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?

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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