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

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.

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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