Will Tesla's Upgraded Model 3 Shake Up the Market Again?

Without any press conference or official teaser, the revamped version of the Model 3 made its debut after a gap of 7 years.

On September 1, pre-sales of Tesla’s refreshed Model 3 kicked off, offering two versions:

— Rear-wheel-drive refreshed Model 3 priced at 259,900 RMB, with a CLTC range of 606 km and 0-100 kph acceleration in 6.1 seconds;

— Dual-motor all-wheel-drive long-range refreshed Model 3 priced at 295,900 RMB, with a CLTC range of 713 km and 0-100 kph acceleration in 4.4 seconds.

The rear-wheel-drive version is priced 28,000 RMB higher than the previous model.

Prior to this, countless rumors had attempted to gradually unveil the details of the refreshed Model 3. Now, Tesla has fully lifted the lid on the revamped Model 3, potentially shaking up the 250,000 RMB pure electric sedan market yet again.

So, what changes have been made to the refreshed Model 3?

Radical Changes

In the previous Model 3, Tesla made a radical move by ditching the instrument cluster, breaking with traditional automotive practices. On the refreshed Model 3, Tesla stays true to its disruptive course.

The most noticeable change on the refreshed Model 3 is the removal of the turn signal and gear sticks. Today in the driver’s seat of the refreshed Model 3, all that’s left is a steering wheel.

With the turn signal and gear shifts removed, these functions are incorporated into the steering wheel of the revamped Model 3. In addition, the steering wheel of the refreshed Model 3 also integrates control for lighting, wipers, rear-view camera, voice control, and assisted driving.

For gear shifts, the refreshed Model 3 follows the latest Model S in having the controls integrated on the left of the center screen. However, a physical button for shifts is placed directly above the center screen.

This means driving the revamped Model 3 will require users to adapt their driving habits. While we will continue monitoring how the driving experience will be after adjusting to the new logic, some might find the setup more intuitive and simpler.

When signaling a turn, users simply need to move their fingers slightly. Shifting gears aligns with the forward or backward movement during driving, making operations quite intuitive and possibly reducing the learning cost compared to other models. Perhaps this aligns precisely with Elon Musk’s relentless pursuit of ‘first principles’.### The Interior Appears More Minimalistic
With the removal of the gear stick, the refurbished version of Model 3 presents some changes in its interior.

The interior of Tesla has been playfully referred to as ‘unfinished’. Undeniably, with the removal of two gear sticks from Model 3’s refreshed model, only the steering wheel and central control screen remain in the entire control desk. What’s more, the silver gleaming Tesla logo on the steering wheel has been replaced by black letters, rendering it even more ‘unfinished’.

Despite this, Tesla still enhances the value experience of the detailed refinements of Model 3’s refreshed model.

Starting with the screen, Model 3’s latest iteration uses a 15.4-inch central control screen and has added an 8-inch touchscreen in the back, which can be used to control seat heating, air conditioning, playing music and videos, and supports linkage between front and rear screens.

Next, Model 3’s revamped version, in terms of cabin comfort configurations, uses newly developed tech-textile materials for a softer touch feeling; the back is fitted with double-layered glass for peace and quiet; adds a 256-color ambient light, giving users a more personalized experience; finally offers seat ventilation and supports mobile phone pre-opening or automatic wind volume adjustment based on temperature control.

Furthermore, sound system wise, the previous long-lasting version’s 14 speakers on the Model 3 has been replaced by 17 speakers on the long-endurance refurbished Model 3, while the regular version has been boosted to 9 speakers.

In a nutshell, Tesla has invested a lot of effort and funds into redesigning Model 3’s refurbished model. After all, within the 250,000 price range, local new energy brands have already invested heavily in interior customization and finishing.

Looks More Aggressive

With the interior explored, let us step outside and observe the exterior, Model 3’s refurbished version appears significantly fiercer.

The dimensions of Model 3’s upgraded model are 4,720 mm, 2,089 mm, 1,442 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,875 mm.

On the whole, the lines have been crafted sleeker and sharper compared to predecessor versions, further accentuating the sportiness of this refreshed Model 3.

Additionally, as clearly visible from above, Model 3’s refurbished version has switched to a new bumper design on the front face, giving it a more cohesive look and conforming more to aerodynamics. According to official information, the air drag coefficient of Model 3’s refurbished version has been lowered to 0.22.In the front headlights, the refreshed version of Model 3 has abandoned the former round style, becoming sharper, and even the front fog lights are removed. The daytime running lights, which have the silhouette of a Nordic war axe, are placed at the bottom, adding a sense of steadiness to the visual impression of the vehicle body.

At the rear of the refreshed Model 3, the design of the “duckbill” remains the same. The original Tesla logo is also replaced by English letters. As for the corner inside the tail light, it has been leveled to form a ‘C’ shape, making it simpler compared to the old models.

Worthy to mention, the refreshed Model 3 has also adopted a new wheel hub design and added two optional colors. The former includes an 18-inch photon wheel hub and a 19-inch nova wheel hub (as shown in the picture above); the latter includes starry grey and flame red.

It can be seen that the outer changes of the refreshed Model 3 are no less than the change of a generation.

Can It Return to the Level of the Original Tesla?

From the changes in the refreshed Model 3, it can be seen that Tesla has poured more efforts into the comfort configuration than before. This is also a further move towards market demand by Tesla. However, it is somewhat contradictory with Musk’s pursuit of cost reduction.

Nevertheless, for the sales volume and scale that Tesla has always pursued, trade-offs must be made.

After all, the Model 3 was launched as early as 2016. Even though there were minor improvements such as the addition of a heat pump in the meantime, it has been in the market for seven years till now. Additionally, in the Chinese new energy vehicle market, which changes every two years, the competition faced by Model 3 is incommensurable with the condition when it first launched.

Looking at the sales volume of Model 3 in the Chinese market so far this year will help understand the situation. Even though Tesla has repeatedly cut prices this year, Model 3 has only passed 20,000 units in sales twice in March and June, relatively flat performance in other months. In July, Model 3 only sold less than 8,000 units.

It is reported that the refreshed Model 3 will start delivery in the fourth quarter. We look forward to seeing how many users are willing to buy it.

As for the actual driving experience, intelligence, and cockpit experience of the refreshed Model 3, everyone is welcome to stay tuned for the review of 42 Garage.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.