First Tesla Model 3 Ride Videos Are In and They Show a Few Design Flaws

Two and a half days after the Model 3 launch event and people are still talking about Tesla's latest car and, more importantly, they're still placing reservations for the compact-sized electric sedan.
Tesla Model 3 rear 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
The event on Thursday evening was broadcast live over the Internet, but once the on-stage presentation was over, the home viewers couldn't actually see any more interesting stuff. And that's a bit ironic, because for those present there, that's precisely when things started to get that much more exciting.

First, they were allowed to get on the stage and climb on board, circle around and get a good feel of the new Model 3. This was when a few issues with the car popped out, most notably the trunk opening. Tesla opted for a large, uninterrupted canopy glass over the rear seats, which is nothing short of breathtaking. A trip through the Alps in this thing is like passing through one of those glass tunnels at an aquarium - your head will swivel left and right with excitement gazing at the gorgeous vistas.

Using nothing but glass for the roof also means it's thinner, so there's more headroom. Those living in warm-weather areas, though, are going to be a little worried about its resemblance to a greenhouse, but Tesla will surely deal with that aspect one way or the other. After all, Elon Musk lives in California so he'll be interested in solving it, no doubt about it.

Now, the thing is that, while it looks great, the trunk opening has to pay a penalty, so it doesn't appear as though large packages will be able to make it in there. A hatchback-like tailgate would have upped the Model 3's practicality rating, but that would have meant breaking the glass area in two. Hard to tell which would have been the better choice, but also irrelevant since Tesla seems to have gone for the nicer looking design already.

Another feature that struck everybody is the dashboard and, more notably, the absence of the instrument cluster. With no word on a possible head-up display, we're left guessing whether all the information will simply be shown on the large, 15-inch landscape-oriented display, or Tesla will find other solutions in the following months until the production launch. Tesla says it chose this design so that the passenger can have access to more information.

After everybody had got to know the car and a few cocktails were sipped, it was time for the actual rides to begin. Lined up outside were a handful of Model 3s waiting for the impatient passengers to get in. The organizers had set up a very short track that would showcase the car's acceleration performances (the test cars were dual-motors, so not quite the base $35,000 version which is rear-wheel-driven) and a bit of handling on the return pass. Since almost everybody there was already a Tesla owner, they all knew what to expect.

However, we did manage to spot a few things during these videos. For instance, the car appears to be slightly noisier than the Model S, something that would be in line with what's happening with the vehicles made by the traditional manufacturers - the larger the car, the better the soundproofing.

Also, it seemed like the Model 3's headlights were rather poor in performance. Of course, we need to bear in mind these are pre-production prototypes that will undergo a certain extent of modifications, but we thought it was worth noting. Oh, and that slightly ellipsoidal really, really thick buttonless steering wheel looks awesome. If the Model 3 proves to be as sporty as Tesla officials say, that'll be the perfect interface to take advantage of it.

Below you will find a series of videos shot by people who were at the exclusive event in California. Keep an eye out for that magnificent rear glass roof and try not to be excited. Don't get too carried away, though, because if you haven't placed your order yet, you're likely to wait at least two years since the first deliveries start.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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