The new 2022 Tesla Model S has been spotted, with images and video shared on social media forum Reddit giving a first look at Tesla’s highly anticipated version 11 software and the smooth take-off of Tesla’s refreshed premium sedan.
The newly redesigned Model S was first unveiled at Tesla’s fourth-quarter 2020 earnings call, and while the exterior changes are subtle it would now appear that the 2022 Model S will come with v11 software alongside other physical updates.
For the past few years, Tesla has brought forth a new major release of the software that sits behind its touchscreen interface, bringing new features with each upgrade.
Version 11 is expected to drop within coming months, and the new images give some insight into possible changes that we could start to see on Tesla cars (and we note that all changes as seen on the larger Model S screen may not translate to the smaller Model 3 screen).
Reddit user u/FridayTheDog111 posted images and video (which you can see reposted via Twitter below) of the new Model S on Monday (US time) after he apparently spotted it and was able to sit inside the vehicle.
— hollow? (@This1isTakenNow) March 22, 2021
Perhaps the most notable change is the introduction of a side tab which it is speculated might have customisable tiles to enable users to create quick access to functions they use most often.
This can be accessed by tapping the vehicle icon on the far left of the screen (and which has us hoping that Tesla swaps the left-right sections of the interface for right-hand drive markets so that this is not on the opposite side of the screen from the driver).
Additionally, the bottom navigation that currently takes up the full width of the bottom of the screen will instead be broken into two parts, with audio controls separated from vehicle controls.
Other additions include the addition of “Smart Shift” (expected for the 2022 Model S/Model X but unconfirmed for the Model 3/Model Y), and an option to open the media player on drive.
Features that will be specific to the refreshed Model S (and presumably also the Model X) include, according to Reddit user u/FridayTheDog111 who posted the images, include the ability to turn the screen to either portrait or landscape orientation (the latter would be great for movies).
Also, there is a new “drag strip mode”; whether this is only available for the upcoming tri-motor Plaid Model S (it is unclear if this vehicle is an example fo that) or for all refresh Model S and Model X is unknown.
Teslascope, a site that keeps track of Tesla software features and changes, also said on Twitter that two Tesla employees confirmed the “yoke” steering wheel would be an option at the time of purchase (we note this may not be the case in Australia depending on if the unconventional steering wheel meets Australian design standards).
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.