Tesla launched its redesigned “Highland” Model 3 in several countries this year, though the U.S. and other North American markets were not a part of that list. Still, as several Model 3 Highland units have been spotted in the U.S. this week, it seems likely that Tesla could be preparing to launch the updated vehicle in the coming weeks or months — though it’s still not entirely clear when.
Multiple onlookers have spotted the Model 3 Highland in California this week, including John of Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, who saw one of the refreshed vehicles next to a Cybertruck at the Firebaugh Supercharger on Friday. John shared a video of the experience on X, including a complete walkaround of the redesigned electric sedan.
The Model 3 Highland was completely uncovered, unlike many past sightings in the U.S., in which test versions of the vehicle have been seen with their bumpers wrapped.
As John points out in the video, the refreshed Model 3 includes a sign saying it’s an “Engineering Vehicle” on the driver’s-side door, which makes sense since the Highland hasn’t yet been released in the U.S. The vehicle also includes a Texas manufacturer’s license plate.
Interestingly enough, the sedan also includes the Chinese Tesla badge on the back, suggesting that this particular unit could have been built at Gigafactory Shanghai, where the automaker currently produces the Highland.
John also said that both the Model 3 Highland and Cybertruck were being driven together by Tesla employees, though he didn’t get a chance to talk to them. You can see his post with the walkaround video of the Highland below, along with a photo of the two side-by-side.
— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) December 29, 2023
Along with the Firebaugh Supercharger sighting, X user BLKMDL3 fittingly spotted a black Model 3 Highland at the Olympic Boulevard Supercharger on Friday, also including a Texas manufacturer’s plate. However, this unit didn’t include the Chinese Tesla badge on the back, unlike the one spotted at Firebaugh.
In another sighting on Friday, X user Robert Scoble saw a white Model 3 Highland driving near Tesla’s Fremont factory. The vehicle also included a Texas manufacturer plate, but it did not include the Chinese Tesla badge.
Following the sighting, Scoble spoke with a Tesla employee who said that re-tooling for the Model 3 Highland had already been completed at the Fremont factory, which is consistent with the automaker’s past statements about upgrading the plant during the third quarter.
In addition, Scoble said that the employee thought there would be an announcement about the vehicle in January, suggesting that the Highland’s U.S. launch could be imminent.