Last month Tesla finally pulled the wraps off the highly anticipated Project Highland refreshed Model 3. The vehicle delivered on most of the promises and the leaks leading up to the event.
The refreshed Model 3, named Model 3+ by Tesla, came with major improvements, including an updated, sleeker front facia, a new single-piece headlight and rear light design, and a better opening frunk and trunk.
The vehicle also saw major improvements in the noise, vibration, and harshness front, getting a completely redesigned softer suspension, new double pane glass on the back windows to decrease road noise, and more premium and sound-absorbing interior liners to again decrease cabin noise.
In the tech and features front, the refreshed Model 3 saw the addition of an 8-inch second display for rear passengers, a new air ventilation 2.0 system that allows split airflow between the driver and the passenger, new ambient interior lighting, ventilated seats, and many more improvements.
Tesla representatives have said that 50 percent of the components of the refreshed Model 3 have been updated. Although two significant components of the vehicle have not changed – the battery and powertrain – the vehicle nonetheless gets better range thanks to a more aerodynamic design.
Another change that did not take place as early Project Highland rumors suggested was the addition of a giga casting. The addition of front and rear Giga castings in the Model Y has enabled Tesla to decrease the unique parts making up the chassis of the vehicle from 170 to 2.
Despite these two anticipated major chassis, battery, and powertrain improvements not taking place, the refreshed Model 3 nonetheless has received cheering reviews by car journalists who thus far have been the only ones able to test drive the new vehicle.
All the improvements and raving reviews have made anticipation for the refreshed Model 3 high. And the wait might not be too long for those who can’t wait to get their hands on the refreshed Model 3. Based on truckloads of refreshed Model 3’s spotted out in the wild, it’s expected Tesla will begin Model 3+ deliveries in the coming few days.
This is all well and good, however, there are a few areas where the refreshed Model 3 has not met expectations. The first is, as mentioned above contrary to rumors leading up to its release, the refreshed Model 3 does not incorporate giga castings.
The second area where the Model 3+ falls short of expectation is in the geographical areas in which the vehicle is available in. Tesla has only transitioned to the Project Highland Model 3 at Giga Shanghai which means, only regions supplied by the Chinese factory get the updated Model 3.
On the other hand, regions that get their Model 3 from Tesla’s Fremont, California plant are stuck with the previous generation of the vehicle. These markets are mainly in North America including the US which is Tesla’s biggest market.
The third issue with the Model 3 update is the fact that Tesla has not launched a refreshed version of the Model 3 Performance. The first 2 issues might take a while to address but for the last one, thanks to an unintentional post on Tesla’s part, we’ve confirmation that Tesla is working on a refreshed Model 3 Performance.
This unintentional leak happened through Tesla’s online parts catalog where a picture of a refreshed Model 3 was spotted with a dual motor and Plaid visual badging similar to that of the badging found on the Model S Plaid.
This all but confirms not only that Tesla is indeed working on an updated Model 3 Performance but that the EV maker is likely at the final stages of launching this vehicle.
The parts catalog did not contain lots of specs about the upcoming vehicle, as a result, there is still a lot we don’t know about the upcoming Model 3 Plaid, however, a few new features we were able to spot are several never before seen wheel designs, new sport brakes, and a new sport suspension.
The new wheel designs include 19-inch and 20-inch wheels that Tesla calls ‘Warp’ wheels and a couple of more wheel designs with black and silver finish that Tesla has not named in the parts catalog.
Besides this, there isn’t a lot of information other than some serial numbers for the new sports suspension and brakes. Tesla has also removed all information regarding the Model 3 Plaid from the parts catalog which suggests that this was an accidental reveal.
Currently, this is all the information we’ve regarding the new Model 3 Plaid however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as we learn more about the upcoming vehicle. Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited to see that Tesla is working on a Model 3 Plaid? Also, given its smaller size, do you think it’ll be a better track car than the Model S Plaid? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
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Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.