Tesla developing revamped Model 3 under “Project Highland:” report

Recent reports have emerged suggesting that Tesla is developing a revamped version of its best-selling all-electric sedan, the Model 3. The revamp, which is reportedly codenamed “Project Highland,” is part of the EV maker’s efforts to cut production costs on the vehicle while boosting its appeal to consumers. 

The Tesla Model 3 has been in the market for several years now, and while the vehicle underwent a refresh back in October 2020, most of the changes that were implemented then were relatively minor. These included a new center console, new door panels, a power trunk, new wheels and headlights, and a number of other iterative changes. 

Citing several individuals reportedly familiar with the matter, Reuters noted that “Project Highland” would involve improvements to the Model 3 that would reduce the number of the car’s components and the complexity of its interior. The revamp will reportedly also focus on features that Tesla buyers value the most, such as the infotainment system. 

The publication’s sources noted that the Model 3 revamp would also include some updates to the Model 3’s exterior and powertrain performance. The updated all-electric sedan would reportedly go into production at the Fremont Factory and Gigafactory Shanghai, the Tesla plants where the Model 3 is currently being produced. As per Reuters‘ sources, the redesigned Model 3 should be put into production in Q3 2023. 

The improvements that were hinted at by the publication’s sources suggest that Tesla would likely implement some of the innovations that have been introduced on the Model Y to the Model 3. So far, the Model Y has been ramped in several factories with key innovations such as front and rear megacasts. Units made in Giga Texas are even equipped with the company’s structural battery packs. Considering that both the Model Y and Model 3 are Tesla’s mass-market cars, it would not be surprising if the all-electric sedan’s revamp involves innovations such as the use of megacasts and structural battery packs as well. 

It should be noted, however, that the Model 3s today have already gone through numerous improvements over the years. Thus, even if the vehicle looks the same as before, its software and hardware have already been improved. However, Ed Kim, president of AutoPacific Group, noted that consumers would likely appreciate changes to the Model 3 that are visually evident.

“Consumers still tend to equate visual changes with newness. Tesla knows visually tangible changes are in order. The upcoming changes that potential customers can see and feel will be very important in ensuring that EV customers still have Tesla at the top of their minds as truly excellent alternatives to Tesla are starting to flood the market,” Kim said. 

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