Feature Overview: Tesla breathes new life into its 'refresh' Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 refresh came as no great surprise—after all, continuous improvement is part of the California carmaker’s DNA—but it was a much-anticipated announcement nonetheless. After days of rumors and sneak peeks, Tesla has made the new version official by adding it to the online configurator.
Above: Tesla's new 'refresh' Model 3 has several aesthetic changes, including chrome delete on exterior trim and new wheel styles (Source: Tesla)
The new Model 3 includes several innovations that Tesla first introduced on Model Y, as well as (of course) more range and more acceleration.
First video of the new Tesla Model 3 center console in action pic.twitter.com/r52DZSK0V2— Mo Suraj (@moosuraj) October 19, 2020
Above: A look at the new center console (Twitter: Mo Suraj)
As Charged reported in a recent cover story on Model Y, the crossover features a new thermal management gadget called the Octovalve, a heat pump system that’s far more efficient than the resistive heating system used in previous Tesla models. This is now included on the refreshed Model 3, and it’s not unreasonable to speculate that it may have enabled part of the increase in range. A source told Electrek that the range boost was enabled by a new “efficiency package.”
Above: An overview of the 'refresh' Model 3 (YouTube: Sean Mitchell)
It’s a respectable range ramp-up: between 13 and 30 miles, depending on the variant. The Standard Range Plus now gets 263 miles, the Long Range achieves 353 miles, and the Performance reaches 315 miles.
Model 3’s new powered lift gate. Strut is on drivers side and button on passenger side. pic.twitter.com/kW89cKVeKq— Tesla Raj 🕺🏽 (@tesla_raj) October 17, 2020
Above: A look at the trunk's new powered lift gate (Twitter: Tesla Raj)
A couple of other handy features have also appeared: a motorized trunk hatch (first seen on Model Y), a new center console, a heated steering wheel and an auto-dimming mirror. There are also several new wheel options and various aesthetic changes.
Above: New options/specs offered with Tesla's 'refresh' Model 3 (Source: Tesla)
And now for the most useful improvement of all: faster acceleration across the board. The Performance model will now get you to 60 mph a full tenth of a second quicker!