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Rare photos and video of a Tesla Model 3 prototype surface online

Published Mar 10th, 2017 4:52PM EST
Model 3 Prototype
Image: Tesla

When Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3 nearly a year ago, he made a point of noting that the final design was still a work in progress. And with good reason, the Model 3 we saw last March has a curiously absent instrument cluster, not to mention some problems with the vehicle’s trunk design.

Since then, Tesla engineers and designers have been busy refining and enhancing the company’s highly anticipated EV. With deliveries still slated to begin by the end of the year, there have been reports that the final design is either set in stone or close to being so. In fact, Tesla during its recent letter to shareholders said that it began building Model 3 prototypes just last month.

Of course, with Tesla being a company that prizes secrecy as much as Apple does, it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen what the current incarnation of the Model 3 looks like. Not to worry, some eagle-eyed Redditors recently spotted a Model 3 prototype out in the wild and posted a few photos for our viewing pleasure.

The photo below, for example, features the Model 3 chilling close to Tesla’s design studio. It doesn’t look vastly different from what we’ve seen before, but it’s not too often that we see a Model 3 out in the wild. As a point of reference, the Model 3 is said to be about 20% smaller than the Model S.

Additionally, we also came across an Instagram post which showcases the Model 3 in action. It’s not anything groundbreaking, but with all of the hype and anticipation surrounding the vehicle, even the tiniest bit of news is worth checking out.

Tesla of course has a long history of product delays, so it will be interesting to see if the Model 3 actually ships on time. For what it’s worth, Musk has intimated that the Model 3 requires a simpler manufacturing process which should help alleviate the type of quality control problems that plagued the Model X.

As a final note, one looming and still unanswered question regarding the Model 3 centers on what the dashboard will ultimately look like. As evidenced, the interior of the Model 3 prototype Tesla originally introduced looked like this.

For what it’s worth, Musk has indicated that the company may have some interesting plans in store to address the above-design.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.