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Electric

This aftermarket mod adds actual buttons to your Tesla’s interior

For anyone who thinks there’s a lack of knobs inside a Model 3 or Model Y…

Published: 30 Jan 2023

You probably know that Tesla favours a minimalist approach to interior design. 

Take the Model 3 and its bloated Model Y sibling for example – they both make do with two clickwheels on the steering wheel, an indicator stalk and a drive-selector stalk. Other than that, everything is controlled through the 15in central touchscreen. 

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In our review of the Model Y, we said: “We’d always prefer physical switchgear, because it’s easier to use without taking your eyes off the road, and you shouldn’t take your eyes off the road, because no car - not even a Tesla - can drive itself safely in all conditions.”

And it would seem that a fair few actual owners agree with us, because Norwegian startup Greenmission has now created the Ctrl-Bar – and at the time of writing it has more than doubled its fundraising goal on the crowdfunding website INDIEGOGO. They won’t be able to build them quick enough.

The Ctrl-Bar is an attachment that plugs into the Model 3/Y’s USB port and connects to the bottom of the touchscreen. It then connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and when you twist the physical knobs or press the proper buttons, an app tells the car what changes to make. The knobs always look after cabin temperature, but the buttons can be configured to activate a whole heap of different functions. 

Tesla Model 3 Model Y buttons Top Gear mod

We’re told that because of the Bluetooth connection, your phone needs to be connected to Wi-Fi or your 3G/4G/5G/8G network, and that the process means there will be a slight delay in the car reacting to things like changes in temperature. To smooth things out, the Ctrl-Bar has its own little screen that tells you what temperature you’ve chosen as the car catches up. 

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Greenmission says it’ll update the Ctrl-Bar using over-the-air updates (very Tesla), but at the moment it also includes LEDs that light up your footwells and a speed camera warning system that’ll apparently be available via a subscription.

Would this be an improvement to the Model 3/Y’s minimalist interior?

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