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Tesla Model 3 receives refreshed look, loses stalks

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Automotive Innovation

Tesla has revealed the updated iteration of its Model 3, formerly codenamed “Highland,” designed for the European market. The refreshed exterior design focuses on enhanced aerodynamics, although Tesla has not disclosed the updated coefficient of drag. Photographs released by the company display a redesigned front end featuring slimmer headlights, potential alterations to the sedan’s side contouring, and a novel taillight configuration.

Aside from aesthetic changes, the revamped Model 3 boasts upgraded tires and wheels, introduces two new colors, and incorporates several notable modifications within the interior. The general arrangement of the dashboard remains consistent, housing a prominent horizontal touchscreen at its center. However, similar to the Model S and Model X, Tesla has done away with conventional stalks, including the gear selector. These functions have transitioned to the touchscreen interface, while supplementary touchpads on the steering wheel handle additional tasks.

Unlike the Model S and Model X, the unconventional steering yoke that was introduced in January 2021 as part of a refresh has not been adopted for the Model 3. Although it has since become an optional feature for the aforementioned models, Tesla has refrained from implementing it in the updated Model 3.

The interior enhancements encompass ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, and heated seating for both the front and rear occupants. Furthermore, an 8.0-inch rear display has been introduced to manage climate and entertainment functions. The primary touchscreen, measuring 15.4 inches, now boasts a reduced bezel size and higher contrast to facilitate improved visibility in direct sunlight. Tesla asserts that the touchscreen is also more responsive and points out upgrades to interior materials.

Tesla has implemented acoustic glass to enhance sound insulation and mitigate wind noise, thus enhancing the auditory experience when using the available 17-speaker audio system, complete with dual subwoofers and amplifiers. However, it remains unclear which of these interior enhancements will be carried over to the U.S. market.

The revised Model 3 exhibits dimensions of 185.8 inches in length, 76.2 inches in width, and 56.7 inches in height, potentially slightly wider than the existing version. Notably, Tesla specifies a curb weight of nearly 3,900 pounds, emphasizing augmented body rigidity. Changes have also been made to the suspension tuning for improved performance.

Regarding performance, Tesla has asserted an approximate 10 to 12% increase in range for the European market due to the aerodynamic improvements. Nevertheless, it remains uncertain how these changes will translate to the U.S. model upon release. Anticipated EPA range figures for the U.S. Model 3 are expected to remain comparable to the current version, with base iterations estimated at 272 miles and Long Range variants at 333 miles.

The Model 3’s appearance has seen minimal changes since its introduction in 2017. Tesla introduced base variants of the Model 3 equipped with lithium iron phosphate batteries in late 2021 and has made various adjustments to pricing. Recently, the company reduced prices for select inventory vehicles by over $5,000 in certain cases.

Given its foundation on the Model 3 platform, the Model Y crossover, which commenced deliveries in 2020, is also likely to receive analogous updates in the near future.

Tesla has projected an October/November delivery timeframe for the revamped Model 3 in multiple European locations, offering both base and Long Range versions. Additionally, reports suggest that deliveries for the updated Model 3 have commenced in China, with deliveries scheduled for later in the fourth quarter. However, no specific timeline for the U.S. release has been provided as of the time of this publication.

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What are the key changes in the refreshed Tesla Model 3?

The refreshed Tesla Model 3 features enhanced aerodynamics, including a redesigned front end, slimmer headlights, and updated taillights. The interior boasts upgraded materials, ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, and a touchscreen-based control system.

How has Tesla altered the interior of the Model 3?

While the general dashboard layout remains unchanged, Tesla has removed traditional stalks, including the gear selector, and shifted these functions to the central touchscreen. Touchpads on the steering wheel handle additional tasks, providing a novel and streamlined control experience.

What improvements have been made to the Model 3’s touchscreen?

The Model 3’s primary touchscreen, measuring 15.4 inches, now features a smaller bezel and higher contrast, ensuring improved visibility under direct sunlight. It is also more responsive, enhancing user interaction. This touchscreen houses controls for various functions, including gear selection.

Has the driving range of the Model 3 been extended with the refresh?

Tesla claims a 10 to 12% increase in driving range for the European market due to the aerodynamic enhancements. However, it remains uncertain how this improvement will translate to the U.S. model. The anticipated EPA range figures are expected to remain similar to the current version.

What other changes are present in the refreshed Model 3?

The updated Model 3 introduces acoustic glass for enhanced sound insulation and reduced wind noise. Additionally, the vehicle’s body stiffness has been increased, and suspension tuning has been revised for improved performance.

When will the refreshed Model 3 be available in different markets?

Tesla projects an October/November delivery timeframe for the revamped Model 3 in various European locations. Deliveries for the updated Model 3 have commenced in China, with U.S. availability yet to be announced.

Is the Model Y receiving similar updates to the Model 3?

Yes, the Model Y, which shares its platform with the Model 3, is likely to receive analogous updates in the near future, as Tesla consistently improves its vehicle lineup based on technological advancements and customer preferences.

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SpeedDemonX September 1, 2023 - 3:53 pm

model y next in line for these updates? makes sense, they share DNA. can’t wait for that crossover with the new digs. tesla’s playin’ the long game.

CryptoDriver September 1, 2023 - 10:29 pm

heard model 3 got boosted range in europe, but what ’bout US? confused ’bout that. tesla keepin’ us guessin’. gotta love them EVs tho.

EcoWarrior23 September 2, 2023 - 6:03 am

wow, acoustic glass for less noise, and better insulation? tesla’s on it. hope they bring these green upgrades to all their rides. electric revolution, here we come!

CarEnthusiast94 September 2, 2023 - 7:57 am

tesla model 3 lookin’ fresh! new front, slim headlights, taillights lookin’ new too. interior got some fancy upgrades, touchpad steering, big screen. better sound too, yay!

TechGeekGuru September 2, 2023 - 9:00 am

touchscreens takin’ over, huh? gear selector, no stalks, all on big screen? gotta say, it’s futuristic, but wonder ’bout practicality. let’s see how it pans out.


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