Hybrids & Electrics

Redesigned Tesla Model 3 On the Way

Tesla has sold half-a-million Model 3s which makes it the king of EVs. When introduced in 2017 it seemed like just the right electric car. Price, size, range, and looks gave it the edge. But in 2020 it’s missing something. It is not an SUV or crossover-it’s a sedan. Sedans don’t sell. So, to give it a boost Tesla is developing a redesigned Model 3 and it should be on the way soon.

Tesla will make the sedan into a hatchback. Since it isn’t an all-new model it will come together quickly. Since hatchbacks are finding more favor in Europe it will be aimed directly at them though we should be seeing them here as well. 

Tesla may decontent this hatch to compete more directly with the Volkswagen ID.3

People sit in a Tesla Model 3 car at the first Tesla Center in Shanghai on May 9, 2020
The Tesla Model 3 | Getty

It looks like Tesla may also decontent this hatch a bit to compete more directly with the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback. Especially if it can be built in Europe at the under-construction Berlin plant it can sell for less. That’s because there won’t be shipping costs to get it there from the Fremont plant. Hopefully, the Model 3 hatchback tooling will make its way to the US as well. 

The Berlin plant is slated to open in the middle of next year. It will feature a new aluminum casting machine. This machine simplifies the unibody frame assembly. Instead of 70 individual parts it reduces it to only two parts. Tesla uses a similar casting process for the Model Y assembled at the Fremont plant for the Model Y. 

Another bit of news for the Model 3 is that Tesla has made some running changes. One of them is a redesigned frunk. It is diminishing in size. That seems like a backwards move but there are theories. The main one has to do with the heat pump.

The theory is that a heat pump will be added to the Model 3

A Tesla Model 3 car and a Tesla Model X vehicle are seen at the first Tesla Center in Shanghai
The Tesla Model X (white) | Getty

The heat pump helps the car to run more efficiently in cold weather.  According to electrek, both the capacity and also the shape of the hood have been altered. The theory is that a heat pump will be added to the Model 3. The new hood reflects that new frunk shape but also could be a nod to improving aerodynamics.  Since the Model 3 and Model Y Teslas are built on the same assembly line and utilize the same chassis it makes sense.

RELATED: Three Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Tesla Model 3

Another change almost ready to hit the streets is a new headlight design. While the Model 3 has evolved over the years seeing running changes there have been virtually no appearance changes. The shrinking of both the frunk and front hood seems unusual, but the advantages are numerous. The only downside so far is that the reduced frunks have not seen the addition of the heat pump. But, we do expect it to show up on Model 3s soon.