Tesla’s Project Highland Model 3 refresh is still very much in the rumour stage as more test vehicles and leaked photos give us possible hints as to what will be included with the new design. The latest rumours indicate the electric sedan could gain a feature from its older siblings, and some other features to make it stand out.
Perhaps the biggest addition with the latest rumour is ventilated seats. Tesla first introduced ventilated seats with the Model S and Model X refresh in 2021, and now it looks like the comfort feature is coming to the Model 3. The idea of ventilated seats being part of Project Highland was first shared by Twitter user Kelvin Yang (@KelvinYang7), who has shared accurate Tesla China information in the past.
The rumour gained some veracity soon after with noted Tesla China enthusiast Jay in Shanghai sharing a video showing what is believed to be the Model 3 ventilated seat. From the video we see that the overall seat design itself has not changed much, but we get to see a good view of the perforations on the seat bottom and seat back that allow for the additional airflow.
— Jay in Shanghai 电动 Jay (@JayinShanghai) June 12, 2023
If the Model 3 does in fact gain ventilated seats, that is a good sign that the Cybertruck will also have the same feature. The Cybertruck is expected to begin production later this summer and the first deliveries are supposed to take place towards the end of the third quarter. It also means the Model Y will eventually get ventilated seats at some point in the future, likely when it undergoes a refresh next year.
Yang also suggested the new Model 3 will come with ambient lighting and an upgraded sound system. Ambient lighting is a feature long requested by owners, with many adding aftermarket kits to their vehicles. It is also a feature that is standard in many premium vehicles, however it can also be disliked by some depending on how it is implemented. For example many consider the ambient lighting in the Mercedes-Benz EQS to be over the top, preferring a more subtle atmosphere in the cabin.
While no specifics were shared on what might be upgraded in the sound system, one potential change could be the addition of a second subwoofer, and that hint comes from the Cybertruck. Based on a diagram of the electric truck’s new 48v architecture, it appears as though it will come equipped with dual subwoofers.
According to the most recent public sighting of the Highland Model 3, we know some of the exterior changes will be new headlights, taillights, and as a result new front and rear bumpers. On the inside we have also seen evidence of a new steering wheel and the loss of the gear stalks.
We should hopefully be finding out the official details soon. Giga Shanghai has already started trial production of the refresh design, and Drive Tesla has learned the Fremont Model 3 production lines will be shut down this week for retooling to accommodate the new design. From what we have heard the production line will be offline for about one week to make the changes.