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What's YOUR reason for getting/not getting the tech package?

Here is the feature list for the tech package:

Xenon headlamps
Electrochromatic side mirrors
LED foglights
Convenience lighting
Power rear liftgate
High definition back-up camera
Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates
Automatic keyless entry

Xenon headlamps and Homelink are must-haves for me, the rest is just gravy adding to the "wow" factor.

What's driving your decision to include/exclude this package?

@ stevenmaifert - Could you upload a pic from front w/o xenon lamps please ! TIA

@nickjhowe - I'm not a TMC member. It's hard enough to keep up with this forum. I don't mind if you want to start a wiki over there and quote anything I've said on this forum. Maybe it will attract some other non-tech owners. I believe everything I've said here to be accurate, but confirmation by others is always a bonus.

@kmellachervu - Unfortunately I don't have an online picture account with anybody, but if you want to email me at, I would be happy to reply with pics.

Just sent the pics kmellachervu asked for. While I was at it, I took a shot of the touchscreen with the non-tech package Maps app displayed. If someone would like to post it or just see it, send me an email at the above address and I will send it to you.

For anyone that's interested, here is a picture of the halogen headlamps from over on TMC.

I know; I assumed that was deliberate, so that's why you got the 'Grats!

I added a couple more pics of the non-tech headlights as well as a pic of the "Maps" app (photos courtesy of steven maifert) over on the TMC forums, thanks again Steve!

I was reading the description of the maps on the other forum. I noticed it said the arrow only follows for a brief time and then stops. Are all non-tech maps the same way? Seems odd.

@schoendp - I read the comments on the TMC post you are referring to. Apologies in advance for the length of this post.

1) The Google maps. The Google map in the Maps app is different from the one in the browser. We knew that. AFAIK, the Google map in the non-tech Maps app is the same as the Google map in the Nav app in the tech package.

2) Display of search results. Search results are displayed by the app dropping a pin on the location as well as opening a dialog box above the pin with known info about the location contained in the Google data base. See Pg. 21 in the Owner's Guide. There is no X in the dialog box to close it out. What the poster on TMC may not have known is that tapping the screen anywhere on the map just outside of the dialog box will close it and leave the location pin in place. I suspect he was closing it by tapping the cancel search button that appears just below the search line box. That will make the pin and the box disappear.

3) Now to your question, and this is a biggie. Referring back to Pg. 21 of the Owner's Guide, there is a small circular icon at the far right of the search line. The guide narrative is "Center the map on your current location." This is a toggle on, toggle off icon. When toggled on, it appears blue. The map will center on your location, with the red location arrow in the center of the map. As you drive, the red arrow will remain stationary in the center of the map, pointing in your direction of travel and the map will move under the arrow. If you purposely or accidentally (as I did and didn't know it) toggle off, the icon will grey out. The map becomes stationary on your location (instead of the red arrow) and as you drive, the red arrow will move about the map, such that you can literally drive off the map and the red arrow disappears. After I recovered from my panic attack, I figured out what happened, toggled the icon back on and all became right with the world again. I suspect this might be what happened to the poster on TMC.

Excellent observation on #3 Steven. I ddn't realize this until I watched the Tesla training video. He identifies it so quickly it's easy to miss. I explained it to my significant other this way: Either the ground is moving or you are.

stevenmaifert - thanks for the clarification - that makes sense.

One other question I have may be tougher to answer. This question applies to both the tech version and the non-tech version. If you don't have a 3G connection, does the maps app (non-tech) and the nav app (tech) still work on the 17" display. On tech, I believe the tbt will still work on the screen above the steering wheel, but I haven't heard if you need 3G for the maps/nav apps to work.


My 3G cut out a few days ago and I had no map on 17in screen until I rebooted the display. I have the tech package.

markapterman - intersting, I was thinking that if I got the tech package I might be able to save the monthly charge of the data plan. However, it now appears, if you want to use the 17" display as a map (for tech or non-tech) then you need the data plan. I was not aware of this until now.

@schoendp - It does appear you need data connectivity for the Google map to be fully functional. It remains to be seen if TM will someday give us the ability to cache the map and still have something to work with in the event of data signal loss.

I just talked with the Ownership team at Tesla and they said that you will be able to cache the map for future use, regardless of whether you have tech or non-tech. In addition, that download does not need to be done with 3G. You will be able to use your home wifi connection to download maps of the U.S. and store them on the car. The GPS locator will then show where you are on the map. Other than the line drawn on the 17" map (for tech), there is really no difference between the tech and non-tech when it comes to the 17" map only. Obviously you lose tbt above the steering wheel on non-tech. If you don't really care about tbt or are willing to use your phone, then the cost of the tech package really comes down to whether you want the hardware upgrades. Essentially, are xenon headlights, power lift gate, etc. worth $3,750.

stevenmaifert - can you also confirm that a non-tech car still has the cool lights that run in a slightly curved line above the headlight. It looks as though that is the case from your pics, but I wanted to be absolutely sure.

schoendp - Those are the Daytime Running Lights you are referring to and yes, the non-tech MS has them.

On a separate thread you asked about fog lights in the non-tech. There are no fog lights. There is a smokey grey lens covering the assembly where the fog lights would be. If you peer in with a flashlight, you see an amber refector angled sideways (90 degrees from centerline), and the hole where the fog light would go that is plugged with a plastic blank. I wouldn't be surprised if the wiring was there, but that's a question for the service techs. I also don't have the Fog button as depicted on Pg. 8 of the Owner's Guide.

stevenmaifert - thanks for the update. My guess is some $ could make it an operable fog light down the road. I wish it came standard, but not a big loss.


"Other than the line drawn on the 17" map (for tech), there is really no difference between the tech and non-tech when it comes to the 17" map only."

With the tech package, you also get written turn-by-turn directions on the 17" map. A box appears on the screen with arrows and street names for the next several turns. These directions are also announced over the speakers.

Steven- Thanks for all your info. Quick question, saw your pic on the TMC site and was wondering if the non tech has the DRL running vertically along the bottom housing where the foglights would be. Also, are the two horizontal trims running from the foglights towards the center of the car chrome? Thanks!!! - Every new question is a learning experience for me. Look at this picture: If what you are referring to is what appears to be DRLs on the outside of the foglight assembly, I do not have that.

My assembly is covered in the smokey grey plastic I referred to above, where the picture here has some clear plastic in front of the foglight. Since I had to turn the lights on to research your question, I discovered that the amber reflector referenced above is actually the lens of a parking light.

With respect to those horizontal trim pieces, mine are black plastic although in the picture I referenced, they do look like chrome. Can anyone comment as to whether that's part of the tech package, or a feature of the Sigs?

This probably isn't news, but on my car with the tech package, I do have fog lights (including the button on the touch screen). They go on only when the headlights are on.

@stevenmaifert - Steven, now that you've had your car for a while, would you order it again without the Tech Package? Any upddated thoughts for people deciding on their configuration? Thanks.

I'm skipping the tech package because all I really want from it is the homelink and the automatic keyless entry, but not for that price. I'm sure a significant part of that pricing is the navigation system, but really, who can't get nav on their phone these days? Sure the headlights might be nice, but I bet they can be replaced with aftermarket LED lights for much less. I plan on replacing the mirror with an aftermarket homelink mirror for about $320. The infinity homelink mirror looks like it would be a perfect replacement. - Yes, I would still have ordered it without the Tech package. No regrets. Each of us must decide how much the features of the Tech package enhance our driving experience, and if it's worth the price. For me personally, it just wasn't there. As an aside, I was at the San Diego Service Center Friday to purchase a Tire Repair Kit and noticed they had 21 Model S awaiting delivery in the lot. Only one was a non-Tech.

Steven, is there a way to tell it's non-Tech just by looking at it, or did you have to turn it on and look at the screen icons?

For me, it wasn't any one thing that I had to have it for but rather the whole collection. Basically, I just felt like if I spent this much on a car, I would resent not having these various features.

@DouglasR - The fog/parking light assembly is distinctly different between Tech and non-Tech. Check out this company picture: You see the clear plastic in front of the fog light lens and what appears to be DRL's on the outside edge of the assembly. Now check the assembly on the white Model S here: The whole assembly is covered in a smokey grey plastic and no DRLs. That's my MS by the way. Additionally, there are two flat horizontal plastic trim pieces that run from the inner edge of that light assembly. The leading edge of those trim pieces are chrome on a Tech, and no chrome on a non-Tech.

FWIW, the German turn-by-turn display and coaching to the left of the speedometer is the best I have seen. They seem to have figured out what's important.

are you referring to the display of the exit signs in the display? I've seen that in videos from US test drives as well (green US exit signs compared to blue German/EU exit signs).

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