Tesla has finally delivered the first Model 3s to what might be the most patient customers, ever. Two years ago, Tesla started accepting deposits for the Model 3 from prospective buyers, production was hit with delays and some serious doubt was cast over whether Elon Musk could deliver the goods. But Musk unveiled the Model 3 to much fanfare in early July and just this past weekend held an event to show off the new $35,000 Model 3 in its entirety.
Full-autonomous cars are not only inevitable, they’re probably only two or three years away from hitting public roads. Tesla knows this and is already preparing for it with the Model 3. The new affordable electric sedan is Elon Musk’s idea of an electric car for the people, which makes the incredibly spartan interior all the more important. Reviews are already coming in heaping praise on the Model 3 so there is no reason not to think it will be a hit just like the Model S. But where the Model S challenged the status quo on EV performance and exterior design by ditching the grille, the Model 3 nixes the traditional dash, challenging the way you’re used to interacting with your car.
There’s nothing directly in front of the driver aside from the steering wheel, which, when scanning across the entire elegantly simple interior, looks like it actually pained the designer to include it. There’s no tachometer, no speedometer or any other dials and traditional air vents are hidden as one single, dash-length vent. All the controls are either on the steering wheel or on the single, center-mounted touch screen, making it one of the cleanest looking interiors of any modern car.
The Model 3’s beautifully simplistic interior isn’t just designed for design’s sake. The idea was to keep production costs down which in turn keeps the price down — fewer electronics, fewer moving parts, fewer things to break, fewer things to fix. What you end up with is a car you have minimal interaction with, almost priming drivers for commutes where no input is needed other than opening the door and sitting down. It’s a future Tesla is betting on with the Model 3’s design and there’s no denying it’s right around the corner.