Tesla's Project Highland Model 3: New Wheels and Other Changes Revealed

By Kevin Armstrong
The Kilowatts spots Tesla's Project Highland with new wheels
The Kilowatts spots Tesla's Project Highland with new wheels
The Kilowatts/Twitter

Tesla's mysterious caped crusader has once again appeared. Twitter and YouTuber The Kilowatts posted pictures of a black Model 3. For months these cars, sporting covers on the front and back, have been noticed in California, but this is the first time we've seen one without aero covers on the wheels. So the refreshed Model 3, known as project Highland, will apparently have new wheels. But some other changes are also revealed in these images.

New Wheels on the Highland

The rims in the Kilowatts post have 14 points of contact with the outer edges instead of the current 10-spoke rims. The spokes are slightly off-center to give a swirl effect, another difference from the straight lines the current rims offer. There is a large circle in the middle where the center cap will go. That circle will replace the five-star piece on the existing wheels.

These wheels offer more coverage, possibly cutting down on wind resistance and giving you a half mile more in range. As we know, Tesla always looks for more ways to improve capacity.

Body Molding Change and Wires

While the wheels draw attention, there may be another change. Check out the side repeater. It almost looks like the body modeling has ben extended around the repeater camera, but it's not terribly clear in the photo and it could just be the reflection. We know that Hardware 4 comes with new cameras, and other evidence points to the side repeater cameras changing the angle that they point. However, the housing of the cameras appears the same as the previous model.

The bumper also appears to have a slightly different shape than the current Model 3, with the top lip appearing to be reduced or moved further down.

It's all a mystery after that. Check out the duct tape used to cover the headlight thoroughly. Previous pictures of these cars had the headlight exposed, it seems there may be some changes there. It was believed cameras were being added to the headlight housing, but that speculation was put to rest with images of HW4-equipped Model S, and Model X spotted in Fremont.

Finally, some wires come from under the car and run along the inside and partially on the outside of the doors before going back under the car.

Reuters reported that Project Highland would go into production in Shanghai in September. This new Model 3 is expected to cut production costs by focusing on reducing the number of components and some interior changes. In addition, the exterior is expected to see some changes to improve efficiency and reduce cost.

Tesla Introduces Most Affordable Car: Long Range RWD Model 3 with 363-Mile Range for $34,990

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has brought back the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive variant, which starts at $42,490. However, due to the batteries in the Long Range model, it qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV rebate. This makes this new model the cheapest model in Tesla’s lineup after the federal rebate that comes off at the point of sale.

After the federal rebate, this model is $34,990, exactly $4,000 less than the standard RWD model with the smaller LFP battery.

Improved Range

The Long Range RWD variant boasts a range of 363mi (vs 341mi for the AWD, and 272mi for the regular RWD), and a 0-60mph of 4.9sec (vs 4.2sec for the AWD). This makes the new Long Range RWD Model 3 Tesla’s longest-range economic vehicle (Model 3 / Model Y). The Model S AWD boasts an impressive 402-mile EPA estimate.

Other than the lack of a front motor for handling in rough or slippery terrain, or having a faster 0-60, the Long Range RWD is a fantastic option for most people.

It’s worth noting that only the Long Range AWD model can unlock Tesla’s Acceleration Boost, which increases power and reduces the vehicle’s 0-60 times by about half a second.



Price After Rebate

0-60 MPH


Model 3 RWD





Model 3 LR RWD





Model 3 LR AWD





Model 3 Performance






For now, the Model 3 Long Range RWD model is only available in the United States, with no availability in Canada.

Tesla FSD V12.5 to Combine City and Highway Stacks, Introduce Vehicle-to-Fleet Communication and More

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

As FSD V12.4.3 continues to get released to more vehicles, Elon Musk has posted that FSD V12.5 is already in testing and will include several key features.

The improvements in v12.5 are supposed to focus on rarer, more complex situations and vehicle-to-fleet communication. Tesla’s Autopilot lead, Ashok Elluswamy, also mentioned that FSD would gain the ability to go in reverse around this time.

Merge City & Highway Stacks

FSD v12 has been a multi-stack setup so far, with a city-streets stack that is end-to-end, and an older highway stack that was carried over from v11. FSD v12.5 will once again merge the city/highway stacks according to Musk, who confirmed the feature yesterday. That means that there will no longer be an implicit highway stack.

This could cause some regressions during highway driving, similar to the ones we experienced when Tesla first merged highway and city stacks back in FSD v11. Ultimately, when the issues were ironed out, we ended up with a smoother and better Autopilot experience on the highway. When FSD v12.5 rolls around, we may see some similar issues but expect FSD v12.5 to do to highways what v12 did for city driving.

Vehicle-to-Fleet Communications

Tesla’s FSD relies heavily upon maps, with the mapping information designating routing and lane changes. When vehicles encounter difficulties, they are unable to communicate that back to the rest of the fleet. This results in every vehicle encountering the same problem. With FSD V12.5, vehicles will be able to communicate road closures or other obstacles back to the rest of the fleet in real-time. This will turn FSD into software that’s constantly improving as the fleet gathers more data, instead of having to wait for a software update.

Cybertruck Finally Gets FSD

In a recent post on X, Musk also confirmed that V12.5 will finally bring FSD to the Cybertruck. Currently, all Cybertrucks only have access to Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC). Autopilot and FSD capabilities should arrive alongside all the other features.

Actually Smart Summon

Musk has talked quite a bit about Actually Smart Summon. With FSD 12.5, the new vision-based summon may finally be released. This will introduce Smart Summon capabilities to vision-only cars for the first time. However, it’s expected to be a drastic improvement for all vehicles in similar ways to the new Autopark. The new summon has been tied to the ability to move the vehicle in reverse by Tesla’s Autopilot lead, so expect either both of them to arrive in FSD 12.5, or be held off for a later release.

Release Date

Musk originally mentioned that FSD V12.5 would be released in late June, however, there were several delays with FSD 12.4 and that time frame has now come and gone. FSD 12.4 was initially released in May 2024, but it went through several lengthy revisions before it was introduced to public testers. Going by that time frame, it appears that FSD 12.5 was expected to be released about 4-6 weeks after FSD 12.4. If FSD 12.4.3 is finally got a good spot, we could see FSD 12.5 become available in the next 4-6 weeks or about late August.

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