Tesla Model 3 refresh revealed with improved range, new features

In a move that’s unsurprising for Tesla, the company has done a surprise reveal of the refreshed Model 3. It’s a significant moment for the company and the model, since it’s the very first styling update for the Model 3, following not far behind the updates of the Model S and X. The interior and exterior have been given various tweaks, and Tesla has added features and apparently increased range.

The front gets the most notable update with fresh headlights and a new bumper design. We got a sneak peek when someone saw a prototype partially uncovered. We like that it no longer looks like a hognose snake, though it may have lost a bit of distinctiveness as well. The rest of the car is mostly unchanged, though the taillights now have more a C-bracket shape that intersects with the sheet metal on the trunk lid. And new wheel designs and Ultra Red and Stealth Grey colors

The interior has similarly subtle changes, but noteworthy nonetheless. The door panels connect to a wraparound effect that goes to the base of the windshield ahead of the main dashboard. It incorporates a new customizable ambient lighting strip. But the overall effect is similar to before, with all controls and instrumentation provided by the center touchscreen. Tesla says the 15.4-inch unit has a smaller bezel and improved brightness and contrast. An additional 8-inch screen sits at the back of the center console to give rear occupants climate and entertainment controls, too.

Functional updates join the fresh styling. Range has improved slightly for the rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive (Long Range) trims, which are the only versions available at the moment. The Performance will probably follow later. The rear-drive one has increased from 305 miles to 318 miles (WLTP rating), and the Long Range has gone from 374 to 391 miles (WLTP rating). Naturally, these numbers will be lower for the U.S. version based on the more realistic EPA range testing methods. Tesla didn’t give information on motors or batteries, so it’s not clear what combination of factors resulted in the better range. Charging speeds remain the same for both versions. Also, acceleration seems about on par with the outgoing models with the rear-drive version rated at 6.1 seconds to 62 mph, and the all-wheel-drive one rated at 4.4 seconds.

Other new features include acoustic glass for every window, a newly available 17-speaker sound system comes with dual subwoofers and dual amplifiers, and ventilated front seats are available. Tesla claims the chassis has been stiffened and the suspension retuned to deliver a more comfortable ride.

According to Tesla’s European website, the new Model 3s will be available later this year. No announcements have been made about U.S. versions yet, and naturally, pricing isn’t available for the U.S. versions, either. But expect to hear news about that soon.

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