Is Tesla Preparing to Unveil its Rumored ‘Highland’ Model 3?
Some think that Tesla could finally be preparing to launch its Model 3 “Highland,” which is expected to feature simplified components and, potentially, a lower price tag. In recent weeks, a few sources have reported that Tesla has filed for registration for the refreshed Model 3 in China, and others say it could be released to the public as soon as September.
Above: A pre-Highland Tesla Model 3 (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
Tesla’s Model 3 “Highland” refresh could be launching in the coming weeks in the U.S. and China, according to a collection of sources in a report from Not a Tesla App. Although several suspected sightings of “Highland” Model 3 prototypes have been seen outside Tesla’s Fremont, California and Shanghai, China plants in recent months, the company has denied its plans to shift production to the refreshed model.
At the end of last month, Twitter user Eliena shared screenshots of what appear to be filings with the Chinese government, officially registering the new model in the country. Rumors citing sources within Tesla’s Gigafactory seem to indicate that Tesla’s production lines have already been alternating between the current Model 3 and the upcoming refresh.
Fellow Twitter user and Tesla insider WuWa — who has been right on several predictions in the past — recently said that “communication from suspected Tesla staff indicates that the current domestically produced Tesla Model 3 will be discontinued on August 14th.” He went on to say that the reports detail a Q3 production start for the new Model 3, while others are saying that Tesla has already begun a total production switchover to the redesigned vehicle.
Giga Shanghai started production switchover, starting this week to produce two days of current Model 3, two days of Highland production, alternate operation, and completely switch to Highland production two weeks later.— Chris Zheng (@ChrisZheng001) August 3, 2023
Zheng predicts that Tesla could make a full production transition to the Highland Model 3 on August 14. Not a Tesla App notes that Tesla could launch the refreshed model as soon as September, even calling the shift to producing the redesigned Model 3 “Tesla’s worst-kept secret.” Insiders have reported seeing the prototype and early rumors of the vehicle as far back as last November.
As for the new Model 3 Highland’s features, not many specifics are known yet, though it’s expected to feature some distinct design upgrades and simplified components. Speculation points to ventilated seating, interior lighting upgrades, smart shift and more, while being more cost-efficient to produce. The model is also expected to have another camera in the front, as well as Tesla’s Hardware 4.0 Autopilot supercomputer.
The news comes after years of curiosity surrounding a more-affordable Tesla model, with CEO Elon Musk pointing to a car with a $25,000 price tag as far back as 2020. Further evidence of the launch of the upcoming Model 3 refresh seems to be mounting, and onlookers are hopeful that this could finally bring a sub-$30,000 vehicle to the market.
Tesla wait times on the Model 3 in Europe have also been increased in recent weeks, seemingly coinciding with the switch, since the continent’s Model 3 units come from Giga Shanghai. In addition, Not a Tesla App points out that the final day for Tesla owners to transfer its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta package to a new vehicle is September 30, seemingly also pointing to the launch.
As a result, the publication and sources say that production of the Model 3 Highland should be in “full swing” by the end of August at both Gigafactory Shanghai and Tesla’s Fremont factory. At this point, it seems that the Model 3 Highland launch may not be a matter of “if,” but “when.”
===Sources: Not a Tesla App / Twitter / Twitter