10 things you need to know Tesla Highland

10 things you need to know Tesla Highland

Tesla’s Project Highland could be the key to addressing the issues related to Model 3 and the EV automaker’s broader challenges.

  • Tesla’s Project Highland aims to revamp the Model 3 sedan with interior and exterior modifications, addressing common issues and improving its appeal.
  •  The refreshed Model 3 may feature a redesigned exterior with sportier headlights and a more linear front bumper, while the interior could see changes like touch-sensitive buttons and enhanced infotainment.
  •  Speculations suggest that the Model 3 Highland might come with Tesla’s latest self-driving hardware, FSD Hardware Version 4.0, which offers improved sensors and a broader field of vision. It could also have a range boost and potential performance enhancements, all at a more affordable price point.

Tesla has been a world leader in the EV market for years, primarily because it entered the scene early and developed compelling all-electric vehicles with almost no competition at the start. It’s fair to say, without a shadow of doubt, that Tesla is the catalyst behind the surge in electric car popularity. However, with the fast-paced evolution of the electric vehicle market, some experts speculate that Tesla could very well lose its supremacy by 2030. And being the giant it is, Tesla is aware that mere brand recognition won’t be enough to draw in the next wave of buyers, especially the consumers in the United States (regardless of the political party they support).

While there are many things Tesla needs to do to maintain its dominance, the automotive company must address its somewhat “intimidating” barriers to entry for new buyers (a domain where rivals like GM and Hyundai are gaining ground) and push out better, more technologically adept vehicles to keep competition at bay. As part of its efforts to stay on top, Tesla is reportedly working on Model 3 Project Highland in a bid to amplify the appeal of the company’s most affordable all-electric sedan.

Tesla’s Project Highland will focus on a revamped Model 3, complete with interior and exterior modifications. This six-year-old electric sedan was a monumental success upon its 2017 debut. However, the Model 3 (or even Tesla itself) has its fair share of haters. So, does Tesla’s Project Highland promises a better Model 3 that rises above these challenges? Here’s everything you need to know.

1 The ‘Project Highland’ Is A Refinement Rather Than A Fresh Start For Model 3

Tesla Model 3 RWD

First up, let’s clear the air about a common misunderstanding swirling around Project Highland. It isn’t a brand-new incarnation of the Tesla Model 3, but rather, it is the next evolutionary step for the all-electric sedan. Since its introduction, the Tesla Model 3 has remained largely unchanged, prompting eager anticipation in the EV world for any potential upgrades. Over recent months, there’s been talk and reports circulating about Tesla’s intention to revamp the Model 3, with insiders whispering about a codenamed initiative, “Project Highland”.

This chatter began to solidify towards the end of 2022, especially after a notable mention by Reuters about a forthcoming refresh for the Model 3 as well as Model Y codenamed Project Jupiter. While there’s no official word yet on the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Project Highland, a slew of leaks and insider reports hint at something exciting coming up. Also, Elon Musk recently announced a projected dip in EV production, citing “factory upgrades” as the reason for halting operations at Tesla facilities worldwide. After that statement, all we had to do was connect the dots

2 It Calls For A Revamp More Than Ever Before

tesla model 3

With the Model Y stealing the limelight as the top-selling vehicle in Q1 2023, it’s only logical that Tesla would want to reinvigorate the Model 3 to stay ahead of the competition by adding new features and addressing common problems (phantom braking issues, questionable build quality, firm ride experience, door handle malfunctions, poor paint job, grinding noises and more). Most importantly, one cannot ignore the fact that it ranks as the third-most recalled vehicle. So, Tesla needs to boost the sales of its most popular and one of the best-selling electric cars in the world — which previously held the best-selling electric vehicle title from 2018-2020.

Also, Tesla must ensure that its most affordable vehicle remains desirable, especially in light of future competition from others and its own ranks. The upcoming 2026 Tesla Model 2, with its enticing projected starting price of $25,000, is generating a lot of buzz for all the right reasons. However, with the Tesla Model 2 release date slated for 2025, the automaker cannot afford to let the Model 3 lose its appeal before then. Interestingly, Elon Musk admitted that the aggressive Model 3 production in 2019 nearly drove Tesla to the brink of bankruptcy. We doubt it’ll happen again.

3 Expect A Major Refresh Of The Exterior Styling

Tesla Model 3

Several Tesla Highland prototypes have been spotted on the streets of California, hinting at significant exterior and interior changes. After all, it would be out of character for Tesla to limit updates to mere tweaks on the front and rear bumpers. Moreover, freshly leaked spy photos of Model 3 test vehicles underscore this, showing the cars with their front and rear all wrapped like Christmas presents. It strongly hints that the Project Highland will prominently feature a front and rear sensor package along with a fresh exterior design styling.

Some speculations suggest that the Model 3 might have the softly curved front bumper replaced by a design that’s notably more linear and simplified. Additionally, a leaked photo of the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland on Reddit reveals a set of sportier, more aggressive headlights (seemingly inspired by the Model S and Roadster) accompanied by redesigned wheels.

4 The Interior Could Get A Complete Overhaul

Reports indicate Tesla’s refresh strategy for the Model 3 Highland emphasizes on reducing the number of components and complexity of the interior. It’s worth noting that the Model 3 interior already stands out for its minimalist elegance when stacked against its all-electric sedan counterparts. But Tesla appears to be upping the ante. Tesla insights reveal that the Highland variant might swap out traditional gear selectors and control stalks for sleek touch-sensitive buttons. This paradigm shift isn’t just for show; it promises to elevate the driving experience by streamlining operations. And if rumors hold weight, the “controversial” Yoke steering wheel might make its debut in the 2024 Tesla Model 3.

Considering that infotainment has consistently been a standout feature for Tesla, enhancements in this area are anticipated. And that’s not all. Potential interior refinements might include ventilated seats, a richer audio experience, and mood-enhancing ambient lighting. The wood detailing could be swapped for fabric trim, and we might be in for a dashboard refresh too.

5 Possible Inclusion Of Tesla FSD Hardware Version 4.0

Tesla FSD Beta V11

Tesla has already begun manufacturing Model Y vehicles equipped with FSD Hardware Version 4.0, the latest suite of Autopilot/self-driving sensors and a new FSD computer. And that too without making too much noise. Now, speculations suggest that the 2024 Model 3 Highland’s front and rear sensors might be paired with Tesla’s new self-driving HW4 computer. This new FSD computer, which has already been integrated into the Tesla Model X and Model S, boasts a new radar and 12 cameras (up from the nine found in other Tesla models) positioned around the vehicle. This enhancement ensures a more comprehensive field of vision and data capture, vital for self-driving functionalities. Also, HW4 is expected to be much safer and about two to four times faster than HW3.

According to some reports, the Tesla Highland might sport a single camera on the front bumper and an additional two cameras on each side, upgrading their resolution from 1.2 to 5.0 megapixels. Plus, with LED flicker mitigation in the mix, they’re primed for clearer digital sign reading. Adding to this, the B-pillar cameras might come with built-in heaters, a smart solution aimed at preventing fog accumulation behind the protective glass.

6 A Range Boost Could Be Coming With A Bigger Battery



The Tesla Model 3 might be considered the younger sibling of the Model S, but it certainly doesn’t shy away in terms of performance and range. Like its other Tesla counterparts, the 2023 Model 3 stands out as an exceptionally efficient EV, boasting one of the segment’s top ranges. For instance, if you choose the 2023 Model 3 Long Range AWD, you’re looking at an impressive 333 miles of range. Meanwhile, the Performance AWD model promises robust performance with a 315-mile range. Even the Standard Range RWD trim provides a respectable 272 miles on a single charge. Now, the upcoming Model 3 Highland could very well increase the range of the RWD model, making it an even more compelling purchase.

Reports from China indicate that Tesla is updating the base battery pack to the new M3P lithium-ion phosphate battery. This could translate to a 6 kWh jump in 2024 Tesla Highland and an anticipated 10 percent surge in driving range. Therefore, we might get to see the base model delivering a mighty impressive 300-mile range on a single charge. This newer battery technology aligns perfectly with Tesla’s mission for cost-effectiveness, given that this new technology offers superior energy storage and is more cost-friendly than the batteries currently powering Tesla vehicles.

7 There Will Most Likely Be A Performance Upgrade

While there’s no official word yet on a performance upgrade for the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland, rumors and speculation suggest it’s quite possible. A compelling reason is the upcoming Model 3 Highland’s anticipated lighter build, thanks to megacasting. This innovative method can phase out hundreds of body parts by using a single aluminum piece of the rear underbody and a front underbody made of two pieces. Besides bolstering the car’s body rigidity and strength, it promises improved safety, handling, and overall performance.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Highland release brings any upgrades to the Tesla Model 3 Performance variant, which already boasts an impressive 455 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque from its dual-motor setup. For many consumers, an enhanced Model 3 Standard variant, offering more than 271 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from its rear electric motor, would be appealing. Given the power specifications combined with Model 3’s acclaimed responsiveness, we certainly have high expectations for the new Tesla Model 3 Highland.

8 We Could Be Looking At A Potential Tesla Model 3 Price Drop

Tesla Model 3

To counter competitive pressure, Tesla has reduced prices for its vehicles (Model S, Model Y, and Model X) in China. And as a result of the ongoing EV price war, over two dozen automakers have had no choice but to slash their prices to remain in the race. Therefore, the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland is rumored to be approximately 14 percent more affordable than the current version. To do this, Tesla plans to extend the megacasting used in Model Y production lines to the Model 3. This approach would streamline the assembly process by negating the need to weld or bond multiple body parts.

Efforts to make the Model 3 Highland more cost-effective don’t stop there. The EV marker is looking into using improved materials, such as a fabric-lined finish over the wooden dashboard lining. The 2024 Tesla Model 3 Highland may also exclude the external temperature sensor to reduce the price. Additionally, Tesla is set to use structural battery packs from its Gigafactory in Texas, a move that’s anticipated to bring down production expenses even further. With these enhancements in manufacturing, the 2024 Model 3 Highland might see a notable price drop (possibly less than $40,000 for the base model before incentives), positioning the Model 3 refresh to potentially outpace its rivals in sales.

9 It Has Reportedly Entered Production Ramp-Up Phase

tesla model 3

It was earlier reported that the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Project Highland entered its trial production phase, with deliveries expected to begin in September. Now, Tesla China Analyst says that the Highland Model 3 production phase has concluded, with the production ramp-up and stress testing commencing on August 25. It’s even anticipated that daily production figures will soar, achieving around 1,200 units by early September. While Tesla hasn’t officially announced the Model 3 Highland release date, one might anticipate deliveries by October.

Tesla foresees substantial demand for the Project Highland Model 3. And given the data at hand, this prediction isn’t just corporate optimism. Reports point out that the Giga Shanghai plant’s production focus has pivoted solely to the Highland variant, laying out ambitious plans to churn out approximately 10,000 units every month. Meeting this high production capacity will be possible due to the use of Giga Press (a result of collaboration between Tesla and IDRA).

10 Tesla Is Gearing Up For Highland Launch By Clearing Model 3 Stock

Tesla Model 3 Elon Musk

If the anticipation for the Highland launch feels a tad too long, and you’re eyeing a great deal on the 2023 Model 3, now might just be the right moment. Tesla had previously introduced a tempting discount offer in May 2023, slashing the price tag of the Model 3 by $1,210. But the EV automaker didn’t stop there. The following month, the discount deepened to a solid $2,410 for Model 3 inventory vehicles across the US. This strategic move is geared towards clearing the stock ahead of the much-anticipated Model 3 Refresh debut.

With this significant markdown, the entry point for the standard Model 3 is at $37,830. And after factoring in the federal tax credit, this price could tumble further to a ballpark figure of about $34,000. Tesla is keen on ensuring that every last unit of the current Model 3 finds a home before the revamped version takes center stage. As the clock ticks closer to Tesla Model 3 Highland’s grand launch, it would be best to keep an eye on potential price shifts. Tesla is undoubtedly eager to clear its 2023 Model 3 inventory in the US, which might just translate to further price drops for prospective buyers.

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