Tesla Model 3 history of changes by year

Last updated 15-Sep-2022

Over the years Tesla have made numerous changes to the car design and model line-up. We've tried to capture the history of each of the key hardware changes and model updates and in which year they occurred. The exact date is of little benefit as the transition is often blurred with cars appearing in different parts of the world with different specifications, for instance the 82kwh Long Range battery fitted to the Model 3 has varied by factory and country the cars have been delivered to.

The following is a list of the main changes we can find. We are sure there are some changes we may have missed, either due to small production numbers or country specific (Canada for instance had a compliance version of the Model 3) but feel free to email us with any significant errors and we'll happily take a look and see if we agree. We're also only recording the history of when features actually arrive, not when they are announced or promised.

We also have a list of the Tesla software release notes over the last few years, with the ability to filter by subject area to see how it has evolved.


Model 3

2017 M3

Model 3 production starts for the US market only.

2018 MS MX M3

Wifi changed to also support 5GHz.

2018 MS MX M3

Tesla introduce Pin to Drive, an optional security feature.

2018 MS MX M3

Dashcam introduced for those with HW2.5 and above.

2018 M3

Suspension spring rates improved, panoramic roof Infra-red coating changed, seat cushions changed

2019 M3

M3 deliveries to Europe start, followed by right hand drive models later in the year.

2019 M3

M3 SR launched only to be removed from online order soon after. The entry level car is the SR+ other than a limited number of SR ordered in person and some low volume compliance cars in other countries

2019 MS MX M3

Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) features split, TACC and Lane keep becoming Autopilot and included in the standard car spec and the remaining features moving to Full Self Driving.

2019 M3

Tow bar becomes an option on models except the performance. Its suspected its linked to the Performance cars 20" wheels

2019 MS MX M3

V3 superchargers launched and increases to V2 supercharger speed.

2019 MS MX M3

Sentry mode introduced for those with HW2.5 and above.

2019 MS MX M3

Navigate on Autopilot became available

2019 M3

Homelink became a cost option

2019 MS MX M3

Pedestrian sound generator added for some markets

2019 MS MX M3

Version 10 introduced including, subject to region and hardware, Smart Summon, Karaoke, Music and Podcasts and video streaming to the browser. Scheduled departure also added.

2019 MS MX M3

5% Power increase and 1 foot driving (Permanent magnet cars only, ie Raven MS and MX, and M3)

2019 M3

Tesla move to model years from year of manufacture in VIN, with the M3 2020 available from Nov. Changes seem largely superficial and associated with trunk and frunk carpets and slight changes to reduce noise.

2019 MS MX M3

Ability to read and respond to text messages on all models

2019 MS MX M3

Autopilot enhancements regarding variable speed depending on adjacent lanes and stop sign identification. The ability to use these features typically varies by country.

2020 M3

Track pack comprising special wheels, different brake pads and uprating the brake fluid.

2020 M3

Updated the track option on the M3 performance to allow the driver to set various options including power distribution and the degree of traction control the cars will apply.

2020 MS MX M3 MY

A new suspected deep sleep mode to preserve battery life when the car is being left (SW 2020.12.5)

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Side cameras when in reverse (SW 2020.26). The side cameras now appear beneath the rear camera when selecting reverse. These cameras point backwards and not down so they do not operate as a surround view type camera setup.

2020 M3 MY

Wireless phone charger added together with USB C in the rear.

2020 M3

Frunk design changed with some expecting this to accommodate a heat pump similar to the MY. No confirmation the pump is yet being fitted however.

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Improved security with the introduction of multi factor authentication

2020 M3

Model 3 updates for 2021 model year include a heat pump helping improve range and cold weather performance, powered trunk, wheel design changes, new centre console, headlight changes in some countries, the return of dimming side mirrors and chrome delete. There are also some performance tweaks.

2020 M3

Model 3 Performance update for 2021 model year includes a new 82kwh battery (code BT42), up from the previous 75kwh .

2020 M3

Model 3 tyre pressure monitors (TPMS) changed to bluetooth to match the Model Y pressure sensors

2020 MS MX M3 MY

Boombox feature added (the car needs to have the external speaker) and other tweaks as part of the end of year release.

2021 M3

Model 3 start shipping with heated steering wheel. Activated on LR and above. The first batch of 2021 model year cars did not have it.

2021 M3

Model 3 door cards have a continuation of the dash trim at the top for approx. half the door. The door cards are now also dark irrespective of the interior trim colour. Both these changes were introduced shortly after the other 2021 spec changes.

2021 M3

Tesla change the Model 3 Long Range to the BT42 battery (E3LD, 82.1kWh made by Panasonica) used in the Performance models for Fremont production, but use a slightly smaller BT38 battery in the Long Range cars built in China. The EU spec cars are for the BT42 battery but most of the deliveries use the BT38 battery.

2021 M3 MY

Tesla remove the radar from Fremont production built for the North America market from May claiming they can move to a pure vision based system. Short term, some basic features such as Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure warnings may be disabled and some other features may have reduced performance or operating ranges.

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Subscription version of FSD now announced in the US. Up to date info can be found on our FSD FAQ

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Tesla introduce driver testing before allowing the deployment of the latest version of FSD.

2021 M3

SR+ becomes just the "Model 3" or "Model 3 RWD" with a slightly longer range but increased 0-60 times. The spec going into 2022 also includes heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.

2021 M3 MY

A switch to hairpin windings on the motors. There is no clear cut over as deliveries in Q4 have a mixture of old and new motors. A new performance motor is also being introduced although probably not until 2022.

2021 MS MX M3 MY

Supercharging network being trialled in some countries with other makes of car.

2021 M3 MY

A number of small changes including a new low voltage battery, more laminated rear glass although it's unclear if this is for sound insulation or safety, and a number of small tweaks to sensors and ancilliary devices as a result of the new low voltage battery. One speaker was also removed as part of the updates

2021 M3 MY

MCU3 based on the AMD Ryzen chipset first seen in the 2021 MS and MX have started to be appear in cars, initially for the China market but becoming more widespread with 2022 vin cars made in Fremont. China production also seem to be appearing with the Ryzen processor. The low voltage battery seems to be rolling out at the same time and may be linked.

2021 M3

Late 2021 Tesla change the Model 3 Long Range to the BT43 battery (E5LD, 78.8kWh made by LG) in China, the same battery as used in the MY LR.

2021 M3 MY

Lumbar adjustment removed from passengers seat

2022 M3 MY

A heated area of the windscreen to defrost the wipers. This is similar to the heated areas as part of the cold weather pack on the Model S and Model X.

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