- As the Tesla Model 3 approaches its sixth birthday, it is reportedly getting closer to its first facelift.
- The report comes via Reuters. The news service said it spoke to four sources with information about the plans.
- The facelift is part of an effort by Tesla to cut production costs as well as attract buyers through visual changes to the car – a rare move by Tesla.
Most automakers put their cars through multi-year cycles, complete with minor year-to-year updates. Tesla does it differently; the EV manufacturer prefers to rely on over-the-air (OTA) updates and simply changes mechanical parts as they are developed. Because of this unusual method, the nearly six-year-old Model 3 has never received a facelift. But now, according to a report from Reuters, a refreshed Model 3 codenamed “Highland” is on the way and is expected to go into production in the third quarter of next year.
The revamped Tesla is part of an effort by the company to simplify its design and lower production costs. According to the Reuters report, one focus of the new Model 3 design is to reduce complexity in the interior while retaining the features that Tesla customers care about, such as the center display. Never mind that the interior of the Model 3 looks as bare as that first apartment out of college: it has a place to sit, and a massive screen, and not much else. The last major vehicle update from Tesla was to swap the Model S steering wheel for the yoke setup and switch to a horizontal screen orientation, something the Model 3 already has.
The other major reason for an update seems to be increased pressure from the competition, especially competition within the China market. The Model 3 remains Tesla’s cheapest offering, though its $48,440 starting price has steadily crept skyward, and more established automakers have begun to put their weight behind EV production. According to Reuters, the facelifted Model 3 will go into production at Tesla’s factories in Shanghai, China and Fremont, California. Car and Driver Tesla reached out for written comment, but received no response.
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