Tesla Model S gets a subtle makeover from tuner Novitec

Novitec is known for tuning high-end vehicles from the likes of Lamborghini and Maserati, but lately the company has turned its attention to greener rides. The German firm launched a line of upgrades for the Tesla Model X earlier this year, and now it’s moving on to that SUV’s sedan counterpart.

As with the Model X, Novitec’s tuning package for the Tesla Model S primarily focuses on aesthetic changes, rather than performance upgrades (not that the Model S needs help in that area). Those subtle visual changes give the Model S a more aggressive look without going overboard, as many tuners do.

Available for Tesla Model S electric cars from 2016 or later, the list of modifications includes front and rear lip spoilers, new rocker panels, a rear diffuser, and Novitec’s own 21-inch wheels. Novitec claims the spoilers, diffuser, and rocker panels have actual aerodynamic benefits. The front spoiler in particular reduces axle lift at high speeds, Novitec says, helping to improve stability.

While there are no apparent changes to the powertrain, Novitec does offer carbon-ceramic brakes in place of the stock Tesla units. In addition to increasing stopping power and reducing fade, Novitec claims the brakes weigh less than the stock components. Since brakes constitute unsprung weight, that should have an outsize positive impact on handling, Novitec notes.

Novitec also offers two suspension options for the Model S. For cars not equipped with air suspension, Novitec has a coilover setup that lowers ride height by 40 millimeters (1.5 inches) and includes three damper settings: Normal, Comfort, and Sport. Novitec also offers its own control module for cars equipped with air suspension, which lowers ride height by about 25 mm (0.9 inch). This is probably more about creating an aggressive, ground-hugging look than any performance benefit.

Novitec would not discuss pricing or U.S. availability, but given the popularity of the Model S, the company probably won’t have trouble finding customers. Novitec isn’t the first company to tune Teslas, and it certainly won’t be the last. Tesla may be changing a lot of perceptions about what cars can be, but that doesn’t mean the desire of owners to modify, customize, and personalize them will go away.


Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.
Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.