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?

Sweet Move: Tesla Shifts from Creating EVs to Making Candy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has filed four new trademarks recently, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. These trademarks aren’t exactly what you’d expect from Tesla – they’re not for cars, not for batteries, and not for any cool new software features.

They’re for sweet, sweet, candy!

Candy Trademarks

Tesla has filed 4 distinct trademarks in its filings with the USPTO, for the following four names.

  • Supercharged Gummy

  • Cyberberry

  • Mango Bolt

  • Dog Mode Chill

The trademarks don’t come with any particular logos, art, or renderings, or it doesn’t reveal anything besides the names of the candy or candy-like items. Tesla filed these trademarks last month on June 25th.

While we’re not quite sure exactly what type of candies these will be, there is one thing we can knock off the bat – given how premium Tesla’s food products have been, these will likely include high-quality ingredients with a matching price point.

Elon Musk previously hinted that he wanted to start a candy company, and claimed he was super serious. Given his usual 2-week timeline, starting it 7-years later under Tesla seems fairly fitting. Jokes aside, we hope that the candies will launch sometime before the Tesla van, otherwise you can expect some more jokes on that front.

Tesla is well known for designing and selling non-vehicle merchandise. In the past, they’ve sold a glass decal that makes your window look like it was shattered with a metal bearing, Tesla Tequila, the Cybertruck whistle and many others.

Maybe we’ll hear more about Elon’s candy ambitions during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, which will be taking place this coming Tuesday, July 23rd.

Tesla Looking to Hire 800 New Employees After Recent Layoffs, Large Focus on Energy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Just three months after Elon Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, and laid off many employees at Tesla, the company is now looking to hire 800 new employees.

This comes after many members of the Supercharger team were hired back after their initial layoffs.

New Hirings

Tesla’s careers page now has more than 800 open positions today, and positions go from anywhere between engineers for artificial intelligence or batteries, ADAS testers in local communities, or service and desk employees for service centers.

Most of the new jobs focus on engineering positions, and many positions in Legal Affairs, Business Support, and vehicle software positions have not been posted or renewed. Those sections remain empty, at least in North America.

Tesla Energy Focus

Interestingly, quite a few of the new positions focus on Telsa Energy and its role in the company. There are several positions for supporting the deployments of Powerwall and Megapack, as well as doing further engineering work on these types of stationary battery systems.

Just recently, Tesla secured a $375 million Megapack contract in Australia – to build one of the biggest 4-hour battery banks in the world. This comes just days after the announcement of a $256 million Megapack contract to expand a different Australian facility.

We’re expecting Tesla to bank more towards its energy business – which has really just started getting off the ground with recent factory expansions and new business. Tesla Powerwall also recently hit some spectacular milestones – 100MW in California delivered to the grid, and 200,000 hours of backup power after Hurricane Beryl in Texas.

Powerwall and Megapack are going to be defining features of Tesla’s business – and we hope to see Tesla Solar – both Solar Panels and Tesla’s Solar Roof, also become more available to the mass market, just like Powerwall is today.

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