Earlier this week, we got to see what was likely the first Tesla Model 3 prototype testing on public roads in Palo Alto, near Tesla’s headquarters, and new we get now pictures of the vehicle with a rare look at the interior just a few days later.

While Tesla agreed to loan a prototype to Motor Trend earlier this year, the automaker refused the publication access to shoot the interior of the vehicle, which is expected to change significantly in the production version. Tesla’s own promotional pictures never featured the interior.

The interior of the Model 3 prototype had Tesla enthusiasts puzzled. The lack of instrument cluster and the center 15-in display with all the controls raised a few eyebrows.

Some speculated that the concept is hinting at the possibility of either a heads-up display or fully autonomous technology integration. Elon Musk commented that it will make more sense after the second part of the Model 3 unveiling, which will happen closer to production in late 2017.

Now here are the new pictures taken in what appears to be a Tesla service center – the pictures reportedly originated from Facebook and ended up hosted on Imgur, but the person who posted the pictures claims they don’t know who took them (click on the gallery for higher resolution):

The interior certainly looks clean and minimalist in the light of the service center.

Earlier this year after the Model 3 unveiling event, Tesla hired Porsche’s lead designer for the Mission E’s interior and also an augmented reality/HUD expert.

While Elon did say that the interior of the Model 3 will make more sense at the second part of the unveiling, it’s not clear at this point if it’s because Tesla will introduce a new heads-up display technology, a self-driving system, a simple redesign of the interior, or maybe something completely different.

Personally, I think it will be self-driving.

It’s always good to keep in mind that the vehicles that Tesla showed at the unveiling, and this looks like one of the cars from the event, were Alpha or even pre-Alpha prototypes and while Tesla plans to get to production fairly quickly, a few iterations are still to be expected.

What do you think?

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