Tesla Model 3 facelift inspired by Roadster

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The updated Tesla Model 3 will feature styling cues from the Roadster, while also inheriting the digital dash from the Model X.

The updated Tesla Model 3 is taking shape, with the fresh all-electric sedan set to receive a facelift that will tidy up its styling with a sleeker, sharper-looking front-end design, plus new tech updates inside – including a controversial swipe-to-select function for Drive and Reverse as part of the Model 3’s infotainment set-up.

Dubbed Project Highland, a leaked image of a prototype version shows the facelifted Tesla’s cleaner front bumper design (which, unlike the outgoing car, won’t feature foglights) and slimmer revised headlight clusters. These units will show off a new LED running light signature inspired by the Tesla Roadster. It’s also thought that the new Model 3 will feature a gently revised cabin design.

Tesla is no stranger to controversy, and there’s one major change to the interior that will no doubt divide opinion. The Model 3 is likely to inherit the digital dash from the Model X, meaning the driver will have an info display in front of them for the first time, while the new car is also set to go ‘stalkless’.

Instead of using a steering column-mounted gear selector, the updated Model 3 is set to offer gear selection via the car’s central screen; video footage captured of a development car shows an engineer swiping down on the panel before reversing out of a parking space.

It’s thought that the Model 3 will also benefit from new interior trim, with the dashboard wood replaced by cloth inserts, while the car could also get new seats. It’s not yet known if the EV will receive any powertrain upgrades, but it is expected to receive a boost in efficiency.

Expect the price of the updated Model 3 to be more affordable, too. Production of the Model Y costs significantly less than the outgoing Model 3, thanks to a new production process that significantly reduces complexity. Larger stamped components in its bodyshell reduce the need for 171 separate parts when compared with the Model 3, cutting more than 1600 welds during manufacturing, saving both time and money.

These new parts and techniques are expected to be applied to the updated Model 3, with rumours suggesting a reveal in June and production commencing soon after.

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