Like I have said many times before, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the most anticipated vehicles of the year. The first affordable, autonomous electric vehicle. Priced at $35,000 and with over 400,000 reservations, the hype for this car is extremely high. The official unveil of the car is set for July 28th, 2017 with invites already being sent out. Elon Musk has already committed to delivering 30 vehicles at the event with a total of about 23,000 by the end of the year which is still low from his initial commitment of 40,000. Being this close to the event, there is still an amount of ambiguity of the features that will be present in the vehicle and many of its looks both interior and exterior. And now, we have some very clear pictures of the interior that show much more detail than most we have seen so far.
Firstly, we can, in fact, confirm that the vehicle we have the pictures that you will be seeing are from a production line vehicle meaning that these are the official vehicles. The VIN number shown tells us that this was the 7th Model 3 produced. Production had started around 10 days ago and having produced only 7 vehicles may seem like very few but it is most likely because Elon Musk wants to perfect the production line before moving into mass production where it will be harder to fix any errors that are present in the vehicle as a large batch of vehicles would have the issue. This will be one of the 30 vehicles that will be presented to recipients either on-stage or at the after event party on July 28th. Lucky for the person who got Model 3 007!
In these two images, we see the front of the vehicle. The first difference is the screens. We see that there is no Heads-Up Display and the center touch screen is horizontal instead of vertical. This is something we have known since the first event last year. The most significant change is the steering wheel. The design for the steering wheel has been constantly changing. We started out with a design that was supposed to give a spaceship like feel to the car. This was a feature that most interested in the car were hoping would be changed as there were no buttons to control certain aspects of the vehicle. For awhile, no talks were happening on what the design would be thus most assumed that we would have a steering wheel similar to that present in the Model S/X. But, the steering wheel, as shown above, has come into final production after being spotted on test production vehicles earlier. The design is slightly odd. There is only one rotating ball on either side of the steering wheel removing buttons that are present on the Model S/X that controlled the voice assistant, switching menu’s on the screen and other controls to the infotainment system. Earlier also, these ‘ball’s’ were just scrollable rather than what looks to be is that they are rotatable in all direction The autopilot stalk has also been removed from the left side of the steering wheel. It is now simply integrated into transmission/gear stalk but there are no controls to change the autopilot speed, distance from the vehicle, etc. A while back, Elon Musk mentioned that the vehicle was built with self-driving in mind and that it will be designed to be simple but great. He wanted it to be that driver would be less distracted as they would be given only the essential input while the car could do the rest. This would definitely explain why he has completely simplified the design and functions of the steering wheel. We still do not know as to why Tesla has done this but obviously, we will get all the details at the upcoming event.
Here we see the rear interior of the vehicle. Now, although people have seen the front interior of the vehicle multiple times, the rear has rarely been noticed. The first thing we see is that there is more storage space. Just like the front of the vehicle, storage space has been added to the bottom of the doors which are not present in the Model S/X. Based on design, the back of the middle seat will open up allowing for space to put some items and most likely 2 cup holders to go with them. There are also physical armrests in the doors that come down to approximately waist level if someone were sitting. In the Model S/X, the armrests are just a portion of the door that caves down and in as shown in the image with only a small amount of space. There are also 2 USB charge ports but the cup holders that pop out have been removed.
We are only 9 days from the event. Once that happens, we will know all the details of the vehicle like what battery type it has, what features, shipping date and options available for first buyers in the online configurator. Even now, cars are constantly being spotted with something new to reveal every time so stay tuned for more folks. Let us know in the comments what you think and if you have any suggestions. To finish it off, here are some pictures of the Model 3’s that we spotted.
Update: Both of these vehicles are production vehicles and will be given to owners on July 28th. This means 26 vehicles have been produced.