2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland: Chassis Upgrades

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has made significant improvements to the new Model 3
Tesla has made significant improvements to the new Model 3
MotorTrend

The 2024 Tesla Model 3, also known as the Highland, recently fell into the hands of the folks over at MotorTrend. The staff has been combing through every piece of the car to find the slightest flaw. While the optics of the new look exterior and refined interior get the attention, MotorTrend went poking around underneath the shiny exterior to give a close-up look at significant chassis and suspension upgrades.

Softer Springs and Intelligent Suspension

The 2024 Model 3 Highland, in both its Standard and Long Range variants, has adopted softer springs coupled with innovative frequency-response suspension dampers. This upgrade facilitates a smoother ride, absorbing more significant impacts such as dips, potholes, and bumps.

The frequency-selective damping isn't an entirely new concept; Koni first introduced it in the late 1990s. The technology alters damping force based on the suspension inputs, achieving a perfect balance between comfort and stability.

Steering Updates

The 2024 Model 3 Highland has also seen changes in its steering mechanism. The variable-ratio steering rack from the previous model remains, which adapts its responsiveness based on the driver's input. However, Tesla has adjusted the ratio, moving from 10.3:1 to 10.6:1, requiring the driver to use more steering input for the same turn. This change targets better predictability and increased stability, especially at higher speeds.

Improved Control Arms

A common issue with the outgoing Model 3 was the front upper control arms. They were susceptible to cracking, which allowed water infiltration, leading to rusting and unpleasant noises. The 2024 Model 3 Highland addresses this with its new forged steel control arm, designed to be more resilient to rust, and offers a sealed ball joint housing to prevent water intrusion.

While this upgrade might be hard to spot, the 2024 Model 3's redesigned steering knuckles enhance driving dynamics by providing greater stability, particularly at higher speeds and during braking, and by minimizing bump steer.

Updated Tire Specifications

The U.S. variant of the Model 3 Highland will sport new standard 18-inch all-season Michelin Primacy tires optimized for Tesla. These tires promise reduced rolling resistance, translating to a slight boost in driving range.

Bushings play a pivotal role in ride comfort and handling. Tesla has revamped the bushings in the front and rear suspension and the rear subframe to minimize noise, vibrations, and harshness, elevating the driving comfort of the Model 3.

While Tesla aims to redefine its reputation for impeccable quality with the 2024 Model 3 Highland, there have been observations of inconsistencies, such as the mis-installation of brake dust shields. However, it's worth noting that these were early-build models from Tesla's Shanghai factory. It's anticipated that production will improve as Tesla irons out potential issues on the production line.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Now Eligible for $7.5K Tax Credit

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

In the US, the Model 3 Long Range has now become fully eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is up to $7,500 USD off at the point of sale, which applies to EVs with batteries originating from the United States. The Model 3 Performance was launched with the EV tax credit, which meant that until now, it was cheaper to purchase than the Model 3 Long Range.

Interestingly, after this change, the Model 3 Long Range is only $1,000 USD more expensive than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive, as the RWD model is not eligible for the credit. The LFP batteries in the RWD model are from CATL in China, and thus mark it as ineligible.

At $40,000 USD, the Model 3 Long Range is now an even better deal than before – and is nearly $7,500 less (the amount of the credit), than the average new car in the United States.

Canadian EV Credits

In Canada, Tesla dropped the Model 3 RWD price by $1,000 CAD, in response to the province of  British Colombia reducing the upper limit of their EV credit MSRP range. This means that the Model 3 RWD is the only Tesla vehicle that is covered under the new BC rebate – which is one of the few provincial rebates still left standing.

Sadly, as a result of this change, and due to a weird classification gimmick, the Model Y is considered a sedan by the Government of BC and is completely ineligible for the additional rebates – but the $5,000 federal EV rebate still applies.

Tesla vehicles accounted for 80% of federal EV rebate applications in Canada in 2023, marking a net increase since last year at 60%.

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