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Transportation Upgrades

Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S 106

Posted by timothy
from the silent-upgrades dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla won't reveal its production figures every quarter, but it has now likely built about 50,000 all-electric Model S luxury sport sedans. Unlike other automakers, Tesla doesn't group its changes to a model year, rather it makes running changes to cars whenever updates are tested, validated, and ready to roll out. Which raises the question, are model year 2012 Model S sedans already outdated? The answer is it depends how you look at it. From a powertrain perspective, no. There are still two battery-size options and the shape is still the same. But under the surface of the car there are a surprising number of updates and new options. Not including software changes (of which there are dozens already pushed to the car), changes range from power folding mirrors and a new cold-weather package (which cannot be retrofitted) to a new ultra-high-fidelity sound package and three-zone, three-mode rear seat heaters. It's worth noting that none of these are mandatory changes — there are merely options that have been added to the roster of available equipment."
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Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:16AM (#47154311)

    Not so. Different manufactorers have different approaches - PSA for example have always had a "continual change" process so that what's available not is slightly different to 3 months ago, and slightly more different to 6 months ago, independantly of "new model facelifts".

  • WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:17AM (#47154317)
    These are changes to the options not the car. Surely all manufacturers do this (in most of the world, if not the USA).

    FIle under underwhelming slashvertisment?

    Mod -1: pointless

    • FIle under underwhelming slashvertisment?

      Amen to that! The 'slashvertisement' thought occurred to me about half way through reading TFS. Talking about technical innovations, production problems, bugs, or relevant regulations would be appropriate. Talking about how Tesla is engaging in the sleazy practices that have been the hallmark of its entire industry for decades? Not so much...

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        How is adding new available options a "sleazy practice"? I am a little surprised they didn't have power folding mirrors before, but still, offering them now as an option isn't a "sleazy practice", it's the normal practice of a manufacturer updating a product line.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Nope. It's highly rare to have an option added or changed mid-year. Traditional makers hold off updates for the next model year. Tesla doesn't. That's not worthy of a front-page Slahdot story, but it is actually different from the rest of the automotive industry.

      Just another example of how Tesla didn't copy the status quo when it started making cars.
  • Ripe for abuse (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:24AM (#47154371)

    I had actually ordered a Tesla, but cancelled it largely due to their: "ultra-high-fidelity sound package." The $2500 ultra-high-fidelity sound package" is the exact same package as the original $500 "sound studio" package. The only difference is the price hike and they now list the subwoofer as speaker 12 vs. they used to only list 11 speakers -- everything else is the same which my dealer admitted to me as did the stick on a previous model car sitting in the shop area. If you want a citation, see: http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/new-sound-system .

    When I began investigating the updates that Tesla had been rolling out, it untangled a lovely mess of what amounted to nothing more than price hikes. The sound system was the most obvious, but the "leather" package is another. It's now split into multiple packages at 3X the price vs. the former single package that included everything.

    Tesla's upgrade system makes it very difficulty to sort out, and I found the practice highly deceptive. The final straw was when I went to pick up my car. They showed me my car at just under $90,000, and then a demo car that had just been delivered that was under the old pricing with substantially more features on it than the car I had ordered. At a $2,000 difference, it was a no-brainer. They went to do the paperwork and told me that couldn't sell it under the previous pricing (aka. before the packages had been split up, sound system jacked to $2500, etc.), but could sell it to me for $108,000.

    I walked out. They're welcome to make money, but their system is confusing and I believe designed to hide their price gouging. I found the practice to be worthy of a traditional car dealership, and not something I wanted to participate in.

    Oh well, I'm sure they sold both cars to someone else.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Bugpowda (671725)
      I totally concur. I was planning on getting a P85 Tesla with some of my Bitcoin profits, but the price hikes and additional required option add-ons (red brake calipers, CF spoiler) really turned me off. Nicely equipped build is $100k after tax breaks, and $110,000 after sales tax in CA. Also the Tesla LED running lights and tail lights look dated. Decided the BITCAR would be put in production as a Porsche Macan S. Just as sporty, more comfortable seats, better sound, adaptive cruise control, anti-collisi
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Reviewers here in Europe always compare the Model S to a similarly-priced BMW or Mercedes.

        Frankly, you get a heck of a lot more 'luxury' for your dollar (or euro) by going with one of those. And the mileage isn't much worse, given the vastly higher electricity prices in Europe :-)

        • Re:Ripe for abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

          by joe545 (871599) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @10:06AM (#47155457)

          I'd wager that petrol prices are comparatively higher in europe vs usa then electricity ones.

          • by joe545 (871599)

            than* :(

          • by westlake (615356)

            I'd wager that petrol prices are comparatively higher in europe vs usa then electricity ones.

            Europe pays a stiff premium for oil, gas and electricity.

            In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc's manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US.

            European gas import prices are currently around three times higher than in the US while industrial electricity prices are about twice as high, creating an energy price gap Dr Birol said would last ''at least 20 years''.

            ''Too much of the blame for Europeâ(TM)s high energy prices is being directed at its ambitions on climate change while the main factor --- the high cost of imported energy --- is being all but ignored,â he said in a speech to Londonâ(TM)s Imperial College where he elaborated on the IEAâ(TM)s analysis of the problem.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Which mythical country are you referring to that has electricity prices high and at the same time petrol/diesel prices low?

        • by dread (3500)

          1: luxury means very different things to different people. Not everyone prefers opulence.
          2: electricity prices aren't homogenous in Europe at all. In the north (Norway/Sweden/Finland) electricity is cheap and generally generated in ways that have a very small environmental impact (arguably possibly in the case of nuclear power stations but still, Sweden for example get 95+ percent from hydro and nuclear).

    • by mspohr (589790) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @12:11PM (#47157195)

      Rich people's problems.
      Dude, it's an expensive car.
      Bend over and take it like a man.
      You are overpaying for an expensive status symbol. So, the more you overpay, the more status. You can complain to all of your other rich friends how much you overpaid for the car. Just think, you'll be the envy of your friends when they find out that you paid $108,000 for a $90,000 car. Dude, you the man.

      • Back in the days, freshman Econ 101, my prof used the term "Morgan Goods" to classify the goods and services that defy the price vs demand curve. Normally demand goes down when price goes up, but for a small class of goods raising prices, mostly luxury goods in some price bands, increases the demand. May be we should rename it "Tesla Goods"

        ( I am not able to find that definition using google. Both words are common and have multiple meanings and SEO folks have messed up the page rank. Pretty soon Google wil

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by Algae_94 (2017070)

          I am not able to find that definition using google. Both words are common and have multiple meanings and SEO folks have messed up the page rank. Pretty soon Google will be useless.

          Unless you are trying to buy something or look up extremely popular things, Google is already getting darn near useless.

      • by Mattcelt (454751)

        Wealthy people don't become/remain wealthy by wasting money.

        • by mspohr (589790)

          This is a common misconception.
          You clearly believe in the "save your money and you'll get rich" myth. This doesn't work. You can't legitimately earn enough money to get rich.
          Rich people become/remain wealthy by figuring out some scam where they collect large amounts of money from other people. Most of these schemes fall under a "business" category although some inherit money.
          Rich people are notorious for wasting money on useless stuff. They don't care if they waste money. They have lots and more is coming i

        • by Algae_94 (2017070)

          Not all wealthy people remain wealthy.

          When a person is wealthy enough, wasting $100,000 will have little to no effect on their wealth.

          You can't possibly be suggesting that every expenditure of a wealthy person is a good buy, can you?

          • by Mattcelt (454751)

            Agreed. Though I can only speak anecdotally, every wealthy person I know - which I'm defining here as would not need to earn any more money between now and the day they die and still live comfortably in their chosen lifestyle - is not a spendthrift.

            One of the wealthiest men in the world balked at an aircraft avionics upgrade that cost less than his income for one day.

            And more often than not, even seemingly-frivolous expenditures have ulterior money-making options that may have long-term returns. Richard Bra

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Sure they do. Just when they "waste" money buying a sports team for fun, then sell it 30 years later for a few billion dollars in profit, having made a profit all along.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I thought Tesla didn't have dealers? Where was this?

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:27AM (#47154397) Homepage Journal

    Interesting - I didn't know this was out.

    "Cold Weather Package: Stay warmer as the weather gets colder with new heated second-row seats, heater windshield wiper nozzles & cowl, improved defrost grill, and an upgraded battery coolant heater to improve vehicle performance and range in cold climates."

    Sounds fancy. Even the cars I've had with heated seats (not a fan - I wear pants anyway) haven't had rear seat heaters. This may be a competitive item in the luxury car class. If you're bringing your kids to school and it's actually cold out they're wearing snow pants, but for those kids in Florida when it his 45*F, I guess.

    I'd presume the improved defrost grill and battery coolant heaters will become stock at some point. Personally I'm waiting for the Model X (wishing for quad-motor - dammit Goodyear) because we get real winter here, but this sounds nice for folks who live where a bit of wintry mix can ruin your day in a hurry.

    • Actually, my 2011 Hyundai Elantra with the Limited package has rear-seat warmers. And that car retails for something like $22K.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Makes a lot of sense in electric cars:
      Since there is no excess heat from the combustion engine it is way more efficient to just heat the seats.
      Heating the whole car takes quite a bit of energy.

      • Since there is no excess heat from the combustion engine it is way more efficient to just heat the seats.

        Good point - there was that guy who experimented with heated mouse, foot warmer, etc. to keep his personal space relatively unheated and claimed success.

    • Question:

      ...coolant heaters...

      WTF?

      • Just an educated guess here... sometimes you need to cool the batteries, and sometimes you need to warm them. I gather that batteries tend not to work as well in the cold from the fact that the ones meant to start ICEs are often compared in terms of cold cranking amps. If you already have a way to move heat away from the batteries you'd be mad not to use the same thing in reverse to heat them if you had the need to.
        • Then there should be a slash between the words "coolant" and "heaters," i.e. "coolant/heaters."

          The way it's written, it appears they're talking about devices meant to heat the coolant, which makes absolutely no sense.

          T'would be nice if someone in the know could clarify this...

          • It's counter-intuitive, yes, but if it works how I imagine it to they really are heating the coolant. Ordinarily the coolant would pick up heat from the batteries and move it to a radiator, but in cold weather the coolant is heated to warm the batteries. If you prefer to think of it as the heat exchange medium then you're free to do so or come up with your own more descriptive alternative but for the vast majority of the time it's just there to cool the batteries.

            I freely admit that I'm pulling this out of

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Lithium Ion batteries work very poorly once they're too cold and can be damaged, thus they must be heated in climates with severe winters.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Lots of ICE cars have these as well. The batteries and an ICE perform better when up to working temperature. When the car is cold it takes them a while to warm up, so some use a heater to heat up the "coolant" faster. There are other solutions as well, such as Toyota's system that pumps warm coolant into a vacuum flask when the car is turned off to preserve the heat for next time.

      • I drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid. I think that in cold weather, most hybrids have to run the internal combustion engine to heat the coolant to operating temperatures. This is inefficient because the ICE could otherwise be turned off. I think that the Prius has a special insulated place for warm battery coolant to be stored so it will not need to be reheated as much. The Tesla feature appears to use battery power to heat the fluid so that ICE can be turned off sooner when starting in cold weather.

    • I am a little puzzled about why they would need to add battery coolant heaters: if their inverter is 95% efficient, that would already give them 1-7kW of waste heat they can use as a heater to get batteries to operating temperature fairly quickly if they bypass the radiator until then.

      Of course, that does not work so well if people want to drive like madmen right out of their driveway or the highway they use is practically in their backyard. I suppose that would be who plug-in battery heaters would be for.

      • by necro81 (917438)

        I am a little puzzled about why they would need to add battery coolant heaters: if their inverter is 95% efficient, that would already give them 1-7kW of waste heat they can use as a heater to get batteries to operating temperature fairly quickly if they bypass the radiator until then.

        For similar reasons to why people in cold climates have engine block heaters. Certainly there's lots of waste heat from an ICE to warm things up, but it is also a matter of reducing wear and tear. Using waste heat from the

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Rob the Bold (788862)

      "Cold Weather Package: Stay warmer as the weather gets colder with new heated second-row seats, heater windshield wiper nozzles & cowl, improved defrost grill, and an upgraded battery coolant heater to improve vehicle performance and range in cold climates."

      Sounds fancy. Even the cars I've had with heated seats (not a fan - I wear pants anyway) haven't had rear seat heaters. This may be a competitive item in the luxury car class. If you're bringing your kids to school and it's actually cold out they're wearing snow pants, but for those kids in Florida when it his 45*F, I guess.

      It could be an attractive option for someone with a non-zero chance of having more than one adult passenger in their car. I'm in 'Merca, so I guess that might be the one guy at the rest home that still has his license and shuttles the neighbors to bingo or the grocery store. The ones that don't yet need to take the wheelchair-lift van, that is. Okay, so it's a niche market.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Sounds fancy. Even the cars I've had with heated seats (not a fan - I wear pants anyway) haven't had rear seat heaters.

      My 1997 A8 has them, but neither one works :D I have all that other stuff too. No coolant heater, but there is a coolant pump which keeps the cockpit warm on residual engine heat int he winter.

    • by kwbauer (1677400)

      My 2001 Yukon has mid row seat heaters.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:32AM (#47154427)

    Upon reading this article I miss:
    - More information on which are those options.
    - Whether there are packages that already include these options.
    - A comprehensive "where to buy" list. Ideally, with a price reference.
    - Financing offers. In case I can't buy it today but want to add it to my mortgage.
    - More pictures. For reference, the traditional "Shiny car with bikini models." can suffice.
    - A video where a pro pilot drives the car while describing why it is the best feeling he's ever had since he won the world cup, or something.

    And, finally, a big yellow "ADD TO CART" button.

    Optionally, there could also be a "Direct CHECKOUT" button that charges the cost to my google wallet and gets me the car by the time I get home from work.

  • "there are a surprisingly number of"...

    Surprisingly Number Of....
    Let me think about that. Do you write goodly english?

    I cannot imagine how this could ever be properly used in a sentence like that, but I'm sure some anonymous coward will tell me I'm wrong.

    • I was going to write a message with a similar complaint. The "Surprisingly number of" is not even the only terrible grammatical failure in the summary. Being as Tesla is an American car, and the link goes to an American website, you can't play the "British grammar" card on this one either (though arguably that isn't proper English grammar anywhere).

      It's too bad slashdot doesn't have actual editors, who actually read the front page text. Some people claim they used to have some here, though I'm not su
  • by torkus (1133985) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:53AM (#47154627)

    I wonder what this will do for the long-term viability of the car though...in regards to repairing it. If I have a 1998 Honda civic DX I know I can find parts for the windshield wiper assembly.

    If I have a model 1.5.14b (mod alpha) Tesla S with options XYZ ... do I need this wingding or that one for the rear-view mirror? Repair shops are going to hate this game.

    At the same time...knowing the battery, motor, and other major components are the same is a huge win for the same question. Frankly the car industry revamping cars every freaking year is beyond stupid. Why is a 3000 pound, immensely complex, expensive piece of machinery rebuilt every year? To tweak a fender and include the radio buttons it should have had last year?

    As usual...go Tesla. I just hope they have a good compatibility matrix for the upgraded components.

    • by GTRacer (234395)

      Repair shops are going to hate this game.

      I suspect the typical Tesla S buyer is neither a DIY-er nor the sort that takes his baby to Pep-Boys for repair...

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I wonder what this will do for the long-term viability of the car though...in regards to repairing it. If I have a 1998 Honda civic DX I know I can find parts for the windshield wiper assembly.

      If I have a model 1.5.14b (mod alpha) Tesla S with options XYZ ... do I need this wingding or that one for the rear-view mirror? Repair shops are going to hate this game.

      At the same time...knowing the battery, motor, and other major components are the same is a huge win for the same question. Frankly the car industry

    • by _Ludwig (86077)

      Introducing new options mid-year is unusual, but changing (usually small) parts mid-year is not. Mechanics are well accustomed to checking VINs to determine which wiper motor mount (or whatever) to order for your '91 Homermobile, because Powell changed it halfway through production.

    • by toddestan (632714)

      Actually, things are relatively stable nowadays as compared to the past. Nowadays, they'll typically release a new model or design, let it run for 3-5 years or so with only small changes and updates, then do a "refresh", let that run a few more years, before a major redesign happens. Back in the 50's and the 60's, it was common for the car to be redesigned every year. All new sheetmetal, new engines and options, new paint colors, etc. That's why everyone talks about the '57 Chevy - there were also '56 a

  • by aviators99 (895782) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @09:03AM (#47154733) Homepage

    One of the reasons I was one of the first to buy a Tesla is because I love the fact that Elon Musk refused to abide by all of the known "rules" of automotive manufacturing. I love it that I get regular updates to the car's firmware/software that actually adds features to the vehicle (one of the first ones I got actually made my 0-60 time faster!).

    But I think that when it comes to this idea of not following the established rule of "model years", it doesn't work very well. The modern-day method of rolling software updates is great--for software. But when it comes to hardware, it is a bit more difficult. It's made even worse when things are not retrofittable (like the rear seat heating referenced here).

    I understand that the company has a great new hardware feature and wants to get it onto the assembly line as quickly as possible, and you have to applaud that. But you end up with people ordering a car and not knowing what they will get. Some improvements are announced at or around the time they hit the assembly line, and many cars without the improvement are then delivered for a period of time. Note that although the summary only references "options", there are many more improvements other than options that are added in an add-hoc manner.

    We haven't even seen the confusion this will eventually cause when there is a substantial resale market for the Model S. There will be no "shorthand" to say what features the vehicle has or doesn't have. Even the Roadster had "version numbers".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kick6 (1081615)
      Whether it's great for physical products or not, everyone is doing it. firmware updates for entertainment systems ecu firmware updates. Shoot, I have an '08 Ford F250 that's a "job 2" truck. There were 3 "jobs" under the '08 model year with running changes. Sometimes rather major like moving from a frame-mounted, user replaceable, transmission filter to an in-pan filter.
      • Shoot, I have an '08 Ford F250 that's a "job 2" truck.

        Yours must not be quality then. Because at Ford, quality is job 1.

        • Shoot, I have an '08 Ford F250 that's a "job 2" truck.

          Yours must not be quality then. Because at Ford, quality is job 1.

          Have you driven a Ford, lately?

          Because we wouldn't want you to base your expectations on any Fords you drove before quality became job one, see.

      • Ford also has running upgrades and new features for cars in the same production year. For the 2013 model year Ford Fusion Hybrid, for instance, they added a special air intake with noise-attenuating baffles to all Job 2 and latter vehicles. It apparently makes a pretty big difference to the perceived noise in the cabin when the gas engine runs. There are also special options such as specific paint colors, seat belt airbags, and leather colors that are only available in the latter runs of the same model year

    • by Sique (173459)
      Model year is an U.S. only feature. In most other countries, the model year is normally not mentioned, except when it's necessary to calculate the remaining value or to decide if it needs a renewed technical certificate, those things that directly depend on the actual age of the car. If there is an actual feature update, it is normally stated as the month of introduction, as in "Since 3/2012, feature A was implemented".
    • The modern-day method of rolling software updates is great--for software.

      Sez you, pal. Microsoft Word 2008, 2010, 2000, Server 2008, Windows98, ME... Model year works great for Microsoft. In fact I heard this model year is going to be good. I heard they are adding more chrome on the menu buttons, a brand new aqua green windows, and wait for it, twelve. inch. fins. yes, you heard it right, 12 inch fins on all models.

      • Sez you, pal. Microsoft Word 2008, 2010, 2000, Server 2008, Windows98, ME... Model year works great for Microsoft. In fact I heard this model year is going to be good. I heard they are adding more chrome on the menu buttons, a brand new aqua green windows, and wait for it, twelve. inch. fins. yes, you heard it right, 12 inch fins on all models.

        I know you are being sarcastic, but in case others don't realize, all of these software packages are updated pretty much weekly.

  • Are you complaining that Tesla isn't like most companies and adds a few simple features every year that makes last years model irrelevant? Sounds ridiculous this is a win for consumers who are obsessive compulsive about new features. They are giving you free software updates they could charge for like GPS manufactures for new maps.
  • ... a computer from 2012 is outdated. Any sane person does not give two shits about it because everything still runs on it, but some "enthusiasts" never can live with having some tech from last year.

  • Tesla must be using a seriously traditional wiring harness. When will automakers move at least the accessories to a bus-style model for both power and communications? I get why all the signals and so on should run through a traditional wiring plant, but the rest of this stuff really needs to belong to a more distributed network. The wiring that could be eliminated in the power window system alone would save pounds.

    • by j-turkey (187775)

      Tesla must be using a seriously traditional wiring harness. When will automakers move at least the accessories to a bus-style model for both power and communications? I get why all the signals and so on should run through a traditional wiring plant, but the rest of this stuff really needs to belong to a more distributed network. The wiring that could be eliminated in the power window system alone would save pounds.

      You mean, like CAN bus [wikipedia.org]? Most already have.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You mean, like CAN bus? Most already have.

        No, and you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. They're using CAN-BUS only between things like PCM and TCM, not between the BCM and the window regulators, or the seat heaters.

        • by j-turkey (187775)

          No, and you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

          I would have been happy to discuss this with you, but you've chosen to eschew polite conversation. Good luck with that smugness, my friend.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I would have been happy to discuss this with you, but you've chosen to eschew polite conversation.

            Since you didn't understand my comment and therefore don't even know the topic of conversation, what could you possibly hope to add?

            • by j-turkey (187775)

              Since you didn't understand my comment and therefore don't even know the topic of conversation, what could you possibly hope to add?

              Actually, I had plenty to add, but since the ability to engage in civil discourse eludes you, and you would rather smugly demonstrate that you're more of a subject matter expert than everyone else, I have desire to engage in any discussion with you. Seriously, do you really talk to people like this, or does Slashdot just have this effect on you?

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Seriously, do you really talk to people like this, or does Slashdot just have this effect on you?

                When I say "blah blah blah" and someone says "oh yeah, I know all about bluh bluh bluh" then I say "Well, I'm talking about blah blah blah". On Slashdot, I have to compose longer replies, because Slashdot has a bunch of rules supposedly intended to improve post quality which actually decrease it. For example, the delay between posts encourages long-winded ranting when people could just jot off a thought and be done. Ditto for the per-day posting limit. In general, I feel compelled to get more than one compl

        • LIN bus goes between these.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            LIN bus goes between these.

            Yes, automakers are just barely beginning to do this now on the very highest-end vehicles. I find it a bit inexplicable, because it involves few new components, and most of them have pretty straightforward functions when it comes right down to it (e.g. relay control and feedback) which means they could use the same modules over and over again, which of course isn't what they're doing.

  • A Tesla S is not a normal family car, it costs the about the same a Porsche 911, so it firmly in the luxury/sports car bracket, so expensive options are normal, and every car as a custom build is not unexpected, rolling changes are not that unusual (outside the USA)

  • Seems similar to what other small-scale auto manufacturers have done in the past. DeLorean Motor Company, for example, implemented changes as soon as they were able, not waiting for a model-year change -- slight changes to the interior, the disappearing fuel filler flap, and a minor change in the brake light circuit's wiring all come to mind. I'd not be surprised if other manufacturers with small production numbers (i.e. Lotus & Lamborghini [not counting their tractors]) take a similar tack to increment

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