Tesla resumes ‘Project Highland’ Model 3 testing with new features

Credit: the Kilowatts

It appears Tesla has resumed testing on public roads of its “Project Highland” Model 3 after a hiatus that lasted several weeks.

The Project Highland Model 3 was spotted testing in California earlier today by electric vehicle enthusiast The Kilowatts, who spotted the car and noticed several new features.

Among the new looks at the Highland Model 3 are new headlight designs and Hardware 4 cameras, which are now being installed on Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles. It appears Tesla will wait until the newly rolled out vehicle hits production lines to begin installing it on Model 3 cars.

Additionally, it appears Tesla is planning to take more care with aerodynamics as a rear diffuser was also spotted on the prototype, which was traveling on roads with manufacturer plates.

The diffuser was first used by Tesla with the Model S Plaid several years ago as it hit the track at the Nürburgring in Germany, attempting to break records on the track. The earliest iterations of the Model S Plaid were fitted with diffusers, which are used to increase downforce at high speeds by accelerating low-pressure air beneath the car and channeling it through the rear portion of the vehicle.

Smoothing out this airflow and decreasing drag can also help aid in handling, so there’s a chance the new Model 3 could be introduced with a more performance-based option, as many EV enthusiasts are eager to take their vehicles to the track.

The Model 3 Highland was first revealed last Fall, but Tesla has been refining the vehicle for nearly a year.

The first images of the car have been leaked recently and revealed a new design to the front end, but there are several other features that appear to be on the way in the coming redesign. However, Tesla has a knack for making changes and trying out several different looks ahead of launch.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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