Is this a leaked photo of the Tesla Model 3 refresh? If so, wow

A photo of a different-looking Tesla Model 3 has been making the rounds on social media, and some are claiming it could be of the new Model 3 project Highland refresh.

Late last year, we started hearing rumors that Tesla was working on a Model 3 refresh that would come during the second half of 2023.

The project is reportedly codenamed “Highland.”

For a few years now, Tesla has been integrating its large casting technology into the Model Y with single large casting parts replacing dozens of parts in the electric SUV.

This new technology has enabled Tesla to greatly improve manufacturing efficiency with the Model Y compared to Model 3. CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla will bring the same technology to the Model 3 eventually, but he couldn’t exactly say when.

The problem is that such an update to the Model 3 would temporarily slow down production, and Tesla couldn’t afford that while it was still ramping up Model Y production. However, Model Y production is now starting to exceed Model 3 production, and it could be good timing for Tesla to update the Model 3 using the technology.

In December, a Model 3 prototype with heavy camouflage was spotted being tested in California.

Another prototype was spotted shortly after as Tesla is expected to be closer to releasing the vehicle.

With the heavy camouflage on the front and back of those prototypes, it has been hard to identify any specific change to the Model 3.

But now a new picture of what some are alleging is the Tesla Model 3 refresh has been circulating and shows the new front end of the vehicle clearly.

The image has been posted to the Tesla subreddit without any information about the origin:

At this point, there’s no way to confirm for a fact that this is indeed a Tesla prototype for the refresh or a vehicle with a body kit trying to pass as one.

Electrek’s Take

But either way, the front end is really interesting, and I personally really like it.

The headlights are significantly different, and it’s unclear if the rest of the front fascia is updated or if it’s just that the new headlight and the lack of a Tesla badge are giving it a way more aggressive look.

It’s working for me.

Some have also suggested that zooming into the interior cabin might show a curve on the dash indicating an instrument cluster display, but I am personally not sure I can see that.

I also doubt that Tesla would introduce an extra display in the Model 3 interior. I think that the automaker is trying to keep the costs down on the refresh.

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