This one will be more than just software.
Anyone familiar with Tesla knows the company rarely updates its vehicles, at least in the traditional sense.
Though the vehicles receive over-the-air software updates regularly, alterations to the design or anything physical are almost non-existent. That's why this new report from Reuters is so surprising. The outlet claims to have insider knowledge from four people close to the project, saying that a revamped Tesla Model 3 is coming in late 2023.
The project is currently in development under the name "Highland." The Model 3 hasn't had a significant update since it went on sale in 2017 (aside from minor trim changes and other adjustments), so project Highland feels well-timed.
This update will primarily focus on the car's interior, but no specific details were provided. We imagine the Model 3 could get similar changes applied to the Model S and Model X, including a new touchscreen, a rear infotainment screen, and the controversial yoke steering wheel. Sources say the Model 3 could also benefit from some styling changes to the exterior and powertrain improvements, though these are not expected to be mild at best.
Buyers will benefit from these updates, but Tesla's primary goal is to cut production costs. The revised exterior should be easier to make using the company's "Giga Presses," thus saving money and potentially yielding a lower starting price.
The Model 3 currently costs $46,990.
Tesla will reportedly start building the refreshed Model 3 at its Shanghai, China plant in late 2023 as a 2024 model year vehicle. Production will also occur at Tesla's Fremont, California factory, but the insider sources didn't say when that would happen.
Software and cosmetic improvements are fine, but if it doesn't look any different, most consumers won't notice. We also look forward to this American-made EV possibly being eligible for a federal tax credit.