Motor Trend Gets Exclusive Access To The Tesla Model 3

Much has been written about the Tesla Model 3, the “affordable” electric car that is scheduled to go on sale late next year. Tesla held a gala introduction party for the car on March 31, complete with limited test drives. But no private individuals have gotten to actually drive one further than just around a parking lot and in full daylight until now.

Tesla Model 3

Yesterday, a team from Motor Trend were allowed access to a Model 3 at the Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. They took terabytes of photographs and videos during their day with the car, including high angle shots from the roof of the building — a place very few people have ever been. Elon Musk himself has probably never been up there. They commented that the building, which is only 14% complete, looks stupendously, unimaginably huge from up there.

The team from Motor Trend was allowed to photograph the car from every conceivable angle but were asked not to take pictures of the interior, the front luggage space — known as a “frunk” to Tesla people — or the rear trunk area. They were told those parts of the car are still under development. The company doesn’t want people to form an impression of what they will be like in production versions of the car based on preliminary designs.

So what did the boys from Motor Trend think of the Model 3 when they saw it up close and personal in the daylight? “It looks much better in person; pictures don’t do it justice,” said staff photographer Robin Trajano. “The proportions don’t really work in picture but in person looks really good. I wouldn’t mind owning one.”

Motor Trend visuals manager Brian Vance added, “It really does have a lot of his Mazda concepts in it, like the lines.” Vance is referring to Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s head of design, who was at Mazda prior to joining the company. “I can’t believe the entire roof is glass. It’s two pieces (three if you count the windshield) but in the right light, looks like one piece.”

Enjoy this video from Motor Trend’s day with the Model 3.

Photo credit: Tesla Motors


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.