The upcoming update of the Tesla Model 3, codenamed Project Highland, has been spied undergoing hot-weather testing in China.

    Weibo user Don’t look at the car shared this image of a convoy of Model 3s.

    While all wear camouflage on their front and rear ends, we can make out what appear to be restyled headlights.

    These vehicles all appear to retain conventional steering wheels, instead of a yoke like the latest Model S and Model X. The updated Model 3 is rumoured to be getting the option of a yoke with steer-by-wire technology, however.

    The base price in China will reportedly drop from 231,000 yuan (A$49,850) to 200,000 yuan (A$43,160) as Tesla continues to reduce production costs.

    According to Chinese media, trial production has already commenced with deliveries to begin there by the end of September.

    Prototypes like these have been seen for more than eight months now in China and the USA.

    As previously reported, the Tesla Model 3 update, known internally as Project Highland, will be a “complete overhaul” with a major refresh inside and out.

    Previously leaked imagery shows it will have a new headlight design, and another spied prototype revealed there could be slimmer tail lights with body-colour elements.

    Other leaked information and reports have indicated the updated Model 3 could receive an instrument cluster ahead of the driver, steer-by-wire technology, RGB ambient interior lighting, matrix LED headlights, an upgraded sound system, revised seats designed to reduce vibrations, heated and ventilated front seats, and a rear touchscreen.

    Tesla has confirmed it will no longer use ultrasonic sensors, with its Tesla Vision system instead relying solely on footage supplied by cameras around the vehicle to supply data.

    The Model 3 will reportedly feature a single camera in the centre of its front bumper plus two new cameras, one on each side of the vehicle. The cameras will reportedly be 5.0 megapixels.

    At this stage it’s still unclear when Tesla will unveil the updated Model 3. Tesla CEO was recently in China visiting the Gigafactory, which sparked rumours about a reveal, however this wasn’t the case.

    MORE: Everything Tesla Model 3

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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