Tesla Model S UI coming to 2022 Model Y, possibly all Teslas

By Nuno Cristovao

When the refreshed Model S was revealed this summer, we were introduced to a brand new user interface. An interface that was different from all other Teslas.

Tesla Model S UI
Tesla Model S UI

The feature set of the new software is essentially the same as other Tesla models, minus any features that are exclusive to the refreshed Model S, such as Active Road Noise Reduction.

However, the new UI does bring some capabilities that make it easier to use and more versatile.

Some of the biggest changes in the UI include customizable buttons along the bottom of the screen.

It also introduces the ability to drag and dock windows to different parts of the screen.

There are many smaller changes as well, such as a mini music player that sits on top of the map. The mini player gives you quick access to music controls used most often, such as skip and pause.

The new Model S and Model X contain Tesla's latest infotainment hardware, known as MCU 3. It features a more powerful processor, the AMD Ryzen, instead of the Intel Atom processor that is used in MCU 2.

MCU 3 gives Tesla the ability to have a richer UI. The animations in the new UI are smooth and fluid when dragging windows and tapping buttons.

Up until recently Tesla's MCU 3 was exclusive to the new Model S and Model X, however recent Model Y vehicles coming out of China now also include the new MCU.

Although new Model Ys in China now feature Tesla's latest MCU, they are still running the same UI that is found in all Model 3 and Model Y cars.

The speculation began whether these Model Ys would be upgraded to run the new UI that is found in refreshed Model S vehicles. Since they use the same hardware, they should both be capable of running the same software.

New User Interface Coming

A new document that was presented to the European Union outlines changes coming to the Model Y. The document confirms that new 2022 Model Y vehicles, known as V20 will indeed support the new user interface that is used on the new Model S.

The new interface will need to be adapted to a slightly smaller screen since Model Ys have a 15” screen instead of the Model S' 17” screen. However, the bigger adjustment and likely the reason why new Model Ys are not running this new UI yet, is because the software still needs to be adapted to support a single screen.

Since Model 3 and ModelYs only contain a single screen, all the information that is included in the Model S' intrument cluster needs to also appear on the Model Y's main screen. This includes information such as the car's visualizations, speedometer and more.

It's not clear whether visualizations in the Model Y will be permanently docked to the side of the screen like they are in current Model Ys, or whether Tesla will treat them as an app and let you move them around or even hide them.

Current Model 3 / Model Y

The big question on everyone's mind is whether current Model 3 and Model Ys will support the new UI.

There has been no official word from Tesla or Elon Musk, but we expect that this question will be asked more often and Tesla will provide an official answer in the future.

There are various possibilities and reasons why Tesla may or may not support the new UI on current vehicles.

The first possibility is that Tesla will support the new UI on current vehicles, but it will require an upgrade to MCU 3.

This won't be a cheap upgrade, likely in the $2,000-$3,000 or more range, but there would be additional benefits by upgrading the MCU as well, such as faster rebooting, faster loading of apps and even new features that may be exclusive to MCU 3.

The other two possibilities are more obvious, either Tesla will support the new UI on MCU 2 or they won't.

There is currently speculation and good arguments for both sides.

Up until 2017 Tesla was releasing vehicles with MCU 1. All Tesla UI updates in the past have applied to MCU 1 and MCU 2 vehicles. Of course, there are some features that are exlusive to MCU 2, like Tesla Theater, but the look and feel of the interface is the same across the vehicles.

It's possible that Tesla will follow a similar approach and make the new UI available to all.

There are other smaller reasons, such as Elon saying that Auto Shift is coming to all Teslas. That feature is exclusive to the new UI thus far.

There are various other reasons that lead us to think that Tesla may bring the new UI to all vehicles. This may mean that some features such as window dragging or window docking get dropped, but it's very much possible we'll see the new UI in all Teslas.

As many reasons as there are for Tesla supporting the new Model S UI on older Teslas, there are just as many reasons why Tesla won't be able to.

It's obvious that the new interface requires more horsepower, more than MCU 1 or maybe even MCU 2 can deliver. The UI lets you drag apps around. It lets you have multiple apps on screen at the same time, but these more intensive features could be removed for vehicles that may not be able to handle them.

Perhaps the most convincing reason for the new UI not becoming available for all vehicles is that Tesla engineers have said MCU 2 isn't capable of running the new interface. These comments were made by a couple Tesla engineers, so it's definitely not official by any means. They were also said when the new Model S was released this summer, so it's possible a lot has changed since then.

One thing is for sure. Tesla has a history of supporting older vehicles, regardless of the model year. In fact, Tesla still delivers updates to the original Model S that was released in 2012. If Tesla can find a way to bring the new UI to all Teslas, then they most likely will.

Elon tweeted just yesterday that Tesla will be releasing a Holiday Update this year with many ‘cool' features. Who knows what's in store for us. However, just like Christmas, lets temper our expectations and be thankful for anything we receive.

Mysterious Covered Up Model 3 Raises Questions

By Kevin Armstrong
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
@omg_tesla & CloudWalking

If it isn’t the worst-looking LeBra ever made, then what is it? This oddly covered-up Model 3 appeared in the wild just days after Reuters reported Tesla was revamping the popular car. The plot thickens as Teslarati reports the license plates to indicate the vehicle is from Tesla. But what is the biggest secret under the horribly fitting covers?

Twitter user @omg_tesla spotted the car in a parking garage in Santa Cruz, California. Twitter users filled the replies with a lot of speculation. But of interest, the cabin of the car is wide open and visible. This eliminates a lot of conjecture that this is a revamped version. There is a belief the company is trying to cut costs to get the Model 3 under $55,000 to qualify for the US tax incentive in 2023. However, some cost savings will be found in the Model 3’s interior.

That would lead us to believe that the only secret things on this car are some design changes in the front and back. However, on close examination, it doesn’t appear to be different than the current Model 3. The headlights look the same if you follow the lining and the taillights look identical to what is in production as well.

Reddit user CloudWalking, found a different Model 3 similarly covered up a couple of days later.

Twitter user @Aiaddict1, who's a former Tesla employee, tweeted: Tesla policy requires employees who use certain eng fleet cars in public to always use a car cover when parked in public if the vehicle is equipped with hardware not known or available to the public. I know this as I used to drive the eng fleet prototypes. This looks to be one.

Whatever is under those odd covers remains a mystery. Reuters reported that the Tesla revamp, called Project Highland, would start to roll off production lines in the third quarter of 2023. They also quoted Ed Kim, president of AutoPacific Group, who said, “consumers still tend to equate visual changes with newness. Tesla knows visually tangible changes are in order. The upcoming changes that potential customers can see and feel will be very important in ensuring that EV customers still have Tesla at the top of their minds as truly excellent alternatives to Tesla are starting to flood the market.”

Nevertheless, Twitter "detectives" joked that this is the newest Tesla paint protection, bug screen or perhaps automotive underwear. Personally, I think if the covers were off, it would’ve drawn far less attention as there are a lot of Teslas in California, but none sporting these covers.

It's not clear what Tesla is testing with these vehicles, although it doesn't appear to be related to the "revamp" of the Model 3. However, it very likely includes some sort of changes that haven't been publicly announced yet.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
MissJilianne/Twitter

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Electrek

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Electrek

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
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