HomeVehicleCarsFremont Plant Starts Refreshed Model 3 Production, Center Console 2.0, Power Lift...

Fremont Plant Starts Refreshed Model 3 Production, Center Console 2.0, Power Lift Trunk, New Headlights & More

Tesla confirmed last week that they are bringing in a host of changes in the 2021 version of the Model 3, with many newer features being added in the cars being manufactured in Europe and China. Now, there are reports that these changes will also be seen in the cars being produced in the Fremont Megafactory in California. This new “refreshed” Model 3 will have features inspired from the ones made in the Model Y recently.

Fremont Plant Starts Refreshed Model 3 Production

Fremont Plant Starts Refreshed Model 3 Production

Changes in the “Refreshed” Version

One of the biggest changes in the 2021 variant will be a changed center console, which is now covered in leather finish rather than the earlier plastic sidewalls. The glossy finish will get replaced with a matte finish too. The phone charger slot is embedded in the top section of the console, and the access to the USB ports might also change. The mechanism will also be changed, as the center section will now slide out as in the Model S and Model X. The earlier variant had the center flipping out, and the new structure seems much more rigid. While the earlier console look was more elegant and simplistic, the new finish lends the car a more refined and luxurious feel. The changes in the positioning of the center console are not entirely clear, with many saying that the placement has been changed, while others feel that the bezels of the display are smaller.

Another of the changes includes a new steering wheel and a new set of headlights and tail lights. The frame around the windows and door are no longer chrome, which seems to be inspired by the chrome delete feature that Tesla brought in the Model Y. The cabin comfort will also be improved by a double-layer glass on the windows and windshields, which is set to improve noise isolation.

One of the major changes is the new size of the frunk (front trunk), as the newer variant will have a smaller space here. The width of the frunk has been reduced and the depth has been increased, but with the overall volume decreased, there were rumors of Tesla bringing in a new heat pump. This pump would be useful in extreme weather conditions to keep the battery at an optimum temperature.

The new heat pump will be paired with Tesla’s innovative Octovalve system, which combines the cooling circuit along with the thermal management system to provide an optimized thermal flow inside the car. While this new Octovalve system was seen in some of the Model 3s which were distributed to the dealers, this will probably be seen in the 2021 variant first.

Some of the sources also mentioned that a few of these upgraded vehicles are right-hand drive, which means that Tesla will be looking to export the newly updated cars as well. Chances are that these cars will reach Australia and New Zealand in a few months’ time.

Inspired by Model Y

Many of these new features have been inspired from the Model Y, and considering that the Model 3 shares 75% of its components with the crossover, it was just a matter of time before these changes would be seen in the Model 3 as well. There were reports last month that these changes would be introduced in the Model 3s manufactured in the Shanghai Gigafactory in China, but now, it is clear that these updated models will roll off the Fremont production line too. Things will be clearer when Tesla addresses the relevant announcements and clarifications in the Earnings Call of Q3 2020.

Tesla has always been up for updating their cars to have the latest features and technological tidbits as soon as they are ready for mass production. This has helped them to keep their cars relevant with the needs and wants of the market, and this includes significant hardware changes as well. For example, the new air conditioning system that has been integrated with the heat pump and the Octovalve helps in maintaining the ambient temperature of the cabin while also keeping the battery sufficiently warm, be it for usage in colder climates or for fast charging. Additions like these ensure that the general public always has that extra bit of attraction for a Tesla as compared to other vehicles. While the Model S and Model X are also in need of some interior refurbishing, it is clear that the Model 3 matters a lot more to Tesla, as it brings in large volumes of income. This is due to the lower cost of Model 3, and despite paying significantly lesser than what you would for a Model S, Tesla ensures that you get a nice, luxurious feel to your car.

The timing of the deliveries of the “refreshed” Model 3 seems odd, although Tesla may be trying to drive up the orders in this quarter. The changes definitely make the Model 3 look more refined, and with similar such changes seen in the Model Y, it is clear that Tesla is looking to focus on the sales of these two models primarily.

Mihir Tasgaonkar
Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.


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