Model S and X to Get Updated Wheel, Ambient Lighting and Front Bumper Camera [Updated]

By Not a Tesla App Staff
An updated yoke is coming to the Model S and Model X, along with ambient lighting and more
An updated yoke is coming to the Model S and Model X, along with ambient lighting and more
Not a Tesla App

Tesla appears to be ready to unveil some changes to the Model S and Model X.

The Model S and Model X will gain updated "efficiency" packages in 2024. References to these hardware changes were spotted by Tesla enthusiast Greentheonly in the 2023.44.30.8 vehicle firmware. Green goes on to say that Tesla makes efficiency package changes when there are changes to the battery or drivetrain that affect the vehicle's range.

However, these changes don't necessarily mean the changes will improve efficiency or increase the vehicle's range.

Former Tesla service technician, Anthony Spina mentions that Tesla last changed an efficiency package in 2021 when they increased the battery pack for the Model 3 and Model Y from a 77 kWh battery to a 82 kWh battery. Tesla also added more efficient motors at the time.

Tesla recently updated their EPA mileage for new models in the U.S. and Canada due to government-required testing changes. Although vehicle hardware didn't change, the EPA estimates are now lower than before across most Tesla models, including other EVs.

This is because the EPA now requires vehicle manufacturers to account for all acceleration modes and averaging them when determining the vehicle's range.

To combat less efficient stopping modes, Tesla is removing roll and creep modes on new Model 3 and Model Ys in these countries.

Update: New Model Xs have now come off the assembly line with the new steering wheel we talk about in this article, although they do not include additional changes to the battery pack, drivetrain or the ambient lighting and front bumper camera changes. It appears that Green’s findings for the new efficiency package in the vehicle’s firmware may have been related to Tesla’s updated EPA range estimates and not related to changes to the battery pack or drivetrain themselves, as they have been in the past.

However, the new Model S and Model X are still expected to receive the ambient lighting treatment akin to the new Model 3 and the front bumper camera like the Cybertruck.

Center Horn

While looking through the firmware's code, Green also found a reference to a new yoke for the Model S and Model X. The new wheel will finally feature a mechanical horn in the center. Since the new Model S was revealed in 2021, it has used a small button on the steering wheel to activate the vehicle's horn.

We've heard that this center horn has been coming for a while now, but given that it's now showing up in Tesla's firmware, it looks like a release may finally be near.

Ambient Lighting and Bumper Camera Also Coming

The Model S is due for a new seat design. A few months ago, the parts catalog displayed a different seat design with a much higher and more narrow headrest. Directly below the headrest is a Plaid badge that looks like it could be swapped out for different designs. The seat design is similar to the RECARO or Sparco racing seats, two leaders in the performance automotive seat field.

The ambient lighting in the new Model 3, and Cybertruck has been a popular feature, adding an option to the vehicle's cabin that resonates with the high-tech feel of these vehicles. The ambient lighting addition is certainly coming to other models, and our source previously confirmed that it will include the Model S and Model X. Remember the Model Y refresh, code name Juniper is underway.

The front camera is also featured in the Cybertruck and will undoubtedly be added to the rest of the fleet. The camera removes the blind spot just in front of the car for those tight parking spaces and has been a welcome addition after removing other sensors. Our source also confirmed that the front bumper camera will also be arriving on the Model S and X.

However, all of these changes may not necessarily arrive at the same time. Tesla is all about efficiency and doesn’t roll out changes with model years, so they will typically only add new parts when they’ve used up their current supply. We could see the bumper camera arrive first and later followed by ambient lighting, although we wouldn’t expect these features to be very far apart.

It’s the start of a new year, but the same ol’Tesla, a company that continues to make changes, adapting to new testing and customer preferences.

Sweet Move: Tesla Shifts from Creating EVs to Making Candy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has filed four new trademarks recently, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. These trademarks aren’t exactly what you’d expect from Tesla – they’re not for cars, not for batteries, and not for any cool new software features.

They’re for sweet, sweet, candy!

Candy Trademarks

Tesla has filed 4 distinct trademarks in its filings with the USPTO, for the following four names.

  • Supercharged Gummy

  • Cyberberry

  • Mango Bolt

  • Dog Mode Chill

The trademarks don’t come with any particular logos, art, or renderings, or it doesn’t reveal anything besides the names of the candy or candy-like items. Tesla filed these trademarks last month on June 25th.

While we’re not quite sure exactly what type of candies these will be, there is one thing we can knock off the bat – given how premium Tesla’s food products have been, these will likely include high-quality ingredients with a matching price point.

Elon Musk previously hinted that he wanted to start a candy company, and claimed he was super serious. Given his usual 2-week timeline, starting it 7-years later under Tesla seems fairly fitting. Jokes aside, we hope that the candies will launch sometime before the Tesla van, otherwise you can expect some more jokes on that front.

Tesla is well known for designing and selling non-vehicle merchandise. In the past, they’ve sold a glass decal that makes your window look like it was shattered with a metal bearing, Tesla Tequila, the Cybertruck whistle and many others.

Maybe we’ll hear more about Elon’s candy ambitions during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, which will be taking place this coming Tuesday, July 23rd.

Tesla Looking to Hire 800 New Employees After Recent Layoffs, Large Focus on Energy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Just three months after Elon Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, and laid off many employees at Tesla, the company is now looking to hire 800 new employees.

This comes after many members of the Supercharger team were hired back after their initial layoffs.

New Hirings

Tesla’s careers page now has more than 800 open positions today, and positions go from anywhere between engineers for artificial intelligence or batteries, ADAS testers in local communities, or service and desk employees for service centers.

Most of the new jobs focus on engineering positions, and many positions in Legal Affairs, Business Support, and vehicle software positions have not been posted or renewed. Those sections remain empty, at least in North America.

Tesla Energy Focus

Interestingly, quite a few of the new positions focus on Telsa Energy and its role in the company. There are several positions for supporting the deployments of Powerwall and Megapack, as well as doing further engineering work on these types of stationary battery systems.

Just recently, Tesla secured a $375 million Megapack contract in Australia – to build one of the biggest 4-hour battery banks in the world. This comes just days after the announcement of a $256 million Megapack contract to expand a different Australian facility.

We’re expecting Tesla to bank more towards its energy business – which has really just started getting off the ground with recent factory expansions and new business. Tesla Powerwall also recently hit some spectacular milestones – 100MW in California delivered to the grid, and 200,000 hours of backup power after Hurricane Beryl in Texas.

Powerwall and Megapack are going to be defining features of Tesla’s business – and we hope to see Tesla Solar – both Solar Panels and Tesla’s Solar Roof, also become more available to the mass market, just like Powerwall is today.

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