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Tesla Model 3 unveiling event will feature functional prototypes, not pictures


Ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a comment about the Model 3 unveiling during a special event for Tesla owners at the company’s France headquarters in Chambourcy last January, there’s been persisting speculations that Tesla would only show pictures of the car during its March 31 unveiling.

When asked about when we will get to see pictures of the Model 3, Musk answered:

“The first pictures of the Model 3 will be end of March… I am being a little coy here, we are not gonna show everything about the Model 3 until a lot closer to production time.”

An audience member asked for more details, but as it is often the case when it comes to future products, Musk refused to elaborate. At the time we reported on the comment, we simply interpreted it as something similar to the Model X unveiling where some of the features weren’t revealed until the launch years later, but never as an indication that Tesla would only show pictures since the question was directly asking for pictures – probably since the person asking wasn’t expecting to be able to go and see the car in person.

But it didn’t stop speculations. Now after Tesla sent out more invites for the March 31 unveiling in Los Angeles, we are now told that Tesla will indeed have Model 3 prototypes at the event and not only pictures.

Yesterday, Tesla sent out an email blast to Model S/X owners to participate in a lottery to win one of 650 invites to the event, but it also sent out invitations to a select few media outlets. Slashgear claimed to have received one of those invitations and wrote:

Those prototypes should, the invitation goes on to suggest, be functional, too. Press will be able “to take a quick spin in what we’ve been working on,” Tesla says.

If anyone needed reassuring about the event featuring an actual car, here it is.

Yet it doesn’t mean that Musk’s comment about “not showing everything” doesn’t stand anymore.

During the conference call discussing Q4 2015 financial results last month – just a few day after he made the comment in France, Musk added when talking about the unveiling:

“We’re trying to decide whether we should show all the cards or keep a few cards close to the vest. We haven’t made a decision yet.”

Of course, Tesla enthusiasts want as many information as possible, ourselves at Electrek included, but like the automaker did with the Model X, Tesla could still improve significantly on the first prototype. After all, the first Model X Tesla unveiled was referred to as a “pre-alpha prototype” and went through several more iterations before Tesla finally launched the car years later. Now the Model 3 has a shorter timeframe between its unveiling and planned launch, but there’s probably still room for Tesla to implement its rule to always deliver a production car better than the concept.

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  1. Rolan Volante - 7 years ago

    We’re talking about the 300 mile prototype, right ?

  2. freedomev - 7 years ago

    If you invest in such things best buy Tesla stock now as this will cause at least a short term jump or make the T3 jump come early.

  3. MorinMoss - 7 years ago

    That’s a relief. I would consider a “pictures only” exhibit to be a failure especially since all previous unveilings have featured prototypes.

  4. huskydoggie - 7 years ago

    Is the reservation amount refundable?

  5. jim stack - 7 years ago

    We can speculate but Tesla always amazes us with their designs and real world range and features. Also by the time production is here in late 2017 it will be EVen better for sure. I own TSLA stock and just bought more. It’s as good as their vehicles.

  6. Nathanael - 7 years ago

    This is exactly what I expected. Model S reveal was the “alpha” prototype. It was very different in a number of ways from the final model, but it was driveable. Musk is trying to make it clear that this is *not* the final version.


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