Tesla remains a force in the auto industry and a leader in the battery-electric car space. Nonetheless, the share price is down 14% this year in the face of increasing competition from…well, almost every legacy carmaker and even a handful of start-ups.

And let’s face it: the Model S is nearly a decade old. The first owners will soon be applying for collector plates. The design of the car was and remains strong, but we’ve seen it all before. Year after year after year. Now we have a long list of interesting and attractive rivals to consider, from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Lucid Motors to name four.

The Plaid edition of the Model S is plenty fast and has impressive range, but the essential truth is that the design of this car is nearly a decade old. Soon, the first owners will qualify for collector plates.

The irrepressible CEO Elon Musk, who has nothing but disdain for all media other than his Twitter account, has put some lipstick on the Model S in the form of a new a high-performance version. It’s about bloody time. Musk needed to do something to fire up some interesting in the aging Model S.

“This car crushes,” Musk gushed at this week’s delivery event at the company’s Fremont, California facility — the one he shut down last year, leaving workers temporarily out of work even as he himself collected billions in performance bonuses. As always, Tesla is all about Musk, all the time.

Not exactly the most articulate CEO, either.

“It’s like, man, this is, just, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, be the safest cars, gonna be the most kick-ass cars in every way.”

Ugh. The guy talks like a 12-year-old skateboarder.

Nonetheless, he’s the shining start of the cult of Elon. His fans and followers lap up comment such as his about this upgraded Model S, that it’s “faster than any Porsche, safer than any Volvo.”

Tesla should produce 1,000 a week next quarter and they will surely sell because despite Musk’s braggadocio and adolescent way with words, the sale price of the hottest Model S comes is competitive at $169,990. The long-range S goes for $114,990.

Model S pricing is competitive with new rivals from Porsche and others. But their entries look fresh; the Model S is a n old design, nice as it was.

Tesla’s impact on the global auto industry cannot be understated. No one company has come close to changing the perception of battery-electric automobiles. The game ahead for Tesla, however, is increasingly competitive and despite the latest high-zoot upgrades, the Model S looks old – like a car launched in 2012. Which it was.

Tesla’s current lineup, in fact, looks a little old and tired. The future of this company largely rests on the 2022 Cybertruck. According to cybertruckowners.com, more than have a million potential buyers have made a reservation.

There’s an appetite for a Tesla truck, just as Ford Motor has found a hunger for its Lightning EV pickup. The question is, can Tesla deliver, on time and on price in the face of real competition?

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