Model III is quite the hair-puller

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.11.44 AMHow can it be that with just 24 days before the Model III debut, we still know almost nothing about it? We’ve got Tesla hackers that can find a passing reference to a P100D buried in Model S neuro-transmitters, but nobody can get their mitts on an image of a car?

In light of the latest employment survey showing Tesla is among the most meaningful, but also most stressful, places to work, you’d think that somebody in some state of disgruntlement would leak something to the internet. Unless:

  1. The culture of fear is so gripping that nobody dares. Do you really want to wake up in the middle of the night to find Elon standing over your bed?
  2. There is no Model III in the flesh — just a few carefully-guarded images.
  3. Very few people have access to Model III information. Ninety-nine percent of the company might still be in the dark and will learn nothing before March 31, just like the rest of us.
  4. The countless “leaks” we’ve seen from other automakers over the years are really just deliberate and sanctioned buzz-builders. It’s actually not hard to guard such information.

So we’re left with a sock full of “everything we know about Model III” articles, which merely rearrange the same old moldy crumbs that Tesla tossed us long ago. And the crumbs don’t even belong together. Consider: Model III won’t look like other cars, Elon said during a Reddit AMA. Sounds pretty radical. Ah, but a more adventurous version will come afterward. More adventurous than something that already doesn’t look like other cars? Alrighty then. Maybe that just means “more complex,” just as Model X is more complex than the S.

Model III won't look like other cars TeslaMondo

There’s going to be a crossover version. There’s going to be a Model “Y”. There’s going to be something with falcon doors. Do all three crumbs pertain to the same vehicle? Is this the aforementioned “more adventurous” version of Model III? Is this considered a version of Model III due to a shared platform, even though it will be called “Y”?

This new platform is some 20 percent smaller than the S/X. Three-row seating probably can’t happen. So why use falcon doors for a smallish crossover with no third row? Wasn’t third-row access the primary rationale for the falcon doors? Perhaps we’ve got this all wrong.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.04.13 AMEven the Gigafactory’s role in Model III is confusing. Musk once tweeted that a fully-operational Gig was essential for Model III production. But at the most recent conference call, he said: “It does not appear to be anywhere near the critical path for model III.”

Can anyone help? Where’s Horshack? He’s gone, dammit. Where’s Mr. Kotter? Still wearing his poker face, dammit. Since this post is stuck in the 70s, let’s evoke Joni Mitchell. Along with clouds, love and life itself, we really don’t know Model III. At all.

See also: What Model III Will Totally Look Like

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3 thoughts on “Model III is quite the hair-puller

  1. Elon’s usage of the phrase “critical path” is unique. What he means is that the Gigafactory will not be the biggest holdup/high priority issue.

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  2. purrpullberra says:

    I think the most important mistaken statement is about the GF needing to be 100% for the Model3 to be…. what, we don’t know exactly. I think what Elon meant to say here is that for Model3 to be fully realized and for Tesla to make the most profit the GF needs to be running at 100%. Before then they will be selling Model3’s at a slower clip and with less profit margin than is hoped for/expected. They reference the 500k units a year when the GF is at 100% and I’m assuming the same is meant for profit margin.
    As to the looks… it’ll have some concept car features and a few design elements that make Model3 look very different from any ICE car, which means it’ll be different from almost everything, and if it avoids looking freakishly ugly like the Juke or Leaf then it’ll look different from everything on the road. But it doesn’t have to be otherworldly to make Elon’s statement true.
    And then it follows that the ModelY will be unique looking and quite different to other cars (except the Model3 presumably).
    So, in spite of everything I think we know a lot. It will resemble the ModelS&X to some degree which will mean it’s going to be a nice looking car to anyone’s eye. We know there’ll be a sedan/hatchback version and )probably later) a crossover version and they should be reasonably different from one another in look and use. We are not going to see the most special features and none of the specifics on details until much closer to the release date, at least a year after the reservations open up.
    Tesla has too much to lose to do the Model3 release any other way. They have to keep up interest but not show their hand too early. I bet they’ll want 100k reservations but at the same time not want to sell the car on any specifics for a long time.

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  3. […] A clearer picture regarding when the car will be ready for customers will likely emerge at the launch today, though the lack of leaks and “crumbs” of information from Tesla so far concerns TeslaMondo. […]

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