Recent reports from China are suggesting that Tesla may be poised to roll out some notable improvements to the Gigafactory Shanghai-made Model 3. If the speculations prove accurate, Tesla’s most affordable sedan will soon be getting a powered lift gate and trunk, some factory chrome delete, the Model Y’s “Octovalve,” and new headlights and tail lights, to name a few.
The reports initially made their rounds in Chinese social media platform Weibo, where they were posted by people reportedly familiar with the matter. As shared on Twitter by Tesla owner-enthusiast @Tesla__Mania, the rumored Model 3 improvements will include a number of Model Y-inspired upgrades and some rather interesting changes that seem to have been hinted at by Elon Musk himself.
Back in July, for example, Elon Musk responded to a request from a China-based Model 3 owner who was requesting for a power liftgate upgrade. The owner in question had lost his ability to use his legs, which made it challenging to use the Model 3’s manual liftgate and trunk. Responding to the story, Elon Musk stated that Tesla would be installing a power liftgate upgrade for the owner’s Model 3 free of charge. These, of course, inspired speculations that the feature will eventually be made standard for the Model 3.
Other features that were mentioned in the rumor, such as the utilization of the Model Y’s “Octovalve” and a new frunk, were also hinted at by owners in the West. Just last month, reports emerged from Model 3 buyers indicating that Tesla has updated the design of the all-electric sedan’s frunk. Considering that the updated design of the Model 3’s frunk was very similar to the Model Y’s, speculations emerged that Tesla may be looking to use some of the all-electric crossover’s most notable features — like its “Octovalve” and heat pump — on its midsized sedan as well.
The same is true for the rumored Made-in-China Model 3 improvements relating to the vehicle’s headlights and tail lights. Tesla did not officially announce any improvements to these components in the Model 3, but reports from owners have indicated that newer vehicles are equipped with brighter and clearer tail lights. As for the factory chrome delete option, such speculations do not seem farfetched at all as the Model Y already ships with no chrome accents.
Perhaps the most interesting parts of the recent rumors from China are the new steering wheel, the “2.0” version of the center console, and a double layer glass for better noise isolation. It appears that these speculated upgrades have not been reported by recent Model 3 owners yet, though they do go in line with Tesla’s tendency to roll out consistent improvements to its vehicles over time. Better noise isolation would definitely be a welcome upgrade for the Model 3, seeing as wind noise tends to get noticeable at high speeds. This is partly due to the lack of an internal combustion engine, which usually muffles or overtakes wind noise in traditional cars.