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New Tesla Model 3 Highland wheel design sparks US Performance trim launch rumour

A masked Tesla Model 3 Highland was spotted charging with a unique, angular wheel design. (Image source: Reddit)
A masked Tesla Model 3 Highland was spotted charging with a unique, angular wheel design. (Image source: Reddit)
The Tesla Model 3 Highland refresh has been spotted on US roads more frequently of late, indicating that Tesla is performing testing and validation for US regulations. Tesla has this far given no indications of when to expect the updated Highland refresh of the Model 3.

Tesla launched the much-anticipated Model 3 Highland refresh along with its numerous design and tech upgrades earlier this year to a decent amount of fanfare. Unfortunately for US Tesla fans, the update was not launched outside of Europe and specific Asian markets, meaning an undisclosed US launch window.

Just this week, the new Model 3 Highland was spotted in the US in two separate instances. One unit, was photographed by a redditor cruising on a US highway without any cover at all, while the other, also posted to Reddit, was seen parked at a Supercharger with a material cover on both the front and rear of the vehicle. This begs the question about why Tesla is covering these vehicles if they have already been unveiled in foreign markets.

More interestingly, the Model 3 Highland spotted at the Supercharger was sporting what seems to be yet another new wheel design — this time with a much more angular spoke design than the rest of the Model 3 crop — differentiating it from the one seen on the highway earlier in the week. While Tesla doesn't usually differentiate its Performance versions from its regular EVs, the camouflage may indicate that this is a new Model 3 Performance variant in testing. Previous rumours indicated that the as-yet-unrevealed Performance variant of the Model 3 Highland would launch soon, featuring tech from the Model S and X Plaid platform.

The Model 3 Highland was seen testing on public roads as early as April 2023, so it's still anyone's guess how long Tesla will take to release the renewed EV for the US market, but continued testing shows that Tesla isn't sitting on its laurels to deliver the new Model 3 to US customers.

It is strange that Tesla has delayed the launch of the Highland refresh in the US by so long. While the additional delay could be explained by excessive US inventory, releasing the Performance Highland refresh in the high-performance-obsessed US market might earn the new Model 3 slightly more credibility in the region.

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Another Model 3 Highland Sighting
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 10 > New Tesla Model 3 Highland wheel design sparks rumour of US Performance trim testing
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-10-16 (Update: 2023-10-16)