Tesla has just revealed a new refreshed Model 3 at a media event in Norway. This is the first major change to the to car since the Model 3 was announced back in March 2016. Rather than a huge change, this is more of a mid-life refresh with modernised design, cleaner cabin, more range, better ride quality and much more.
First of all, the new Model 3 has been spotted around California and leaked online for the best part of a year at this stage. The car has been at the heart of speculation, with images leaked online and people spotting camouflaged prototypes out and about. Tesla, much like Apple has kept everything to itself ahead of the official announcement.
Tesla says it has changed more than 50% of the core components of the Model 3 in an effort to make the car more refined and comfortable. We have things like better sound insulation, ventilated seats and better suspension and damping.
Around front, this is where most of the information was leaked ahead of time. The biggest change are the new headlights, slimmed down significantly and this also helps with the aerodynamics, which has been improved on the new Model 3. The bumper has also been redesigned to look simpler.
As mentioned, the aerodynamics has been improved with a new slightly reshaped bonnet to help funnel air over the car better. the new Model 3 has a drag coefficient of 0.219, down from 0.23 on the outgoing car.
Around back, we lose the Tesla logo and instead have the word spelled out, which is a common trend now with a lot of cars. The rear lights are again slimmer and are now integrated into the boot lid, rather than split in two.
This improved aero not only helps the new Model 3 look good, but it helps the car achieve more miles on a charge. Tesla hasn’t changed anything with the battery or the motors to all of the gains here are down to the improved aerodynamics. The company says that customers can expect an improvement in range of between 5% and 8%, depending on which model you spring for. For example, the standard rear wheel drive Tesla now has 344 miles of range, vs 305 before. Then the Long Range now has 421 miles, vs 394 on the outgoing model.
Charging speeds are the same as before, 170kW on the standard range and up to 250kW on the long range model. As of yet, no information regarding the Performance Model 3 has been revealed.
Inside, some nice changes have been made. The look is even more minimalist, if that was even possible. The 15.4-inch touchscreen is the same size, but it is now brighter and more responsive. The CPU and GPU powering it is the same however. For the driver, the stalks have been removed, instead replaced with buttons on the steering wheel for the indicators. The drive selector stalk as also been replaced with buttons on the touchscreen.
In the centre console, we now have some real aluminium used and some improved textiles. The two wireless phone chargers are in the same place, but now with three USB-C ports for charging devices. Around back, there is a 8-inch rear display like the new Model S and Model X. This can be used to control the music, heated seats and also play games and watch Netflix.
The new Model 3 will be available as soon as October in some markets. However, it’ll come to the UK in 2024 with roughly the same prices as the current car, around £42,000 starting price.