Tesla is working on a redesign of the Model 3 codenamed “Highland,” according to Reuters. The company’s goal is to reportedly reduce the complexity and number of components required to produce the sedan. The redesign could include changes to the car’s exterior and powertrain performance. The project is also said to build on the revamp of the 2021 Model S. However, it’s unknown if the redesigned Model 3 will feature the controversial steering yoke found in its more expensive sibling.
Reuters reports Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory will begin producing the new Model 3 sometime during the third quarter of 2023. The company’s Fremont plant will also make the redesigned sedan. It’s unclear how much Tesla expects to save on the new Model 3, nor whether the company will pass on the cost savings to consumers. Tesla currently makes a profit of about $9,500 for every car it produces. Reuters also makes no mention of whether the refresh will feature the automaker’s next-generation 4680 battery cells. In 2020, Elon Musk said the new battery design would enable Tesla to produce a $25,000 electric car within three years.
It’s safe to assume that even if the 2023 timeline is accurate, it could be subject to change. Reuters hasn’t had the best track record with its Tesla reporting recently, and it’s not like the company is great about sticking to deadlines either. When the automaker first announced the Cybertruck, for example, Elon Musk said volume production would start in 2021. That date first slipped to 2022 and then 2023.