HomeGuideTesla Model 3 Project Highland Upgrades Almost Finished, Leaks Stoke Anticipation

Tesla Model 3 Project Highland Upgrades Almost Finished, Leaks Stoke Anticipation

For more than five years, the Tesla Model 3 has been available on the market. The best-selling electric vehicle had a redesign in October 2020, and another is probably in the works for 2023. Tesla is reportedly working on a new type 3 with the working name “Project Highland”.

Tesla will release a significantly enhanced Model 3 in the upcoming months, and Giga Shanghai is gearing up for the start of production. There have also been rumours that Project Highland has already begun pilot production. Despite Tesla’s formal denial of them, Chinese media continues to maintain that these stories are true.

Moreover, Elon Musk’s trip to the Gigafactory in May was widely believed to be an opportunity for him to review the upgraded Model 3 in its finished shape and give his approval for the start of production.

Model 3 Project Highland Leaks

Production Line Updates at Giga Shanghai Factory

According to recent information from China, Tesla has installed a new production line at Giga Shanghai specifically for the manufacture of the Highland pilot. This enables it to adjust the line and make alterations at the last minute without interfering with the present Model 3 manufacturing. This is intriguing because automakers often take a break from manufacturing to revamp the line for a new model.

According to the reports, workers are not allowed to carry camera phones onto the new production line where the updated Model 3 is being made due to its high level of security. The Chinese media did learn from plant employees that the production line’s fine-tuning is nearly finished. Tesla is currently putting Model 3 prototypes through testing close to the Gigafactory and making any necessary adjustments in response to the testing team’s feedback.

New “Drive Unit” in the Offing

Tesla has established a special production line for a brand-new drive unit type that will power the updated Model 3. During recent investor meetings, Tesla disclosed that it is developing a new generation of electric motors which will use a new permanent magnet design with no rare-earth metals and an enhanced hairpin stator. According to Tesla, the new design has many benefits, including lower costs and more efficiency.

New Tesla Model 3 Project Highland Leaks

Recent leaks on online media have stirred up excitement among Tesla enthusiasts, as images purportedly showcasing the highly anticipated Model 3 Project Highland have emerged. These leaked pictures offer a glimpse into some intriguing updates. The front end of the vehicle appears to be elongated and set at a lower angle, lending a sleek and sporty look to the car. In a departure from the traditional sedan design, the rear showcases a hatch-style configuration, indicating a potentially expanded cargo space.

Leaked Tesla Model 3 Project Highland

Another noticeable change is the presence of new wheels, suggesting a fresh aesthetic for the Model 3. Surprisingly, the chrome accents seem to remain intact, deviating from the trend of chrome deletion seen in other Tesla models. Additionally, there are indications of a higher suspension, hinting at possible enhancements in off-road capabilities or overall ride quality. As anticipation builds around the Model 3 Project Highland, these leaked images provide an intriguing sneak peek into the exciting updates that might be in store for Tesla’s popular electric vehicle.

Model 3 Project Highland Design Elements

Tesla is apparently making considerable interior improvements as well, bringing it much closer to the appearance and feel of the Model S and Model X while also including more recycled materials as part of the company’s ongoing environmental initiatives. The interior will include better audio from the most recent Model S and Model X, updated multicolor ambient lights for a more contemporary interior, and perhaps a rear screen, though the latter has not yet been confirmed to be present in the final production model.

According to the source, several individuals intimately involved in the creation of the new Model 3 report that the EV will have an enhanced sound system, seats that provide for a more comfortable ride, and other new features.

Tesla New Drivetrain

Tesla Model 3 Improved Features

There are several improved features expected to be part of the revised version. A substantial battery pack and dual megacastings will be included in the updated model, which will significantly speed up production. The next Model 3 will also include matrix LED headlights in all trims comparable to those on the Model S and Model X, ventilated front seats, and Hardware 4, a computer and sensor suite with more cameras to enhance vision capabilities.

It will be outfitted with the most recent version of Tesla’s Autopilot computer, known as HW4, which has updated cameras similar to those seen on the Model S, Model X, and Model Y. A front bumper camera is said to be one significant feature in the upcoming Model 3.

The latest improvements are anticipated to provide additional interior space while perhaps making one of the most efficient EVs even more efficient.

Side and Rear Profiles and Camera Placements

According to recent spy images, the Model 3’s tail lamps won’t undergo much modification with the impending update. Tesla may have few design possibilities because it incorporates the car’s charging outlet into the left-side unit; however, it is expected that Tesla will keep its same shape. Even the main light guide, which is shaped like a C on the outside, has a similar appearance.

Three additional cameras will be present on the new Model 3, two on the side profiles and one in the middle of the front bumper. The two rear-facing cameras from the previous generation will be housed in the same enclosure on the front fenders as the two side-profile cameras.

Steer-by-wire Technology

It is expected that the revised Tesla Model 3 will introduce a steer-by-wire technology which will provide both a traditional steering wheel and an updated yoke-style steering, but they won’t be physically attached to the front wheels as they would be in a typical car. Steering inputs will instead be handled by a steer-by-wire system, which is entirely dependent on electronic parts and wiring. This is all likely done in the name of a future, more sophisticated driving aid system, as Elon Musk frequently claims.

Price Range and Launch Date

Although the Model 3 has periodically received minor updates to its mechanical parts and battery materials, this would be the first significant redesign of the vehicle. Premium Tesla vehicles like the Model S and Model Y have received exterior aesthetic updates, new touchscreen tablets, and yoke steering wheels.

Since price reductions and the addition of IRA federal tax credits in the US have increased demand, Tesla’s sales of the Model 3 and particularly the Model Y SUV have been rising significantly.


It is predicted that Tesla would make an effort to keep the price of the new Model 3 in the same ballpark despite all of these changes, which will apparently be made possible by improvements in the production process. Although the release date for the updated version has not been confirmed by any sources, some employees anticipate it will be launched in the coming months, while others anticipate it will happen later—possibly in Q1 2024.

Yaajyaansh Bhardwaj
Yaajyaansh Bhardwaj
A passionate writer and automotive enthusiast with a keen interest in Tesla and electric vehicles. Yaajyaansh's fascination with the automotive industry began at an early age, and as technology advanced, his focus shifted towards the emerging world of electric mobility.


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