This past Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dashed the hopes and dreams of prospective Model 3 owners with just a few simple tweets. Tempering expectations, Musk emphasized that Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 will not be more advanced — in any capacity — than the company’s flagship Model S.
“Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S [with] less range & power & fewer features,” Musk said. “Model S has more advanced technology.” Musk later added that the Model 3 will not feature the elegant “auto extend handles” Tesla introduced on the Model S.
While Muks’s comments here might seem obvious, the reality is that some of the hype and speculation surrounding the Model 3 had reached bizarre levels in recent months. Case in point: because the Model 3 prototype Tesla unveiled last year lacked an instrument panel with traditional gauges for items like speed, range and other pertinent information, many Tesla enthusiasts began wondering if Tesla had some special plan for the dashboard, with many believing that a heads up display (HUD) on the windshield was an inevitability.
As a quick reminder, here’s a photo of the Model 3 interior taken from the company’s special event last year. As is evident below, the only location a driver can access information is the 15-inch touchscreen in the center console.
In another shot, we can see that Model 3 drivers will have to divert their eyes to the upper left hand corner of the display in order to ascertain their current speed.
Alas, Tesla doesn’t have any secret plans to implement some advanced HUD on the Model 3. In a tweet addressing the matter, Musk said that as cars become more autonomous, the need for a suite of information at the ready becomes less of an issue.
The more autonomous a car is, the less dash info you need. How often do you look at the instrument panel when being driven in a taxi?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
Still, we’re still a long ways off before fully self driving cars become commonplace. In turn, it remains to be seen if the Model 3 design in its current incarnation is perhaps too far ahead of its time. Besides, autonomous driving features for the Model 3 will cost extra, meaning that not every Model 3 on the road will be able to take advantage of the vehicle’s self-driving capabilities.
One question about the Model 3 that remains unanswered is whether or not can expect any changes to the car’s steering wheel design. This past April, Musk boasted that the final design will be akin to a spaceship.
@HBL_Cosmin Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016
To answer that, we’ll probably have to wait until next July when Tesla is planning the next phase of its Model 3 reveal.