Tesla Officially Announces the Refreshed Model 3 'Highland' With Ambient Lighting, Rear Screen and Ventilated Seats [Photos/Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla

Tesla's very public secret, codenamed Highland, is now in showrooms in China. The company finally publicly revealed the product, as predicted for the beginning of September, and thanks to months of leaks, there weren't a lot of surprises. We’ve been reporting on leaks since the end of 2022, and it turns out our sources were accurate.

Tesla has again made a publicity splash without spending a dime on traditional advertising. Instead, the company gave some automotive YouTubers an early peak at the Model 3. As soon as the embargo was lifted, YouTube channels were filled with views — money in the content creators’ pocket and publicity for Tesla.

Ambient Lighting

Multicolor ambient LED interior lighting extends from the dash to the rear seats. If that’s not cool enough, this color appears to be adjustable to any shade you like, similar to how you can change the color of your Tesla on the screen and in the app. More than half of the refreshed Model 3 is made with new parts. It is also coming in two new colors in China, Ultra Red and Stealth Gray.

Range

The range has increased by 11 to 12 percent, which equates to the rear-wheel drive getting 346 miles (554 kilometers), and the dual motor long-range 423 miles (678 kilometres). This is thanks to several things, including the lighter Model 3, now the most aerodynamic Tesla in the lineup at a stunning 0.219 drag coefficient down from 0.225.

Suspension & Road Noise

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla

The upgraded suspension provides a more premium ride with new springs & dampers, new geometry on the front suspension, new bushings, and a new way they mount the subframe to the chassis. Moreover, the tires now have more cushioning for an improved ride.

Tesla has made a 30% decrease in wind and ambient noise, a 25% improvement in impact noise, and a 20% improvement in road noise. This has been achieved by using acoustic glass on the rear windows and back window (it was only on the front windows before), resulting in "360º acoustic glass". Additionally, more sound insulation has been added for a quieter ride.

Even Better Interior

However, you won’t be able to hear the quiet thanks to the new 17-speaker sound system, up from 14 speakers — complete with two subwoofers and two amplifiers.

We knew the interior was getting an overhaul, but we didn’t know about the upgraded ventilation system, allowing the passage side to be turned off and gain separate fan speeds. There are also two microphones for clearers calls and improved Wi-Fi connectivity. There is also an updated center console with real metal handles and a 65W USB-C charger that provides enough power to charge almost any USB-C device, includingarge a laptop. The center touchscreen has smaller bezels, higher contrast, and better responsiveness. Speaking of screens, there is an 8-inch touchscreen for rear passengers, just like the Model S and Model X.

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla

Front Bumper Camera

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla

The rumored front camera did not appear in any of the YouTube videos. As previously reported, the new Model 3 is still believed to have a front camera, just like the Cybertruck, and did appear with it in several photos. The front camera will eliminate that very real blind spot just in front of the bumper that the cameras in the windshield can’t see.

Details We Already Knew

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3
Tesla

Now for a refresher about the Model 3 refresh. We’ve been talking about this vehicle since December of 2022, as the partially covered cars started popping up around California. Along the way we learned a lot, but we know that not all of you read about Tesla every day (shame, shame!). So here is a list with links to previous articles that discuss the features.

Model 3 Refresh Up Close and Personal

Pricing

Tesla has been slashing the prices of the current Model 3, but the Highland is getting a price bump. With the cars already on the showroom floors in China, the RWD is 259,900 yuan, $35,800 USD, while the long-range is 295,900 yuan, $40,800 USD. Those prices are about a 10 percent increase — still, no word when the new Model 3 will be available in North America.

The Tesla Model 3 Highland is more than just a refresh; it's a complete overhaul that addresses several aspects of the vehicle, from aesthetics to performance and comfort. Introducing new colors, a more aerodynamic design, an enhanced sound system, and improved noise insulation are just a few of the many upgrades that make this Model 3 iteration stand out. Although there was a slight bump in the price, the host of improvements and added features justify the increase, offering more value to the customers. Time for an upgrade?

The Cybertruck Saga: Steam, Real World Tests, Celebrity Ownership, and Bulletproof?

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck News
Cybertruck News

A glance at X at any moment reveals a continuous stream of fresh, intriguing, and sometimes eccentric content revolving around the Cybertruck. Since its production debut in December 2023, Tesla's latest sensation has commanded attention. Cybertruck's presence grows with each new owner, spawning a flurry of YouTube videos, social media posts on X, and articles across news outlets.

Disappointment for Gamers

While Tesla's Model S and Model X received accolades for integrating Steam gaming, the Cybertruck falls short, mirroring early builds of its predecessors in computer specifications. Notably, hacker @greentheonly insights suggest the Cybertruck's hardware may lack compatibility, dampening hopes for gaming enthusiasts. This is a surprise, considering the vehicle looks straight out of a video game!

Celebrity Ownership Expands

The list of celebrities acquiring a Cybertruck continues to grow. Music icon, Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent purchase of a Cybertruck, styled in a sleek matte black finish reminiscent of a Batmobile, made the roads on social media. The power couple's endorsement of the Cybertruck reinforces its status as a symbol of luxury and innovation in the automotive world. Their Cybertruck delivery came just days after Kim Kardashian lit up social media with her “Cool Car Pool Mom” post.

Thwarting Break-In Attempts

Beyond its celebrity allure, the Cybertruck has proven its practicality in real-world scenarios, demonstrating its resilience against break-in attempts. Recent incidents have highlighted the vehicle's robust construction, with its stainless steel exterior and shatter-resistant windows effectively deterring vandalism. Despite attempts to breach the vehicle's security, the Cybertruck emerged relatively unscathed, reaffirming its status as a reliable choice for safety-conscious consumers.

Bullet Test: Adin Ross's Impact

Youtuber Adin Ross recently subjected the vehicle to gunfire, testing its ability to withstand ballistic impacts. Ross's video, which gained significant traction online, captured the Cybertruck enduring 9mm ammunition without sustaining critical damage, further validating Tesla's claims of creating an apocalypse-proof vehicle. While such extreme tests may seem unconventional, they underscore Cybertruck's reputation for toughness and resilience in challenging environments.

Toughness on Display

The Cybertruck's durability extends beyond security features, as evidenced by its performance in road accidents. In instances of rear-end collisions, the vehicle's stainless steel exoskeleton has shown remarkable resilience, minimizing damage and ensuring occupant safety. While concerns persist regarding the lack of a traditional crumple zone, Cybertruck's design philosophy prioritizes structural integrity, providing peace of mind for drivers in unforeseen circumstances.

Range Exceeds Expectations

Edmunds put the Cybertruck to the test, equipped with all-terrain tires. The vehicle surpassed initial estimates by covering 334 miles (537km) on a single charge, outperforming advertised figures and showcasing its efficiency on the road. For more range, Tesla has a range extender available.

Snow Trax Modification

One of the most captivating developments surrounding Cybertruck is the innovative CyberTrax modification, spearheaded by automotive modification luminary Dave Sparks. With an eye for adventure and a penchant for pushing boundaries, Sparks has embarked on a project that promises to transform the Cybertruck into a snow-conquering beast. The CyberTrax modification, aimed at enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities, has garnered widespread attention and support, even earning recognition from Tesla itself.

Ramping Up Production and Expansion

As Tesla continues to ramp up production of the Cybertruck, anticipation grows for its availability in international markets. With early units already sold in the U.S., Tesla's Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development has confirmed plans for expansion into Canada, signaling further growth opportunities for the electric pickup. Despite regulatory challenges in certain regions, Tesla remains committed to delivering the Cybertruck's innovative design to a global audience.

In conclusion, Tesla's Cybertruck continues to captivate audiences with its groundbreaking performance, celebrity endorsements, and ongoing advancements. From surpassing range expectations to withstanding gunfire, the Cybertruck has proven its mettle in various real-world scenarios, reaffirming its status as a revolutionary addition to the automotive landscape.

Tesla Updates Its App, Making It More Intuitive With New Menu and Reorganized Vehicle and App Settings

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings

Today, Tesla has updated its app to introduce a new menu that reorganizes vehicle, home energy, and account settings in a more logical and more discoverable manner.

App Update

Tesla updated its app to version 4.30 back on February 15th for iOS and followed suit with an Android update shortly thereafter. The app update included some significant changes such as a new Home Energy demo, Wall Connector charging charts, and a better view of your last Supercharger session.

However, the addition of the new menu arrived today thanks to under-the-hood changes Tesla had already made.

New Menu

The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update
The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update

The main change in the app is the new menu which replaces the user's profile picture.

Since this area was already used to change Tesla account and app settings and Tesla product preferences, the menu icon is more intuitive than an avatar.

However, after tapping into the menu, the user is greeted with a completely reorganized section. Instead of featuring horizontally scrolling tiles for different products and features, which was getting fairly long, Tesla has consolidated the features and now presents them vertically.

In the new profile section, Tesla has grouped lumped in account information and app settings. This includes personal information, order history as well as app settings, including calendar sync and app notifications.

Charging is now a top-level feature instead of being buried in the Account section. This section highlights your most recent Supercharger charging session which was redesigned during the 4.30 app update. It also lets you manage your payment method and view your Supercharger history.

My Products is the new way to add or remove Tesla products from your account. It now nicely displays all of your existing Tesla products and lets you dig into each one. By diving into each product, you're able to give access to another user, remove the product from your Tesla account if applicable, rename the product, or jump into the product view.

Vehicle and Home Screens

If you have a Tesla vehicle and a Home product, such as Solar or a Wall Connector, the way to switch between products is to swipe to the side. However, this wasn't very intuitive and Tesla has now added a dropdown next to the Home or Vehicle name that brings up a quick menu that lets you jump to other products.

If you already have app version 4.30, there's no need to update your app, just open the existing app and you should see the new menu in the top right. However, if you're still on Tesla app 4.29.5 or earlier, head over to the app store and upgrade to the latest Tesla app to see these new features.

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