Tesla Debuts New Model 3 in China Ahead of US Launch

The stories are true: Tesla has been quietly developing an upgraded Model 3. The new model, previously known as the “Highland” facelift, made its premiere today in Shanghai. It is presently available for reservations in China and Europe; there is no set launch date for the United States.

According to Reuters, this is the first time Tesla has introduced a new model in China before the US, where EVs account for 30% of new car sales compared to 7% in the US, offering a significantly larger market for CEO Elon Musk to conquer. It will be manufactured in Tesla’s Shanghai facility and exported to Europe, with further markets in Asia and the Middle East to follow.

Tesla Debuts New Model 3 in China Ahead of US Launch

Tesla’s US website still displays the older Model 3, but American drivers will be keen to get their hands on the updated model. It outperforms its predecessor in several crucial aspects, including increased range, a sharper overall design, and greater inside technology. Not to mention that the current Model 3 has been on the market in the United States since 2017, when the business faced less rivals. It’s about time the automobile got a new coat of paint, but it’s unclear whether a prospective US version would have the same characteristics.

Improvements to the Range

The hood of the new Model 3 (left) is flatter and less bulbous than that of its predecessor (right). (Photo courtesy of Tesla)

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The new Model 3 seems to have a flatter, more aerodynamic hood, attaining the company’s lowest drag coefficient ever (Cd of.219, down from.225 on the current Model 3), according to Electrek. This leads to an improvement in range, albeit the statistics for the China and Europe types differ.

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The Chinese model of the new Model 3 has an 11-12% boost in range, reaching 344 miles for the base, Standard Range model. The European version, on the other hand, has a little reduced range—319 miles for the base, Standard Range.

China and Europe have their own range testing, which provide usually greater values than the EPA in the United States. According to InsideEVs, China’s CLTC tests are frequently 35% higher than the EPA, while Europe’s WLTP is approximately 22% higher.

According to the EPA estimates, the basic Model 3 has a 272-mile range in the United States. Using the same 11% gain in range for the hypothetical US version of the revised Model 3, the basic model would travel around 300 miles on a single charge.

Interior Updates with a New Rear Touch Screen

Significant internal upgrades elevate the current edition above its more bare-bones (“minimalistic”) predecessor. Tesla’s iconic 17-inch touch screen remains dominant in the cockpit, but with a little adjustment: Tesla moved the gear shift from a physical stalk to touch screen buttons.

Backseat passengers will like the new 8-inch touch screen, which includes climate controls and entertainment choices. The seats are also more comfortable, both front and back, and the trunk is bigger.

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The updated Model 3 retains its characteristic huge screen in the front and adds a smaller one for rear occupants. (Photo courtesy of Tesla)

The customised inside provides ambience as well as “wraparound styling that cocoons you inside,” according to the Tesla EU website. The updated Model 3 sports a better sound system (17 speakers instead of 14) and reduced road noise due to “360-degree acoustic glass.” Tesla has enhanced Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, as well as phone call microphones.

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What Is the Price of the New Tesla Model 3?

All of these improvements are not free. In China, the basic Model 3 with rear-wheel drive costs $35,800 (259,900 yuan), up from $32,000 (231,900 yuan) for its predecessor. The Model 3 presently begins at slightly over $40,000 in the United States.

It remains to be seen whether and when Tesla will debut the revised Model 3 in the United States, as well as whether it will be prettier and more expensive than its predecessor. Furthermore, Tesla modified its prices on a regular basis during 2023, so nothing is certain.

The word Tesla has replaced the Tesla symbol on the back. (Photo courtesy of Tesla)

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