The Week in Tesla News: Model S and Model X Upgrades, Tesla-Rival Rivian Reduced, GM Invests in Electric and More

One of the interesting things about Tesla is that its vehicles don’t seem to follow the same sort of production schedule of more traditional automakers. There are occasional physical changes to its vehicles, but most of the updates happen under the skin — more power or new features, for example, appearing via Tesla’s over-the-air updates. But now rumors are out that the latest updates to the Model S and Model X may involve physical changes, including an updated interior. Elsewhere in Tesla-adjacent headlines, Rivian says prices for its all-electric pickup and SUV will be lower than first announced, GM is planning to make a $2.2 billion investment in building electric vehicles, and Maserati is planning to give its first all-electric powertrain a distinct “Maserati” sound.

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

Let’s take a closer look at these stories from the week in Tesla news. 

Model S and X Hardware Updates?

Reports indicate that the infamous Tesla “hacker” who goes by “Green” — definitely someone we have all heard of before just now … right? — has dug into the latest Tesla software updates and discovered potential updates coming to Tesla hardware. According to this individual’s research, those updates include new battery types and configurations for the Model S and Model X, as well as an updated suspension. Inside the two cars, changes will allegedly include wireless phone charging and perhaps entirely new seats (or at least updated lumbar support).

None of this information has been confirmed by Tesla, of course, and there’s also no word on whether these changes could be applied retroactively to an already-purchased Tesla.

Rivian Reducing Prices

Rivian, manufacturer of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV and prospective Tesla rival, will soon release official pricing information for its two vehicles, and says the prices for each will be lower than previously announced. Just how much lower isn’t clear — is it a decrease of hundreds or thousands of dollars? Given that initial prices were roughly $69,000 for the truck and $72,000 for the SUV (before any tax credits), hopefully it’s thousands.

GM Switching to Electric in Detroit

GM’s latest announcement on the electric vehicle front is that it is planning to invest $2.2 billion in its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in preparation for building electric pickups and SUVs. The plant currently builds the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala, but both cars are being discontinued. Production will halt at the facility at the end of February to allow for the significant renovations and retooling necessary to build the new electric vehicles. GM also claims this investment will create 2,200 new jobs.

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Electric Maseratis Should Sound Like Maseratis, Too

Maserati is finally getting with the times and the next-generation GranTurismo and GranCabrio will have all-electric powertrains — adding yet another would-be competitor to the luxury electric car niche Tesla helped to carve out in the market. The storied Italian automaker is currently developing that powertrain, and part of that development apparently includes creating a distinct sound that readily identifies it as a Maserati and enhances the driving pleasure for owners. Personally, I’d make it sound like the MC12 Corsa’s glorious V-12, but I don’t work for Maserati.

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