The Tesla Model 3 played a crucial role in Tesla’s success. The Model 3 was the best-selling electric vehicle from 2018 to 2020.

Interestingly, the Model 3 also had its challenges. The Model 3 almost bankrupted Tesla during its production ramp-up phase. However, Tesla managed to avoid bankruptcy by raising funds through self-driving efforts.

Now, Tesla plans to introduce a refreshed Model 3 with new features while optimizing costs. The new Model 3 is called the Highland.

The Tesla Model 3 Highland will introduce numerous features that customers adore without compromising affordability. While some cosmetic changes will be made for a fresh appearance, the overall body panels will remain largely unchanged. The Highland will be available by the end of 2023.

Find out all you need to know about the Tesla Model 3 Highland below.

Exterior Design

The Tesla Model 3 Highland is undergoing noticeable changes to its exterior design. Although leaked images show a more streamlined front bumper and new matrix-LED headlights, the exact features of the headlights remain uncertain. There have been no leaked images of the rear, but photos of prototypes suggest vertical turn-signal lights and a new rear diffuser.


The cabin of the Model 3 Highland is undergoing significant changes to meet customer demands. One notable upgrade is the addition of ambient lighting, a feature eagerly anticipated by fans and customers.

Tesla is also introducing new ventilated seats, enhancing comfort for drivers. Leaked images suggest a redesigned dashboard with a stalkless design, similar to the Model S. The integrated instrument panel cover and trims in the new dashboard showcase a metallic pattern, replacing the current wood decorations.

Additionally, the door panel now features a cheaper fabric trim instead of Alcantara.

Manufacturing Process

Limited information is available about the Model 3 Highland’s manufacturing process. However, based on the changes in the Model Y’s production, we can expect the implementation of cost-saving megacastings and a structural battery pack.

Megacastings reduce manufacturing time by eliminating the need to bond or weld numerous body parts together. Meanwhile, a structural battery pack offers potential cost-reduction benefits.

The specific form factor for the Highland is still uncertain, but it may differ from the current 4680-cell production. CATL, Tesla’s battery supplier, produces cylindrical cells alongside prismatic LFP cells used in the current Model 3 RWD.

New Technologies

The Model 3 Highland’s battery will be upgraded with CATL’s latest technology. This will cause the Highland’s battery energy capacity to be 10% greater than existing Model 3 batteries.

Due to its greater battery capacity, the Highland will have a larger range than existing Model 3s. The Highland’s expected range is 300 miles (480 km).

Tesla is also transitioning to new generation electric motors with fewer rare earth materials.

The Highland is expected to adopt the Hardware 4 Autopilot system and may feature additional cameras. Based on current information, the Highland will probably not have a radar and steer-by-wire system.


Tesla is shifting its strategy by reducing vertical integration and outsourcing more. This change allows suppliers to have more involvement, relinquishing Tesla’s control over the manufacturing process.

One notable shift is the outsourcing of seat production for the Highland, which may potentially impact the quality. Moreover, reports suggest that battery pack production will also be outsourced.

Price Reductions 

Rumors suggest that the Tesla Model 3 Highland will undergo a significant price reduction in China, potentially reaching below 200,000 yuan. Recent cost reduction measures and upgrades at Giga Shanghai are expected to improve manufacturing efficiency.

Model 3 Highland Delivery Timelines

Trial production of the Model 3 Highland has already started. Volume production and deliveries are scheduled to begin in September and October respectively. The current Model 3 production will cease on August 14.

Additionally, all Model 3 Highland vehicles sold in Europe will be exclusively supplied by Giga Shanghai.

Image Source: Gary Black,