2016 Tesla Model S gets styling update, 48-amp charger, new interior options, $1,500 price increase (updated)

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2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

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The Tesla Model S electric car, which went into production in June 2012, is getting its first styling updates in almost four years.

The Silicon Valley carmaker said that Model S luxury sedans produced starting today in its Fremont, California, assembly plant will have a new front-end design.

Dispensing with the simulated oval "grille" of the earlier Model S, the headlights and front panel of the new design resemble that of the Model X crossover SUV and the recently announced Model 3 smaller sedan.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model S Electric Car: What Has Changed Since 2012? (Oct 2015)

In addition to the new front-end design, Tesla is adding the HEPA air-filtration system introduced on the Model X to the Model S as an option.

That filter, according to the company, removes "99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from cabin air."

Tesla has also upgraded the capacity of the onboard charger to 48 amps from the previous 40 amps.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Tesla Motors has now confirmed a price increase of $1,500 for all versions of the Model S. An earlier version of this article did not include pricing information.]

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

That will let new Model S cars recharge their batteries more quickly where higher-amperage charging stations are available.

Finally, the updated Model S cars can be ordered with two new choices of interior trim: Dark Ash Wood Décor or Figured Ash Wood Décor.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Model S Electric Car: Software Changes Since 2012 (Oct 2015)

Tesla has never conformed to the model-year conventions used by much of the rest of the auto industry.

So 2016 Model S cars may have either the traditional front-end design (on cars built through the start of this month) or the new appearance (starting today.)

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Such hardware changes are separate from the software updates that the company periodically makes over the air to cars whose owners give permission for the new features.

The changes to the Model S were first rumored last week by CNet, although Tesla Motors declined to comment on them at the time.

That article also suggested that the Model S would adopt the front seats from the Model X—which was not mentioned in today's announcement—and that prices would increase.

CHECK OUT: Life With 2013 Tesla Model S: How A Software Update Worked (Apr 2013)

Configuring a base rear-wheel-drive Model S with the 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack on Tesla's site this morning shows a price of $71,500.

Tesla confirmed to Green Car Reports that the prices reflect an increase of $1,500 for all models. A mandatory delivery fee of $1,200 must be added as well.

“The slight increase in cost of the refreshed Model S reflects the functional improvements and updated styling," said Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson.

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