TMC Member Reviews Model S Infotainment Upgrade

Tesla announced earlier this month that owners of Model S and Model X vehicles built March 2018 or earlier are eligible for a $2,500 “Infotainment Upgrade.”

TMC Member zanary picked up his 2017 Model S from the service center Monday with a fresh install of the new computer, the same you’ll find a brand new Tesla.

Here’s zanary’s summary: “This is possibly the best $2500 you will even spend on your Model S/X.”

He offered a some early observations on the MCU2 upgrade:

My Vehicle: 2017 Model S P100D, built and delivered in September 2017. It is equipped with MCU1, AP 2.5 and I have the Full Self Driving pre-purchased. It’s fully wrapped with a graphic wrap and had no issues with Tesla performing the upgrade. I was already running 2020.12 prior to the upgrade. Still running 2020.12 after the upgrade. I only noticed that they pushed out 2020.12 just once after it was all completed. I assume that the option codes were updated, so when 2020.12 was re-installed it added all of the new “stuff” that is supported on MCU2.

Here are the details that might interest some of you.

  • You do get a new MCU screen. Mine still had the plastic protective wrap on it which I remove when I got into the vehicle.
  • You do get a new IC screen.
  • All settings are retained except for. (1) WIFI settings/connections, (2) Bluetooth settings/pairings, (3) Web browser favorites.
  • Trip values, and custom labels are retained.
  • Seat positions, mirror positions, and driver profile settings for each driver remain.
  • Navigation history and favorites are retained.
  • Favorite audio stations are retained (Slacker, and Tune-In)
  • Historical audio stations are also retained.
  • The warning “beeps” that Joe Mode reduces are much louder than with MCU1. This may freak you out at first, but it’s loud. It will sure get your attention.
  • Two type of vehicle calibrations are needed. (1) One for Autopilot basic features, (2) One for lane changes with/without notification. If you go into the Autopilot Settings you’ll that the second one only starts to calibrate once the first one has been completed.
  • Wifi appears much quicker
  • LTE appears much quicker. It still connects to 3G when out of 4G and LTE range. The bar visuals have no change, but connection is much quicker.
  • The games had to be downloaded for the 1st time. You need Wifi for this.
  • There was a required Navigation update that had to be done over WIFI.
  • Overall, the MCU is 100x quicker. HUGE improvement in responsiveness. HUGE improvement in refresh of data on the screen.
  • Visuals on IC2 are 100x smoother and more detailed than before. Animation is 100x better as well, and so smooth.
  • All visuals (garbage cans, cones, lights, road markings, bike land markings, etc…) all appear on IC2
  • I did have to re-enable Ambient Lights. Maybe they turned it off during the install.
  • The scroll wheels are hugely responsive. Each scroll now is recorded whereas before I would have to scroll a few times for it to reduce the volume or the temperature (both scroll wheels behave the same, so it was not a defective scroll wheels). Now, they operate so smoothly and with immediate response.
  • I have the Premium Audio (which was standard on my MS). Before the upgrade I had a EQ that went to 12. Now it only goes to 8. It also has Immersive Sound with three options, however I tested it out with a variety of music (classical, dance, gansta rap, disco, pop, and Spanish), and they all sound the same. I think before I had Off and Dolby Surround. Now I don’t see Dolby listed anywhere.
  • The release notes, manual all appears immediately. No issues with a blank screen anymore.
  • YouTube works perfectly (like your iPhone in portrait mode where the vide is on the top, followed by meta-data below it). Sound quality is impressive for YouTube.
  • I got my USB Drive working again. Just plugged it in. Before I dropped it off, I got the “USB Full” false positive error that everyone is reporting (even on 2020.12), but when I just plugged it in after the upgrade, it works perfectly. Not too sure why as I had 2020.12 before and after the upgrade. Very happy that it’s recording both Sentry and Dashcam again. It’s the S500 – TeslaCam SSD Extreme from PureTesla if anyone is curious.
  • There is no FM/AM/XM radio. We knew that, but I just wanted to confirm this finding in the event you were hopeful.
  • I did not get to keep the old MCU1/IC1. There was a $1000 core charge if I wanted to keep it.
  • I did not notice any sort of USB charging speed increase (in case you were thinking that the amperage might be increased).
  • Before you drop off your vehicle, turn off any Vehicle PIN you might have setup. You will need to re-enable it once you get your Tesla back.
  • When you re-pair your Tesla with your iPhone, the name will now change to Tesla Model S followed by the name of your vehicle. Before the default was just Tesla Model S.
  • When I re-connected my Tesla to my home WIFI, it shows up with a new MAC address, and the manufacture of the chipset appears to be LG Innotek now (previously it was Parrot SA). I’ve only noticed a 2.4ghz connection, but I’m sure it will switch to 5.0ghz when it needs to download something heavy (software, game updates, another navigation update).

Note: I mention x100 throughout the above bullets not as a exact measurement, but as a emotion statement to indicate that it’s so damn quick. It’s night and day!

Check out the full post here.

Image: Tesla

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