Update: Tesla made the announcement: Tesla announces all production cars now have fully self-driving hardware – hardly a full-fledged “Model 3 part 2” but still a major announcement.
Alright. I am officially confused. Tesla CEO Elon Musk just confirmed via Twitter that today’s mysterious ‘Tesla product unveil’ announcement is what he was previously referring to as ‘Tesla Model 3 part 2’:
Last week, he described the upcoming event as “unexpected by most” which completely made us disregard the possibility of it being about the “Model 3 part 2” since it is an expected event.
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But apparently, that’s what Tesla is preparing to unveil today. Some of you didn’t like my use of a cloaked Model 3 as a featured image in my last post, but it looks more appropriate than ever now.
We also now have a much better idea of what the event will be about. Musk already confirmed that the Model 3’s interior and the lack of an instrument cluster will make more sense after the ‘part 2’ of the unveiling.
The ‘Tesla Glass‘, which is expected to be a heads-up display system, now sounds like a more likely possibility. It would certainly be an explanation to the lack of an instrument cluster in the early prototypes unveiled in March:
More information on Autopilot 2.0/Tesla Vision is also not out of the question considering Musk said that he would talk about the Model 3’s autonomous features at an event “later this year”. He made the comment at the Code conference back in June.
One thing that is still throwing me off is that Tesla referred to today’s announcement as “a new Tesla product”:
I don’t think that part 2 of the Model 3 unveiling can be considered a product itself, but that a new element to be introduced in the part 2 could be a product that will make its way into Tesla’s other vehicles.
For what it is worth, Musk previously said that he expects reservations to surge after the part 2 of the Model 3 unveiling.
Last week, Tesla has been making updates to the ‘My Tesla’ page for Model 3 reservation holders – making a step closer to allow reservations to turn into orders. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that Tesla could open orders for the Model 3 after the announcement, but that would be highly speculative since we are still about a year away from the start of volume production.
Nonetheless, the timing of the update to the ‘My Tesla’ page does nothing to suppress the hype. Tesla could try to lock in more customers before new electric vehicles hit the market like the Chevy Bolt EV and the upcoming Nissan LEAF refresh.
Additionally and since this the part 2 of the Model 3 unveil, we would expect to learn more about battery pack options for the vehicle. At the original unveiling event in March, Musk only said that the base model will feature a minimum range of 215 miles, but bigger battery packs are also expected to be available.
We could also learn more about the performance version. Musk already confirmed that ‘Ludicrous mode’ will be available for the Model 3.
Finally, maybe something about the Model Y or whatever Tesla is now calling the crossover version of the Model 3. They are to be built on the same platform after all.
Alright, that’s enough speculation and expectations for today. Let’s bring the real thing now.