Nothing can set the mood for Valentine’s Day like a roaring fire and a little romantic music. But what can you do in your car?
Without much fanfare, Tesla created a wacky “romance mode” for its electric vehicles aimed at delighting the hearts of its owners not only on a special day for love – but all year.
It’s an example of how CEO Elon Musk, at his most playful, if not most outrageous, is trying to set Tesla’s electric vehicles apart from the rest of the field.
To activate “romance mode,” drivers push an icon on a little display on the dashboard. It’s one of several free “modes” that include vintage video games and even bodily sounds.
Up pops a video of a roaring fireplace on the car’s center screen, complete with the late Marvin Gaye or others crooning sexy music. Romance mode also turns on the car seat heaters.
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In the name of safe sex, “romantic mode” only works while the car is parked.
Since the display in the Model S luxury sedan and Model X SUV is 17 inches, among the largest of any vehicle, there’s no missing the romantic inferno.
The feature is available in the new Model 3 sedan, which is smaller and cheaper than the Model S, with a still prominent 15-inch center screen.
To add a little more warmth to the romantic encounter, the feature also appears to turn on the car’s heater.
“Romance mode” was beamed to cars in December. It is one of several games and joke features that Tesla has added lately.
Tesla regularly updates its vehicles with over-the-air updates while they sit in customers’ garages, a sharp departure from auto industry practice in the past in which they needed to be brought in to dealerships.