Tesla will give an early glimpse of the facelifted Model 3 “Highland” in Shanghai, as part of Elon Musk’s visit to China this week, according to a report published by Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
As per the source, the first cars coming off the production line at the carmaker’s Shanghai Gigafactory today are prototypes of the revamped Model 3, which is “slightly longer and sportier” than the current version and “has a sleeker interior design.”
A rumour that started circulating last month said that the EV maker will start trial production of the revamped Model 3 at its Shanghai manufacturing facility on the 1st of June, but Tesla China reportedly denied the information.
With this being said, it’s worth noting that the Chinese division of the American EV brand has denied some rumours in the past that still ended up being true. Furthermore, during last month’s shareholders' meeting, Elon Musk said that the company is working on launching two new products, hinting that one of these is already being built:
“I just want to emphasize that we are actually building a new product, we are actually designing a new product, we’re not sitting on our hands here,” said the CEO.
The Tesla Model 3 facelift known as Project “Highland” has been in the works for almost a year, and while the carmaker hasn’t officially announced that a refresh is coming for the all-electric sedan, numerous spy photos and videos point to the idea that the Austin-based brand is up to something. There’s also the internet-famous photo of an uncovered Tesla Model 3 that appears to be wearing a redesigned front bumper and new headlights.
The Model 3 has been in production without any major updates since 2017, so launching a facelifted version would be more than welcome six years on, especially in the context of tough competition in China from local brands like BYD.
Besides the exterior cosmetic changes, Project “Highland” is expected to bring a redesigned interior, along with a simplified manufacturing process that’s supposed to use fewer parts and lower costs.