Updated 2023 Tesla Model 3 test mule may have been caught under camouflage
That bestselling sedan of Tesla – the Model 3 – has been getting a bit long in the tooth in terms of outer appearance, but also as far as interior decoration goes. Tesla is not only rumored to be mulling a design refresh, dubbed Project Highland, but an actual engineering prototype of the new 2023 Model 3 version may already be on the street of California.
Or, rather, its parking garages, as that’s where a Model 3 with Tesla license plates was spotted recently, disguised under a thick layer of camouflage as usual in the testing phase. Granted, Tesla may be trying out a myriad of other things with the Model 3, yet given the recent rumors that the design refresh will be hitting mass production two quarters from now, there is a chance that the stealthy vehicle could indeed be an early version of the 2023 Model 3.
Some web sleuths noticed what appears to be a round tarp indentation right above the headlights on the side of the vehicle, speculating that these could be the rumored side cameras that will cover blind spots for Tesla’s self-driving system which now only relies on its Vision set of cameras, eschewing LiDAR.
Others notice Model Y vibes in the silhouette line, but given how heavily camouflaged the Model 3 is here, this is all educated guesswork. In any case, the other reason Tesla is embarking on a thorough Model 3 overhaul, besides wanting to do a design refresh like it did with the Model S, is said to be cutting production costs.
So far, Tesla’s widely successful modus operandi has been to streamline the number of components needed to produce a vehicle, removing redundancies, and focusing on high-value features its owners appreciate the most, like big high-res displays, or an advanced self-driving option. This has resulted in the industry’s best profit margins, and rumor has it that the Model 3 redesign will further that tendency by cutting off inefficient parts or design lines, and making the display console an interior centerpiece, just as it did with the Model S refresh last year by removing all knobs or buttons from the inside.
While any eventual interior job is not visible on the camouflaged Model 3, and may come at a later date, the stealthy nature of its presence may be indirect indication that a new version of Tesla’s electric sedan might be brewing for release next year indeed.
What’s going on here? @klwtts @WholeMarsBlog @teslaownersSV pic.twitter.com/uFpxcsVh4D— omg_Tesla/Rivian (@omg_tesla) December 3, 2022