Tesla releases updated Model Y in China

Tesla has quietly, and surprisingly released an updated version of the Model Y, but for now only in China. This isn’t a full-fledged refresh like what just happened with the Model 3, but it brings with it updates to the interior, exterior, and even the specs of the entry-level variant.

Exterior Updates

On the outside is where the smallest change took place, with the 19″ Gemini wheel covers now coming in black, as opposed to the previously available silver and grey wheel covers. As noted there have been no changes to the Model Y being built at Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Berlin, as configurators in countries where those vehicles are delivered from are still showing the original Gemini covers.

UPDATE 9:47pm PT: According to Tesla China insider Chris Zheng, this update also adds Hardware 4.0 (HW4) to the Model Y from Giga Shanghai. Previously HW4 was only included on Model Ys built at Fremont and Giga Texas.

Interior Updates

On the inside is where some more significant updates took place. The most noticeable is to the dash, where the wood trim has been replaced with what looks to be the same woven fabric that is included on the new Model 3 dash. This new dash material is also the same colour for both the black and white interior options.

Along with the updated material, Tesla has also added RGB ambient lighting, but unlike the Model 3 it is only be included on the dash and does not wrap around onto the doors. You can click the photos below to see the RGB lights on the dash.

Spec Updates

Finally, Tesla has also updated the acceleration specs of the entry-level variant of the Model Y. The Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) variant can now reach 100km/h in 5.9 seconds. That is a full one second improvement over the previous time of 6.9 seconds. That is a substantial improvement in acceleration, however Tesla has not announced how they have been able to achieve this 1 second reduction, either through software, a new battery chemistry, new drive units, or some combination thereof.

Credit: Tesla

Tesla has been able to add all of these updates without affecting the price. All three variants of the Model Y in China have the same starting prices as before.

As we noted, this is not a full-fledged refresh, but we still expect that to happen, likely in the second half of 2024. This Model Y refresh was previously referred to internally as Project Juniper, a name which you have probably heard on social media. However, Drive Tesla has learned it has been given a new name to avoid leaks of this project, like what happened with Project Highland.

These updates are only currently available on the Model Y built at Giga Shanghai, but as with other updates that have happened, we expect them to make their way to Tesla’s other factories over the next few months. The Canadian configurator is also still showing the silver/grey Gemini wheel covers and original interior, but with Tesla now exporting cars from China to Canada, it would not be surprising to see this new Model Y land in Canada soon.

What do you think of the design updates? Let us know in the comments below.

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