Tesla is making an update to Model 3, which is significant enough that people other than Elon Musk would call it a refresh, and we’ve seen it.
Electrek can confirm some of the new features.
Over the last few months, we have heard a lot of rumors about a Model 3 update.
It started when Tesla updated the Model 3’s frunk and then submitted an application to produce the Model 3 with a chrome delete in China.
Now we can confirm that Tesla is indeed planning to bundle several updates to the Model 3, and that it is about to start delivery of the new version.
We have seen pictures of the new Model 3, but we are not able to share the pictures at this time in order to protect sources.
The pictures confirmed several updates to the Model 3 produced in the US including a chrome delete to the exterior trims — like my Model 3 pictured above.
Tesla is also adding a powered trunk gate, like in the Model Y.
The interior is seeing a significant update with new upholstery on the top of the vehicle with what appears to be slightly darker material.
Model 3 is getting a completely different center console. Tesla got rid of the glossy piano black finish and replaced it with matte finish.
Here’s my own Model 3’s center console and a quick drawing to explain what the new Tesla console looks like:
The Model 3 center console is made of three different sections in one piece, but the new console almost looks like two pieces instead of one with the top section where you charge your phone at the top looking completely different.
It’s separated with the chrome trim now wrapping around the second section.
Instead of being a lid that flips open, it’s now a sliding door like in the Model S/X center console.
The cup holders don’t have a chrome trim and they are located higher on the section closer to the section with an opening.
The phone charger section looks like a solid piece that doesn’t flip up and down like the current one. It’s wrapped with fake leather and the center has what looks like a suede-like material.
Finally, Tesla has changed the windows with a new double-paned glass, which should help with noise and weather isolation.
The timing of deliveries of the Model 3’s updated features is unclear, but sources say that the new version is rolling off the assembly in Fremont.
All these updates were rumored in a leak in China last month, and the leak also mentioned that the updated Model 3 would be equipped with Tesla’s Octovalve and heat pump.
While we couldn’t visually confirm that like the other features, if they were right on everything else, it’s safe to assume that the Model 3 will also get the heat pump with this refresh.
I know Elon Musk doesn’t like to say that Tesla does model “refreshes” and instead says that they implement new features whenever they’re ready, but if they’re updating all those things, including the heat pump, at the same time, I feel like saying that this is a “refresh” is fair.
Personally, I think a Model S/X interior refresh is more needed than Model 3, but it’s clear that Tesla is focusing on Model Y and Model 3 over the last three years. These are the programs that bring volume to Tesla.