Tesla has been testing the new version of the Model 3, referred to internally as Project Highland, on public roads in the US and most recently in China. The company’s testing regime has now expanded further as another test vehicle has been spotted this week in Germany.
The latest sighting comes just a few days before the updated Model 3 is expected to be announced in China.
Tesla has been working on Project Highland for several years now, with the redesign of the electric sedan coming to the forefront earlier this year after numerous camouflaged test vehicles were spotted in California. As we learned more about the project, we found out that Tesla team in China was leading the project, and that Giga Shanghai was undergoing production line upgrades to accommodate the new design.
Those upgrades took place over the summer, and in the last few week several of the same camouflaged test vehicles have been spotted testing in the country. The sightings in both California and around Shanghai made sense as they were near the only two Tesla factories that currently produce the Model 3 – Fremont and Giga Shanghai. But now Tesla has apparently shipped off some Highland Model 3 cars to Germany for testing ahead of the launch.
On Monday a Model 3 with the same camouflage was seen driving on the Autobahn near Lichtenau, a town about five hours to the west of Giga Berlin. (via Reddit)
Tesla Model 3 Highland Spotted on German Autobahn near A4 Lichtenau pic.twitter.com/2k72oF8DvZ
— mrx rx (@mrxrx2) August 28, 2023
Tesla has also been winter testing the new Model 3 in New Zealand for the past few months.
According to Tesla’s online configurator in Germany, new orders for the Model 3 are expected to be delivered in October or November, a longer than usual lead time that was pushed out last week, indicating an imminent launch of the redesign.
Based on reports coming out of China, that launch could come as soon as this Friday, September 1. The new Model 3 is expected to be cheaper and offer several upgrades compared to its predecessor including a redesigned exterior with new front and rear bumper designs with new headlights and taillights, while the interior will see changes like a new steering wheel touch-sensitive buttons, no gear or turn signal stalks, and new materials. It is also expected to launch with Hardware 4.0 (HW4), although it likely won’t have the same specs as HW4 found in the Model S/X.