Hmm…Is This Our First Early Look at the New Tesla Model 3?

Someone caught a peek of what could be the company's 'Project Highland' revamp

The Tesla Model 3 has seen a steady stream of updates, but this could be its first major restyling.

A curious image surfaced on the r/Teslamotors subreddit showing what could be the new Tesla Model 3. At least, that’s what the poster claims, since we don’t have a huge amount to go on beyond what’s uncovered here. Tesla has, for its part, reportedly been working on a major update for its best-selling sedan, codenamed “Project Highland”. That said, information about what’s actually changing has been thin on the ground.

So, it’s unclear whether we’re certainly looking at the new Tesla Model 3 here, but certain elements do look pretty close, if nothing else. The hood line (or perhaps I should say frunk line) looks remarkably similar to the current car. Obviously, if this is the real McCoy, the rest of the front clip changed fairly dramatically from the current car, shown below:

Tesla Model 3

Interestingly, the headlight design looks lot like what we saw with the earlier Roadster, with regard to its layout and thin shape. They look a little basic for a thoroughly advanced EV, though — perhaps we’re looking at an early prototype. The swarm of bugs this car looks to have driven through suggests its put on some miles, so we could be looking at an earlier run on a production-spec “Highland” Model 3.

We can’t see much of this car’s interior, but it’s safe to say any new Model 3 will see an interior update, as well as an exterior refresh. It looks like the driver may actually get their own gauge cluster, if this is indeed the updated car, rather than baking everything into the center screen. With that change, it also looks to my eye like owners will get a vertically-oriented center screen, which would make some sense if it didn’t have to always display crucial information to the driver.

I know this is an awful lot of hedging, but obviously there’s no provenance to back up where this image came from, and whether it is in fact a revamped Model 3. It’s about time we see a major update, though, since the Model 3 has been on sale for nearly six years. The company does put a lot of effort into continuously updating its cars instead of going through the conventional model year changes, but folks are clamoring to see some farther-reaching updates to keep things fresh.

Just keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground for now, and we’ll make sure to post any updates if we get more concrete information. Tesla is also working on a new, smaller car (colloquially called the Model 2), so maybe we’ll hear something more on that front as well. The automaker did tease that in its “Master Plan Part 3” report earlier this year.