2016 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
It's typical for carmakers to redesign a given model after it's been on sale for about four years or so.
Of course, Tesla Motors prides itself on doing things differently from other carmakers.
Since the Model S was launched in 2012, Tesla has regularly tweaked it with software updates, as well as adding dual-motor all-wheel drive and different battery-pack options.
But could it be time for a more substantial update of this electric car?
Tesla may introduce a facelifted Model S in Spring 2016 to commonize the sedan with the production version of the Model X crossover unveiled at the end of September, according to Electrek.
Admittedly a rumor, this could involve some styling changes to bring the Model S in line with the Model X, and possibly some hardware changes as well.
2016 Tesla Model XEnlarge Photo
That could include deleting the blacked-out "grille" area of the current Model S for a front fascia design that more closely resembles the crossover's.
It might also allow Tesla to commonize elements of the two cars' understructures; CEO Elon Musk has admitted that the Model X had more unique components than originally planned by the time it reached production.
Tesla could also use the facelift as an opportunity to integrate a new generation of hardware for its "Autopilot" autonomous-driving system into production cars.
Granted, the company started building cars with the first generation of hardware without any fanfare whatsoever.
Some cars had already rolled off the assembly line when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the hardware was in production.
The accompanying software was added with an over-the-air update that went out in October.
2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011Enlarge Photo
Unlike other carmakers--which tend to group major updates around mid-cycle refreshes or redesigns--Tesla simply launches updates when they are ready.
Even if a refreshed Model S doesn't appear next year, Tesla still plans to unveil the smaller Model 3 sedan in March.
The company will also begin taking orders for the $35,000, 200-mile Model 3 at that time, although production isn't set to begin until 2017.
It's unclear what styling direction the Model 3 will take, although Tesla has hinted it will have a somewhat different design language from the two existing models.
A Model 3 crossover may also be added to the lineup sometime after that launch of the sedan.
[hat tip: Brian Henderson]