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Tesla Radio Upgrade Incoming, Will Cost $500

In-car radios started to become a thing in the 1920s. It took the automotive industry three more decades to roll out FM radios thanks to Blaupunkt and Becker, and in 1955, Chrysler sweetened the deal with a seven-inch record player in high-end cars.
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There’s no denying that in-car entertainment has come a long way, and as a result of technological advancements, Tesla couldn’t make a case for AM, FM, and Sirius XM radio in the MCU2 infotainment system. Offered as an upgrade over the MCU1 of older Model S and Model X vehicles, the MCU2 also happens to cost a lot at $2,500.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the Palo Alto-based automaker has finally acknowledged the mistake it made. “An Electrek reader noted that Tesla has now updated the infotainment retrofit with an optional radio upgrade.” As the headline implies, you will have to pony up $500 on top of the $2,500 you’ve already spent.

According to Tesla, the fourth quarter of 2020 is when this upgrade will become available to S and X vehicles with the MCU2 infotainment system. “For vehicles that have not yet undergone an infotainment upgrade, we recommend having both the Infotainment Upgrade and Radio Upgrade installation performed at the same time.”

$3,000 is a lot of money when you think about it, but more importantly, AM and FM are essential in various parts of the world. The high mountains of Switzerland come to mind, where 4G and 3G aren’t available in certain locations. But still, $500 for amplitude modulation and frequency modulation is a rip-off if you remember that a 2 DIN radio costs less than $100 and a touchscreen-based system is cheaper than that.

To sum things up nicely, Tesla took away three types of radio with an upgrade of the infotainment system, then a few months down the line, the automaker is willing to re-enable AM, FM and Sirius XM as a standalone upgrade. Tesla isn’t alone in this controversial practice, though.

Porsche revived the 911 R for a brief period of time, and as opposed to the 911 Carrera on which it’s based, customers didn’t get air con or audio. Of course, both of them were available as costly extras.


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