Tesla Model 3 'Highland' Refresh: New Dashboard and Wheels Leaked

By Kevin Armstrong
The Model 3 Highland dashboard leaks online
The Model 3 Highland dashboard leaks online
xiaoteshushu/Twitter

It's not the first time we've reported on the new dashboard and wheels of the Tesla Model 3 refresh, known as 'Project Highland,' but now we have our first close-up photos of the new dashboard. We also have our first high-quality photo of the new wheels, expected to arrive with the Model 3 Highland. The latest leaks are evidence that this vehicle is inching closer to streets near you.

Images of what was claimed to be the dashboard for the Highland Model 3 surfaced online by @xiaoteshushu in China, who stated the pictures were received anonymously. The post on X.com was then deleted, with the author saying they were asked to delete the photos by the supplier. This brings additional credibility to the claim that this is indeed the new dash for Project Highland. We believe that this leak is credible, but without knowing the age of the images or the parts in them, it's not clear whether these are the final versions that will ship with Highland. The dash itself appears to match details we've been given in the past.

Dashboard Details

While the tweet may be removed, it will live forever online. A closer inspection of the image courtesy of the former president of Munro & Associates, Cory Steuben states: "Refreshed IP (instrument panel) top cover. Larger area of A-surface is integrated into one piece. Model 3 highland?"

This observation opens up several possibilities of potential new features, such as a second driver display, although this is highly speculative. We do know that the vehicle will use an on-screen shifter, known as Smart Shift.

We already knew the vehicle's dash would receive a facelift, but it was believed to be a way to simplify the manufacturing process instead of offering something new and improved. Remember, the wood trim is being removed and replaced with another material. Based on these new leaked images, the new material appears to be metal or a metal-like finish. The trim is not a part of the central dash piece, so it's possible Tesla may offer different colors or types of trim, such as carbon fiber or a fabric finish that could be based on the vehicle's color or trim level.

New Wheels

A close up look at the new wheels that may come with the Model 3 refresh
A close up look at the new wheels that may come with the Model 3 refresh
teslashanghai/Twitter

As for the new image of the rim, it backs up a previous story that speculated on wheel changes after the caped Model 3 was seen a few times on roads and highways around California.

In February, we spotted the new design offering 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. 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 ways to improve range, which cuts down on costs by being able to provide a smaller battery.

The new images of the Model 3 'Highland' dashboard and rims keep Tesla’s secret front and center. It’s believed that production of the Highland will begin in China as soon as next week, with production lines at Fremont set to transition soon after. This would also explain why Model 3 orders are being pushed back.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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