Tesla Briefly Shows the Model 3 Highland on Its Website, Revealing Surprising Detail

Tesla invited us to a Model 3 Highland demo drive, sort of 15 photos
Photo: Tesla
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In what appeared to be a mistake, Tesla showed the picture of a Model 3 Highland on its US website, although it switched back quickly to the OG model. Intriguingly, the Ultra Red Model 3 Highland shown on the Demo Drive page appears to show a front bumper camera.
Tesla is preparing the sales debut of the refreshed Model 3 in the US market, with an announcement expected anytime. The so-called Model 3 Highland was launched last year in Europe and Asia and has quickly become a hit with buyers. The fresh design and modern features of the revamped Model 3 have been highly appreciated, which is why US customers can't wait to place an order.

This week, various events showed that the Model 3 Highland launch in the US is closer than ever. For starters, the prototype sightings around Tesla Fremont have been more common than the Cybertruck in the Giga Austin outbound lot. Tesla has tried to cover the production start at Tesla Fremont by slapping Chinese lettering on some of these cars so that they appear to be imported from China. That only lasted until we saw the VIN of one of these prototypes, confirming they were indeed produced on US soil.

Since the updated Model 3 has already started trial production, it's safe to assume it won't be long until the process is refined enough for customer production. A white prototype spotted earlier revealed serious build quality issues, with a misaligned rear door panel that made eyes sore. So, this might take a while. However, an interesting discussion on Reddit allegedly started by a Tesla employee shows that we might have an official announcement very soon. Finger crossed.

Until then, a new event caused uproar among Tesla fans. People who tried to schedule a Model 3 Demo Drive on Tesla's US website were greeted by the picture of a Model 3 Highland. Not only that, but the picture revealed an intriguing detail. It could be an optical illusion, but the Deep Red Model 3 in the photo appeared to have a front bumper camera. The Cybertruck features an additional camera, and rumors indicate that other Tesla models might also get one.

The Model 3 was even pictured with a front bumper camera in Tesla's official promo materials before its European launch. However, the EV maker later removed this detail and updated all its visuals. Needless to say, the Model 3 sold in Europe and Asia does not have any new cameras compared to the previous model. So far, it's unclear whether the picture of the refreshed Model 3 with a bumper camera was an old picture. Many people hope that the US model will launch with a bumper camera, even if it doesn't make much sense now that the High Definition Park Assist has launched without it.

Until this happens, there's more puzzling information to process. Even after Tesla put back the old Model 3 photo on the Demo Drive page, many people reported they couldn't schedule a Model 3 demo drive anymore. I've tried a few ZIP codes, and I found that demo drives are still possible in the Bay Area, although not in Austin. This might be yet another indication that Tesla is phasing out the old model.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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