interesting to see an article on comparison between a Model S bought June 2012, how that differs on the same car, today, after all updates. Then see everything which can be retrofitted on that specific car, and then the differences between a Model S bought today.

    • Hi Leif, its something we plan on doing given how these changes roll out quietly (even to owners!). We’ve saved away the current features list and order configuration screens to compare with periodically. In putting together the post on software update frequency:

      We collected some of that information but its far from definitive.

  • Matt L

    The new color is bullshit. We had the original grey ordered for 6 weeks and after two attempts by tesla of switching us colors while trying to make us think it was our idea to do so they called today and told us that the would not be making our car in the color we ordered. All the other colors suck, looks like we won’t be tesla-ing

    • Thats bad that you can’t order the color you wanted due to the switch. Still there are a number of good colors out there. I was tempted with the pearl white or the green or even brown. The grey is nice but in the end it could be any color and it would still be an amazing car.