On the few occasions where Tesla left Model 3 release candidates charging unattended at Superchargers without supervision, they covered them in order to prevent pictures.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t the case yesterday when a silver Model 3 prototype stopped at the Harris Ranch Supercharger in Coalinga, California – giving us our best look at the vehicle in the process.
When Model 3 release candidates were spotted while parked, Tesla went out of its way for people to avoid looking at the interior, but it was never clear what they were hiding since we had already seen plenty of prototypes around.
The few shots of the release candidate interior that we got to see so far looked extremely similar to the interior of the pre-alpha Model 3 prototypes seen since March 2016.
Our best guess was the user interface on the center screen and the information that it would display, like range and charge rate. That’s now everything but confirmed since the Model 3 spotted at the Harris Ranch Supercharger had no cover on the vehicle itseft, but engineers covered the steering wheel and center screen with a sweatshirt (pictures by Model S owner WattLOL on Imgur):
Though that’s not the only interesting thing about this Model 3 prototype.
The vehicle also had additional sensors and wires sticking out of the cabin and back to the dashboard.
Looking at the back, we can also see the release for what appears to be a folding backseat, which should alleviate some concerns over the rear cargo space of the vehicle:
We also get our best look so far at the Model 3’s charge port.
Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to feature any kind light-based charge indicator like on the Model S and Model X.
But to be honest, the charge port looks almost unfinished – like it could be a placeholder.
As we previously reported, the Model 3 charging architecture could be really important in the EV industry.
WattLOL also got a few pictures of the wheels and tires, which features a lug nut cover – unlike with the previous Model 3 release candidate sightings.
As CEO Elon Musk confirmed this week, wheel size is probably one of the only options that early Model 3 buyers will be able to choose – that and the color.
Sizes are going to be 18″ and 19″. This prototype seems to have the 19″ option based on the markings on the Continental tires.
The rest of WattLOL’s picture gives us a pretty good high-resolution look at the vehicle and again, we can see a lot of unsually large panel gaps.
As usual, a reminder that Tesla’s release candidates are being tested at different stages of readiness and therefore, it’s not necessarily representative of the production version, which is expected to be unveiled in July. The release candidate program exists specifically to fix those kinds of issues – so no need to panic.
Here are more pictures (all credit to Model S owner WattLOL on Imgur)