Unveiling the Official Model 3 Highland Refresh

Unveiling the Official Model 3 Highland Refresh
Unveiling the Official Model 3 Highland Refresh

Shortly after leaked photos surfaced of the upcoming Tesla Model 3 highland refresh, known as “Project Highland,” Tesla has now officially introduced this eagerly awaited facelift in Europe.

The update comprises a refreshed front-end design, interior enhancements with more screen space, including a new rear display, and extended range. Tesla claims that over half of the vehicle’s components have been replaced, although the exact method of measuring this metric remains unclear.

The most noticeable change is the new design, which maintains much of the current Model 3’s appearance but refines the front end for a sleeker look. This update eliminates the somewhat bulky bump present in the current Model 3’s front end.

We got a glimpse of this front end in a leaked photo back in April, and it appears that it was indeed accurate. Now, with official photos from Tesla, you can fully appreciate the extent of these changes.

Model 3 Highland Refresh

These images feature the fresh “Ultra Red” shade, which is set to replace the existing red multi-coat option. However, it’s uncertain whether this color will be exclusive to the European market. We’ll need to await further updates from Tesla to confirm its availability.

The headlights have been redesigned to be narrower and more aggressive, aligning with the overall goal of giving the front end a sleeker appearance.

Tesla claims that the Model 3 Highland Refresh will offer increased range, with a WLTP rating of 344 miles for the SR RWD version and 421 miles for the LR, both equipped with 18″ aero wheels. These figures represent an impressive 11-12% improvement compared to the current Model 3’s WLTP ratings.

Model 3 Highland Refresh

It’s important to note that these numbers are based on WLTP testing, so the US EPA ratings may differ when they are released. If we anticipate a similar 11-12% boost, we can expect approximately a ~300-mile EPA range for the SR and ~370 miles for the LR. However, it’s worth considering that Tesla has faced criticism for potentially overestimating vehicle range, so these numbers should be taken into context.

The extended range is primarily achieved through enhancements in aerodynamics, thanks to a more streamlined and less bulky front end that directs airflow more efficiently. This improvement has resulted in a Cd (drag coefficient) of .219, which is Tesla’s lowest yet, down from .225 in the current Model 3. This alone contributes to a 5-8% increase in range.

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Another notable improvement is the introduction of new wheel cover inserts that strike a balance between meeting consumers’ preferences for larger-looking wheels and extending the vehicle’s range. These aerodynamic wheel inserts have the potential to significantly increase the range of the car. However, it’s worth noting that some individuals prefer the appearance of the wheels without these caps (although I personally disagree, it’s a matter of personal preference).

There are some notable changes inside the car:

  • A new 8-inch touchscreen at the back, allowing rear passengers to control the climate and entertainment.
  • The steering column no longer has traditional stalks; instead, it’s similar to the Model S and X. The gear selector is now on the touchscreen, and the turn signal buttons are on the left side of the steering wheel.
  • The front seats are now ventilated, and you can control them remotely using Tesla’s phone app to heat or cool them before you hop in.
  • The rear seats are comfier now, with a perforated design (although they don’t have ventilation like the front seats).
  • The sound system has been upgraded to 17 speakers, up from the previous 14.
  • The Bluetooth microphone performance is better.
  • There are improvements in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, making it easier to connect to routers and use phone keys.
  • The interior is now quieter compared to the original Model 3, thanks to changes in aerodynamics and materials.
  • You can customize the ambient lighting inside the car.
  • The rear trunk is larger, offering 594 liters of space, up from the previous 561 liters.

The updates have been implemented and are currently visible on Tesla’s European websites, where customers can now place orders for the Model 3 Highland Refresh.

What are your thoughts on the Model 3 Highland Refresh? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section.

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