Tesla Model S and X to Gain Ambient Lighting and Front Bumper Camera

By Kevin Armstrong
This will have a minor refresh for the Model S and Model X
This will have a minor refresh for the Model S and Model X
Edmunds

Tesla has found itself in a bit of a pickle. Its flagship vehicles, the Model S and Model X now have a similar feature set as the recently released new Model 3. While the new Model 3 does have an improved suspension, the Model S, Model X, and soon the Cybertruck are still the only Tesla vehicles with an air suspension. However, the new Model 3 now includes many features that were previously exclusive to the Model S/X, such as ventilated seats, a quieter cabin, and a rear screen, reducing the feature set gap between Tesla's economy and luxury lines.

Ambient Lighting for Model S & X

However, it looks like the Model S and X will be catching up in some regards. Greentheonly was able to find references to the Model S/X receiving the same RGB ambient lighting treatment as the new Model 3. The references were discovered in one of Tesla's recent firmware updates. As Green points out, Tesla is much more careful nowadays to include any code that may reveal upcoming features. Given the discovery, he believes that Tesla is already implementing or will soon start implementing the feature on its assembly lines.

Upcoming Minor Refresh

One of our sources has confirmed that the S/X will not only receive Tesla's latest interior lighting feature in an upcoming refresh, but that it will also be outfitted with a front bumper camera. It's unknown whether Tesla will introduce both these features simultaneously or in a phased manner. Considering Tesla's known strategy of incorporating upgrades as they deplete available parts, it wouldn't be surprising if they took the latter route.

Model Y Envy

After Tesla China's surprising reveal of an upgraded Model Y with some modifications like adding ambient lighting to the dashboard, the spotlight is now turning to what's in store for the Model S and Model X. The Model Y's changes, touted as its "evolutionary debut" by Tesla China on its official Weibo account came out of nowhere.

Ambient Lighting is a Must

Ambient lighting has always been a staple in luxury car interiors, enhancing the ambiance and offering a more sophisticated driving experience. For years, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, Volvo, and others have used ambient lighting, also known as mood lighting. That didn't seem to matter all that much to the Model S and Model X, which have worked their way up the luxury brand market.

But now that ambient lighting is in the Model Y, Model 3, and the upcoming Cybertruck, the omission of the features from the luxury models is noticeable.

With the Model Y's recent update featuring ambient lighting on its dash and front doors, there is speculation about the extent to which this feature will be introduced in the S and X. Will Tesla stick to the approach seen in the Model Y, or will they amplify the luxury feel with an almost 360-degree wraparound, similar to the new Model 3?

Front Camera

In addition to ambient lighting, the Model S and Model X will get a front bumper camera. We expected to see it in the Model 3 refresh. Still, it mysteriously didn't make the long list of changes when the car was revealed, even though the camera was spotted in various Tesla photos. However, the Cybertruck does have a front bumper camera.

It's not known if the front bumper will be used to improve Autopilot and Full Self Driving or if it could be more about enhancing parking assist capabilities. The front camera is not available in the existing fleet, which would put those vehicles at a disadvantage if FSD utilizes the camera in future updates.

With the last quarter of the year unfolding, Tesla enthusiasts and potential buyers have much to look forward to. A new Model 3, slightly refreshed Model Y, the Cybertruck, and maybe even an enhanced Model S and X are yet to arrive before Santa.

New Model 3 Performance, Racing-Inspired Seats Revealed, a Glimpse of the Front Splitter

By Kevin Armstrong
X/Nic Cruz Patane
X/Nic Cruz Patane

Tesla's reintroduction of the Model 3 Performance continues to inch closer, and just like the refreshed Model 3 and the Cybertruck, every peek gives us some more hints and builds more excitement. A recent observation of a partially covered Tesla Model 3 Performance prototype revealed the new Sport seats designed for improved comfort.

Posted on X by Nic Cruz Patane, the upgraded Model 3 Performance was sighted in Santa Monica, where the vehicle's engineering prototype displayed minimal window tinting, offering a sneak peek at the vehicle's improved seating. The Sport seats, resembling dedicated racing bucket seats, significantly depart from the current Model 3 seating options.

Sport Seats Coming to Other Models?

Tesla's initiative to incorporate Sport seats into the Model 3 Performance hints at broader plans to equip its high-performance models, including the Model S Plaid, Model X Plaid, and Model Y Performance, with similar seating options. This move will elevate the driving experience across Tesla's performance vehicle range.

These seats were also spotted a few weeks ago by enthusiast Fidel Grandez. Initially thought to be designated for the Model S Plaid, these Sport seats have found their rightful place in the Model 3 Performance, aligning with Tesla's vision for a performance-focused yet more affordable electric sedan.

New Wheels and Front Lip

In addition to the seats, the Model 3 Performance is rumored to showcase a suite of enhancements. Another angle gives a little bit of an outline of the new front lower splitter. Other aesthetic and functional upgrades include "Warp" 20-inch wheels, advanced braking systems, and revised suspension components.

Tesla has been testing the Model 3 Performance prototypes for a few months, signaling that initial production could be underway in North America. This step is crucial as Tesla aims to reintroduce the Performance trim to the market, having temporarily removed it from their lineup. The reintroduction is timely, considering the evolving landscape of EV incentives in the United States. While the official launch date remains under wraps, anticipation builds for the Model 3 Performance's debut, expected in the first half of 2024.

Cool Carpool Mom: How Kim Kardashian's Cybertruck Ride Benefits Tesla

By Kevin Armstrong
Instagram/Kim Kardashian
Instagram/Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian showcased her Cybertruck with the caption "cool carpool mom" to her 364 million followers on Instagram. The A-list celebrity and billionaire is well known for her knack for staying at the forefront of trends, making this one image a powerful endorsement for Tesla. The picture of one of the most influential celebrities of our time picking the Cybertruck as her distinctive vehicle speaks volumes about the brand's penetration into popular culture and its appeal to a broad demographic, including those who value style, innovation, and sustainability.

The Power of Celebrity Influence

Kim Kardashian's influence cannot be overstated. Her every move is watched and often emulated by fans around the globe. Her journey from reality TV star to billionaire entrepreneur has been marked by a series of successful ventures in fashion, beauty, and technology investments, making her a model of modern business acumen. Kardashian's ability to turn personal endorsements into significant trends is unparalleled, making her engagement with Tesla's Cybertruck a notable moment for the company.

Kardashian's influence extends far beyond mere product endorsement. Her strategic use of social media to connect with her audience has transformed how brands interact with consumers. She creates a personal connection that can sway consumer behavior by sharing her life, interests, and choices, including her vehicle preferences. Her endorsement of the Cybertruck can significantly enhance Tesla's brand visibility and desirability, particularly among consumers who may not have previously considered an electric vehicle.

Kardashian has recently joined the exclusive circle of celebrities seen driving the Cybertruck, a group that boasts names like Pharrell, Lady Gaga, Jay Leno, and not to forget Elon Musk himself (who, aside from being Tesla's CEO, commands a staggering following of over 370 million on X). Each of these stars wields significant influence, captivating audiences that range from thousands to millions globally.

Sustainability Meets Style

Moreover, Kardashian's endorsement comes at a time when the importance of sustainable living and eco-friendly choices is increasingly recognized. Her choice of an electric vehicle over traditional gasoline-powered cars sends a strong message about the importance of environmental responsibility, aligning with Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. This alignment boosts Tesla's brand and promotes a broader cultural shift towards sustainability.

In the context of celebrity endorsements, Kim Kardashian's showcase of the Tesla Cybertruck is a masterstroke. It merges the worlds of entertainment, technology, and sustainability, highlighting the evolving nature of brand-consumer relationships in the digital age. Tesla's innovative approach to vehicle design and its commitment to sustainability is amplified by Kardashian's endorsement, illustrating the power of celebrity influence in shaping consumer preferences and driving societal trends.

Ultimately, Kardashian driving a Cybertruck and branding herself as a "cool carpool mom" is a significant endorsement for Tesla, enhancing the brand's visibility, appeal, and alignment with sustainable values. In an era where brand success is increasingly tied to social influence and cultural relevance, Tesla's association with Kardashian can only be seen as a positive development, driving the brand further into the mainstream consciousness and reinforcing its position as a leader in the shift towards a more sustainable future.

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