A few presumed camouflaged Tesla Model 3 Highland cars were seen in Europe. The cars were spotted in the area of Tarragona, Spain. So far, this is the first known sighting of the updated Model 3 in Europe.
Tesla customers, fans, and investors have been discussing the release of the updated Model 3 for a long time. The project is codenamed Highland. According to pieces of information gleaned from various sources, as well as spy shots, a lot of upgrades have been made, both in the body and interior, and in equipment.
Previously, camouflaged Tesla Model 3 Highland were seen in the United States on roads and public parking lots. However, it seems that the company has now brought the car in for testing in Europe. Up to this point, Tesmanian was not aware of a single case where someone reported that the Model 3 Highland was seen in Europe, and now this has changed.
@Miguel02011198/X (via teslamag.de) shared on Friday that he spotted an unusual Tesla vehicle. It had a covered rear end, just like the Tesla Model 3 Highland that has been repeatedly spotted on US roads. However, due to the poor quality of the video, it is difficult to say with certainty whether the front was covered.
Miguel was driving his Model Y in the region of Tarragona, Spain. It is noteworthy that he saw the car twice: when he was driving in one direction, and then when he returned a few hours later. Apparently, during this time the car did not move but remained in place. The car's emergency lights were on. The video was filmed by the onboard cameras of his Model Y.
Cazado hoy en zona de Tarragona Tesla Model 3 Highland pic.twitter.com/GRxC9RlEXm— Miguel (@Miguel02011198) August 11, 2023
At the moment, it remains unconfirmed whether this was indeed a Model 3 Highland, although it looked similar. It is also unknown what happened. Perhaps there was some kind of breakdown, or the car was tested in specific conditions that could be achieved there.
Another X user, @Ivannieto79, confirmed that a Model 3, which looks like a Highland, has been testing in the region for several days now. In confirmation, he shared a video in which you can see the car. The front and back of the vehicle are covered, according to pictures also taken by the onboard cameras of his Tesla car.
¡Pues sí, Eduardo! Lleva unos días por la zona la mula rodando. (La grabación es del 4 de julio.) pic.twitter.com/v0ZSagGXK2— Iván Nieto (@Ivannieto79) August 11, 2023
At the moment, we are aware of the following changes that should be in the Model 3 Highland:
According to the information, the Model 3 upgrade will include redesigned headlights. The new headlights will have a different shape and continue to offer matrix headlights. However, it remains unclear if they will be enabled at launch.
Since Tesla has been hiding the front part of the car ever since the Model 3 Highland was first seen, it was obvious that the shape of the bumper would change. First, Tesla is always looking for more aerodynamics to improve the drag coefficient, and changes to the bumper will help achieve this. Second, the front bumper will house one camera in the center of the lower-vent area. This will provide the ability to detect objects directly in front of the car, which is especially important after the removal of Ultra Sonic Sensors.
The rear bumper of the car will also be changed, which we already guessed due to the fact that Tesla always covered this part in test cars. However, at this point, there is no voiced reason to change its design other than that it could be a simple design change to better match the overall look of the car.
According to the information, the mirrors will also be changed, although only slightly. The source did not say if the changes are due to a desire to improve the overall look or make more fundamental changes to their features.
One of the most interesting is the addition of cameras. Tesla recently launched Hardware 4 on Model S and Model X vehicles. While the new vehicles feature the same number of cameras as the Hardware 3 vehicles, the new Model 3 will be different. There will be three new cameras in total: one in the center of the front bumper, as mentioned earlier, and two more on the sides of the car.
The camera housing on the wing will now contain two cameras. One will look back, as it is now, and the other will look in some other direction. It remains unclear how exactly the new camera will be oriented. The body of the camera repeater on the front fenders is also likely to change. It now includes a longer line, as seen on one of the test vehicles.
Project Highland will ship with Tesla's latest Hardware 4. The cameras themselves are expected to be the same as found in the HW4 Model S and Model X vehicles. Presumably, these are 5-megapixel anti-glare cameras, which are significantly more advanced than the current 1.2-megapixel cameras in HW3 vehicles. In addition, with a new set of cameras, the new Model 3 has everything to provide a bird's eye view.
Tesla removes the temperature sensor, which is used to detect the temperature outside the car. Instead, the car will determine the outside temperature based on its GPS location and weather data.
Tesla is also improving its GPS module, which is expected to provide more accurate positioning. The new system will allow Tesla to use networks other than GPS to determine the vehicle's location. This may result in faster location detection and higher accuracy.
Inside the car, there will also be some changes that will relate to refreshing the appearance. The wood trim will be removed and replaced with fabric trim. The car's dashboard will also receive a facelift, but no details have been released.
© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.