Tesla Officially Announces the Refreshed Model 3 ‘Highland’ With Ambient Lighting, Rear Screen and Ventilated Seats [Photos/Video]


September 1, 2023

By Kevin Armstrong

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3

Tesla’s very public secret, codenamed Highland, is now in showrooms in China. The company finally publicly revealed the product, as predicted for the beginning of September, and thanks to months of leaks, there weren’t a lot of surprises. We’ve been reporting on leaks since the end of 2022, and it turns out our sources were accurate.

Tesla has again made a publicity splash without spending a dime on traditional advertising. Instead, the company gave some automotive YouTubers an early peak at the Model 3. As soon as the embargo was lifted, YouTube channels were filled with views — money in the content creators’ pocket and publicity for Tesla.

Ambient Lighting

Multicolor ambient LED interior lighting extends from the dash to the rear seats. If that’s not cool enough, this color appears to be adjustable to any shade you like, similar to how you can change the color of your Tesla on the screen and in the app. More than half of the refreshed Model 3 is made with new parts. It is also coming in two new colors in China, Ultra Red and Stealth Gray.


The range has increased by 11 to 12 percent, which equates to the rear-wheel drive getting 346 miles (554 kilometers), and the dual motor long-range 423 miles (678 kilometres). This is thanks to several things, including the lighter Model 3, now the most aerodynamic Tesla in the lineup at a stunning 0.219 drag coefficient down from 0.225.

Suspension & Road Noise

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3

The upgraded suspension provides a more premium ride with new springs & dampers, new geometry on the front suspension, new bushings, and a new way they mount the subframe to the chassis. Moreover, the tires now have more cushioning for an improved ride.

Tesla has made a 30% decrease in wind and ambient noise, a 25% improvement in impact noise, and a 20% improvement in road noise. This has been achieved by using acoustic glass on the rear windows and back window (it was only on the front windows before), resulting in “360º acoustic glass”. Additionally, more sound insulation has been added for a quieter ride.

Even Better Interior

However, you won’t be able to hear the quiet thanks to the new 17-speaker sound system, up from 14 speakers — complete with two subwoofers and two amplifiers.

We knew the interior was getting an overhaul, but we didn’t know about the upgraded ventilation system, allowing the passage side to be turned off and gain separate fan speeds. There are also two microphones for clearers calls and improved Wi-Fi connectivity. There is also an updated center console with real metal handles and a 65W USB-C charger that provides enough power to charge almost any USB-C device, includingarge a laptop. The center touchscreen has smaller bezels, higher contrast, and better responsiveness. Speaking of screens, there is an 8-inch touchscreen for rear passengers, just like the Model S and Model X.

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3

Front Bumper Camera

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3

The rumored front camera did not appear in any of the YouTube videos. As previously reported, the new Model 3 is still believed to have a front camera, just like the Cybertruck, and did appear with it in several photos. The front camera will eliminate that very real blind spot just in front of the bumper that the cameras in the windshield can’t see.

Details We Already Knew

Tesla officially announced the refreshed Model 3

Now for a refresher about the Model 3 refresh. We’ve been talking about this vehicle since December of 2022, as the partially covered cars started popping up around California. Along the way we learned a lot, but we know that not all of you read about Tesla every day (shame, shame!). So here is a list with links to previous articles that discuss the features.

Model 3 Refresh Up Close and Personal


Tesla has been slashing the prices of the current Model 3, but the Highland is getting a price bump. With the cars already on the showroom floors in China, the RWD is 259,900 yuan, $35,800 USD, while the long-range is 295,900 yuan, $40,800 USD. Those prices are about a 10 percent increase — still, no word when the new Model 3 will be available in North America.

The Tesla Model 3 Highland is more than just a refresh; it’s a complete overhaul that addresses several aspects of the vehicle, from aesthetics to performance and comfort. Introducing new colors, a more aerodynamic design, an enhanced sound system, and improved noise insulation are just a few of the many upgrades that make this Model 3 iteration stand out. Although there was a slight bump in the price, the host of improvements and added features justify the increase, offering more value to the customers. Time for an upgrade?

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December 27, 2023

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla's Dashcam now provides more informative badges

With Tesla’s holiday update, version 2023.44.30 and above, Tesla has made several performance improvements to video-heavy features such as the Dashcam Viewer and Tesla Theater apps.

It’s not clear whether the improvements are only for Intel Atom entertainment units or if the changes are merely more noticeable on the slower processor, but video-related apps are now faster and more responsive.

Dashcam / Sentry Mode Viewer

There have been performance improvements to Tesla's video apps such as the Dashcam Viewer

When viewing Dashcam footage through the vehicle’s built-in viewer, you’ll immediately notice that video appears to load faster and play smoother.

When using the progress bar to scrub through footage, you’ll also notice a big improvement in responsiveness and less “jumpy” video.

These changes may be in part due to a new open-source Shaka player Tesla implemented in the update leading up to the holiday release. The new Javascript-based player supports a wide array of audio and video codecs that Tesla may be leveraging to improve performance.

Dashcam Icons

Along with improvements to the Dashcam Viewer, Tesla also added more informative icons to the Dashcam. If you commonly use the Dashcam app in your launcher, you’ll appreciate these additional badges that provide more information on the state of the Dashcam.

The dashcam icon will now display these states: 

Saving / Loading: This icon features a gray badge with arrows letting you know the Dashcam is saving or retrieving footage to the USB drive.

Saved Successfully: After successfully saving footage to the USB drive, a green checkmark badge will now briefly appear on the dashcam icon.

Error / Not Recording: If there is an error with your dashcam, USB drive or recording is turned off, there will be a gray badge with an ‘X’ that signifies that the dashcam is not actively recording.

Paused: A red pause badge shows up on the dashcam’s icon if the dashcam is temporarily not recording, like if the Dashcam Viewer is actively being used.

Tesla Theater

Similar to the improvements to the Dashcam Viewer, Tesla Theater is also seeing significant performance improvements while browsing and watching content.

The improvements are especially noticeable when scrolling through content, watching YouTube, or minimizing Tesla Theater. In general, the interface is smoother and fewer frames are dropped.

These improvements are significant for Intel Atom entertainment units (MCU 2), as these apps could sometimes be frustrating to use due to them being unresponsive or jumping around.

We’re not sure if the Shaka media player offers performance improvements over the previous player, whether Tesla switched to a less CPU-intensive video codec for MCU 2 owners, or if there are other underlying changes, but the difference to video apps is very much noticeable and appreciated.

Updated: December 22, 2023

By Kevin Armstrong

The Cybertruck will have a front camera with a washer and a heater

Tesla’s unveiling of the Cybertruck still has the community buzzing as Tesla continues to send out emails for reservation holders to configure their Foundation series Cybertruck. While you wait for that email, Tesla has released some reading material for you to get even more acquainted with the stainless steel beast.

The parts catalog is also available, and it reveals even more surprises. It also details how much future owners should be prepared to dish out if a new part is needed. We reviewed the catalog and read a former Tesla service technician’s takeaways.

Front Bumper Camera (Video)

One of the Cybertruck’s most innovative features, highlighted in the parts catalog, is its front camera system. This camera, placed at the center of the front bumper confirms that the front bumper camera will contain a washer to hose down the front lens which is sure to attract some debris.

However, it also confirms a new feature, the existence of a heating element for the front camera.

Cybertruck’s bumper camera washer. �’�

You initiate the washer by tapping an icon in the camera app.

The camera also features a heater to melt snow/icepic.twitter.com/6inXFMBX14

— Not a Tesla App (@NotATeslaApp) December 22, 2023

This dual functionality is essential for maintaining visibility and functionality in various weather conditions, especially in colder climates where snow and ice can obscure the lens. The heating element prevents the build-up of frost, while the washer ensures that dirt and debris do not compromise the camera’s view.

The front camera washer is activated manually through the Camera app. When viewing the front bumper camera, there is a small icon in the corner of the video feed that activates the new washing feature.

It’s also likely that Tesla will include this front bumper camera in all future models. A revision to the Model S and Model X will contain the new front camera, and the North American version of the new Model 3 is expected to include one as well.

The Cybertruck also includes hardware 4.0, and like other models we’ve seen, the Cybertruck will only contain two front-facing cameras at the top of the windshield.

Windshield and Wiper Blade: Pricing and Practicality

The Cybertruck’s massive windshield, priced at $1,900, has garnered attention for its size and cost. Its replacement, possibly requiring specialized techniques, reflects the vehicle’s unique design. The wiper blade, priced at $75, has been humorously noted for its size but is essential for maintaining clear visibility in adverse weather.

Cybertruck Wiper will cost $75

Shatterproof Windows and Powered Frunk

The Cybertruck’s side windows are shatterproof, priced between $200-$260, enhancing the vehicle’s safety profile. The powered frunk, another innovative feature, offers added convenience and storage at approximately $2,845. Since the Cybertruck uses two gigacasting, the front and rear fenders will also be individually available. For the rear fenders, this is significantly different than most cars, as the rear fenders are usually built as part of the frame of the vehicle.

Cybertruck Frunk and Panels

All-Terrain Tires and Suspension System

Equipped with 35″ All-Terrain A/T tires (Goodyear Wrangler Territory RT), priced at $470 each, the Cybertruck is ready for rugged terrains. This choice in tires underscores the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. Although not detailed in terms of cost, the suspension system is expected to match the vehicle’s high-performance standards and be adaptable to varying driving conditions.

Rear Drive Unit: Engineering Excellence

A former Tesla employee, Anthony Spina, reviewed the catalog and provided an in-depth part-by-part breakdown. The rear drive unit, especially in the Tri-Motor Cybertruck, showcases Tesla’s engineering prowess. Spina’s insights reveal a 48-volt oil pump system integral to the vehicle’s performance. This pump is vital in power distribution and thermal management, ensuring the motors operate efficiently under various conditions.

Better Phone Key Support

A lot of what makes the parts in the Cybertruck interesting is that they likely lay the groundwork for future Tesla models, much like the Model 3 did for the Model Y and new Model S and X.

It looks like the Cybertruck will now have seven Bluetoooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors around the vehicle, which is more than other models. Using a form of triangulation, this should be better at detecting where the driver’s phone is in relation to the car.

Since the car’s driver profile can be tied to a specific phone through Bluetooth Priority Device, this helps improve various features, including, better unlocking, setting the correct driver profile and connecting Bluetooth audio to the correct device.

SiriusXM Hardware

The Cybertruck is a mix between Tesla’s luxury line of the Model S and X and their economy line of the 3 and Y. While it has an air suspension, a powered frunk and other features not available on the new Model 3, it doesn’t have other features available on the Model S, such as an instrument cluster. It looks like it also won’t have dedicated SiriusXM hardware, which could be disappointment to some future owners. Hopefully Tesla plans on rolling out a streaming version of SiriusXM soon.

Concerns Over Supply Chain and Parts Availability

A looming concern for Cybertruck owners is the availability of replacement parts. Tesla’s history of long wait times for parts, coupled with the Cybertruck’s unique stainless steel construction, makes the efficiency of the supply chain a critical factor. Ensuring a consistent supply of components will be pivotal for Tesla to meet maintenance and repair demands.

The Tesla Cybertruck, with its array of innovative features, represents a significant evolution in the EV market. The insights derived from users like Spina and others offer a glimpse into a vehicle that is futuristic not only in design but also in functionality. Now, get studying while you wait for the delivery email from Tesla.

Source : https://www.notateslaapp.com/news/1587/tesla-officially-announces-the-refreshed-model-3-highland-with-ambient-lighting-rear-screen-and-ventilated-seats-photos-video

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Date de Publication : 2023-09-01 09:00:00

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