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Tesla Officially Launches 2021 Model 3, Gets Better Range, New Wheels, Power Lift Trunk & More

Tesla has officially launched the 2021 variant of its low-cost sedan, the Model 3, after days of speculation. There were many reports talking about the different features that Tesla might be bringing, and the Californian automaker has now made it official, after updating the order configurator on its website yesterday. The new variant has a lot of new features, and will also have a higher range than before.

New Tesla Model 3 2021

Tesla Officially Launches 2021 Model 3, Gets Better Range, New Wheels, Power Lift Trunk & More

In the last 10 to 15 days, many new models of the Tesla Model 3 were spotted leaving the Fremont Megafactory in California. These vehicles had some new features, a newer set of wheels, and some were even right-hand drive, hinting towards the possibility of Tesla shipping these new Model 3s to Australia or New Zealand. Now that it is official, we can comment that these changes are across a wide variety of features, from interior aesthetics to performance.

New Interior Features Introduced

Tesla had made a few changes to its Model Y a couple of months ago, and with the Model 3 and Y being based on the same basic design, it was only a matter of time before the Model 3 got these changes too.

Unsurprisingly, the changes to the Model 3 are inspired from those made in the Model Y, like the chrome delete for the frame around the doors and windows. The interior aesthetic now has a more luxurious feel to it, as Tesla has provided a changed center console, which is surrounded by a leather finish rather than the plastic sidewalls that were in place earlier. The mechanism has been changed too, with the centerpiece now sliding out as in the Model S or X, rather than flipping out. The cabin comfort is set to increase too, with a double-layer glass on the windows and windshield which will help improve noise isolation. The steering wheel has a new metallic finish and is also equipped with a heating feature.

The other changes include a powered trunk and a smaller frunk. The size of the frunk (front trunk) has been reduced to accommodate a new heat pump, which will be used to keep the battery at an optimum temperature, especially in colder conditions. This will also help with increasing the efficiency of the powertrain.

Changes in Performance

Tesla has apparently installed a new efficiency package with this new Model 3. This efficiency package has been made possible by features such as the new heat pump and the Octovalve system. The Octovalve combines the cooling circuit along with the thermal management system to provide an optimized thermal flow inside the car. This new efficiency package has resulted in a higher single-charge range for the Model 3, as Tesla is keeping with its tradition of improving range with every major update.

The Long Range Dual Motor variant has received a 30-mile (48 km roughly) increase, and will now be able to cover a distance of 353 miles (568 km) on a single charge. The earlier figure was 322 miles (518 km). Along with this, the other two variants of the Model 3 have also received range upgrades. The Model 3 Standard Range Plus can now go 263 miles (423 km) before needing a charger, up from 250 miles (402 km). The Model 3 Performance, on the other hand, will now have a range of 315 miles (507 km), up from 299 miles (481 km).

These are the estimated EPA numbers as of now, and the picture will be clearer when the EPA test results are made official. Tesla will also probably announce the details of this new efficiency package that it has installed in the new version in the coming few days.

The acceleration timings of 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) for all three variants have also improved, with the Model 3 Performance having shaved one-tenth of a second off its previous record, and it now stands at 3.1 seconds. The Long Range and Standard Plus also manage 4.2 seconds and 5.3 seconds respectively.

Exterior Changes

The new Model 3 now comes equipped with a new set of wheels as well. The 18” Aero wheels and the 19” Sports wheels have received slight modifications with an eye on efficiency. These two wheels will be available for the Standard Plus and Long Range variants, while Tesla has introduced a new 20” Überturbine set of wheels for the Performance variant.

They have also made some other minor changes, including bringing back the auto-dimming mirror. There is also a graphite trim near the seat control and some other interior changes which will get clearer once the deliveries begin. The first few batches of this refreshed Model 3 that rolled off the production line were meant for the international market, and now, Tesla has started producing the same for the North American market. Stay tuned.

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


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