Tesla gave a chance for a Model 3 Highland test drive to various influencers and journalists at the reveal event in Norway last week. YouTuber Bjorn Nyland was also given this rare opportunity.
Bjorn not only test-drove the new Tesla Model 3 but also had a deeper conversation about the vehicle with a Tesla engineer present at the event. This conversation resulted in the revelation of some new and hidden features of the Tesla Model 3 Highland.
Bjorn Nyland was one of the most first Tesla vehicle reviewers in the early days of the company. His feedback in the past has resulted in identifying and fixing issues with Tesla cars. With a large following on social media, he is widely known as Tesla Bjorn as well.
So, what Bjorn discussed with the Tesla engineer gave us more insight into how the new trunk lid mechanism is upgraded, details about the new headlights, ambient lighting functions, and steering wheel. He also reviewed the new seats and the cabin soundproofing by Tesla.
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- Tailgate Motors
- New Headlights
- Ambient Lighting Functions
- Soft Materials & Sound Dampening
- Ventilated and Perforated Seats
- Top Speed Reduced for Comfort
Two Tailgate Motors Instead of One
In the previous generation of Tesla Model 3 cars, there was only 1 motor installed for the tailgate to function. In the Highland Model 3, Tesla has added another motor to the tailgate, giving it more power to open and close. Tesla has installed 1 motor on each side of the tailgate.
According to the Tesla engineer, having two motors installed in the tailgate hitch makes the opening and closing of the tailgate more smoother and quieter. Tesla also achieved better alignment of the tailgate with two motors as they pull the tailgate evenly on both sides as it is closed. Improved panel gaps are another outcome of better alignment with two motors.
One of the significant exterior changes Tesla made with the launch of the Model 3 Highland is the redesigned headlights. The new slimmer and longer headlights give the new Model 3 a sharper look from the front and also go along better with the Tesla Model S design.
However, the new Tesla Model 3 headlights in the Highland redesign are most probably LED Matrix headlights. Tesla introduced Matrix LED headlights in the Giga Berlin-made Model Y electric SUVs in 2021.
However, Tesla customers have been waiting for an over-the-air (OTA) software update by the automaker to unlock the functionality of these LED Matrix headlights. Tesla did showcase a demonstration at Giga Berlin Giga Fest by writing TESLA on the wall with these new headlights.
According to Bjorn, Tesla must be working on the best possible solution to unlock the true potential of Matrix LED headlights in Tesla vehicles. This will be a big advantage in nighttime driving for Tesla drivers with adaptive and smart matrix headlights but a software update is pending.
Interior Soft Materials & Sound Dampening
Another important thing Bjorn highlighted was the predominant use of soft-touch materials inside the Tesla Model 3 Highland interior compared to the previous model that he owned.
In addition to better soundproofing from outer noise, Tesla has put an earnest effort into dampening the sound inside the cabin. The improved sound dampening in Tesla Model 3 Highland compliments the new 17-speaker sound system.
According to Bjorn Nyland, sound dampening in the new Tesla Model 3 is comparable to high-end German cars like the Mercedes EQS and BMW i7.
Ambient Lighting Functions
Tesla introduced ambient lighting in the new Highland Model 3 — the new ambient lighting stretches across all 4 doors and the entire dashboard.
However, according to Bjorn’s confirmation with the Tesla team, the ambient lights do change color (only red is shown in promotional photos). The color can be changed but the intensity of the light is not variable.
With the current software, the Tesla Model 3 Highland ambient lighting either turns on or off entirely. You cannot turn off ambient lights just for the dashboard or just for the doors separately. Tesla will most probably turn on the individual controls and intensity features via its OTA software updates in the future because it is possible in a Tesla vehicle with so much technology involved.
Bjorn says that the current Auto High Beam function in a Tesla is not good enough, the answer is to unlock the Matrix LED headlights with fine-tuned functions and quicker response time.
Ventilated and Perforated Seats
Bjorn went to lengths to talk about the difference between the seats of the new and previous generation Tesla Model 3 seats. With the Highland design refresh, Tesla introduced ventilated front and perforated rear seats.
Since he has used the previous generation Tesla Model 3 for a long time and on long and short trips, Bjorn is in the best spot to differentiate between both the new and old seats. The old non-ventilated seats according to Bjorn would make the driver sweat.
The addition of ventilated and perforated seats in the new Model 3 is going to increase comfort and help with reducing perspiration as the body gets a chance to breathe.
Reduced Top Speed in Model 3 Highland
As we reported in the detailed Model 3 Highland specifications, Tesla has reduced the top of the vehicle to 201 km/h (125 mph). This is a downgrade from 234 km/h (145 mph) for the Long Range AWD variant and 225 km/h (140 mph) for the Standard Model 3 of the previous generation.
What Bjorn analyzed from the discussion with a Tesa engineer is that the automaker opted for comfort in this iteration of the Model 3 compact luxury sedan. Tesla did not prioritize speed with the non-performance models this time.
Since Tesla collects a large amount of anonymized data from its vehicles, the automaker is well equipped to make decisions based on its research on customers’ use of its electric cars.
Bjorn heard rumors that Tesla is eventually going to launch a Performance variant of the Model 3 Highland, the timeline is not clear, however. Share your opinion in the comments box below.
Here’s Bjorn’s more than 26-minute deep talks about the new Highland Tesla Model 3.
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