Recent reports have confirmed that the eagerly awaited refresh of the Tesla Model 3 cars, known as Project Highland, has entered full-scale production. According to sources in Shanghai, production of Project Highland began recently, with an anticipated output of 7,000 units in August and an increase to 10,000 units in September. This update comes with several improvements that not only enhance the Model 3’s appeal to both existing and potential Tesla owners but also result in cost efficiencies for Tesla.
One significant enhancement is a shift in manufacturing methods, drawing inspiration from techniques developed for the Tesla Model Y. Gigacasting is now being employed to create larger front and rear sections of the car in single pieces, a departure from the previous method that involved welding together over a hundred individual parts. This change not only improves efficiency but also likely contributes to cost savings.
The refreshed Tesla Model 3 is expected to feature updates in multiple aspects, including interior, powertrain, and exterior styling. One notable change is the anticipation of a larger battery for the base Model 3 RWD variant, which could potentially yield a WLTP estimated range of 550 km—a more than 10% increase over the current model. This extended range could play a role in assuaging concerns about electric vehicle (EV) range, making EV adoption more attractive to a wider audience.
The power outputs of the drive units, particularly in the Performance variant, are still uncertain. The Performance variant currently boasts an output of 377 kW and a top speed of 261 km/h. While specific changes in this area remain undisclosed, they could potentially contribute to an even more appealing driving experience.
With the Model Y gaining significant popularity and overshadowing the demand for the Model 3, this update aims to revitalize interest in the latter. Current prices for the Model 3 are at their lowest, and the introduction of an updated version at a similar price point in the near future is likely to attract new buyers and encourage existing Model 3 owners to consider upgrading. This influx of refreshed Model 3 units in the market could also bolster the availability of used EVs, contributing to the ongoing effort to make EVs more affordable and accessible.
As Tesla accelerates the production of the refreshed Model 3, enthusiasts and potential buyers are eagerly anticipating further updates that will shed light on the improvements and refinements in store for this popular electric car.