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What Tesla’s Model 3 looked like on the drawing board

Updated 4 years ago
Published Apr 4th, 2016 12:40PM EDT
Tesla Model 3 Sketches

It’s quite uncommon, if not wholly unprecedented, for a car company to dominate the tech news cycle in the way that Tesla has over the past few days. And with good cause: The unveiling of the Model 3 has been years in the making and represents the final peg in Elon Musk’s longstanding quest to have electric vehicles sweep through the automotive industry.

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While more traditional car manufacturers typically trot out any number of models and designs each and every year, Tesla with the Model 3 was in the unique position of only having one chance to get it right. If the Model 3 design was deemed to be too ugly or too funky, Tesla wouldn’t realistically be able to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. The notion that Tesla’s Model 3 unveiling was a make-it-or -break-it moment for the company is to put it mildly.

All that said, Tesla, with Franz von Holzhausen leading the company’s design efforts, hit the Model 3 design out of the park. The Model 3, though not in its final form just yet, looks particularly sleek for what will ultimately will be a $35,000 car. And as it turns out, more than 276,000 people have already used their wallets to convey the same exact sentiment.

Interestingly, drawings of what appear to be some early Model 3 sketches from von Holzhausen began making their way online over the weekend. According to reports, the print below “was in a large embossed envelope handed out to attendees upon exiting the event.” And early on Sunday, Elon Musk tweeted out a photo of the very same sketch.

Note that the rims in the sketch on the upper left are essentially what Tesla showcased on one of its Model 3 prototypes this past Thursday.

Incidentally, Musk noted during one of his many tweetstorms over the weekend that the design above will make it to production.

And as a point of interest, here are what Holzhausen’s drawings of the Model S looked like way back when.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long 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.