Tesla Still Hasn't Told Us Everything About The Model 3 Yet

Illustration for article titled Tesla Still Hasn't Told Us Everything About The Model 3 Yet

Elon Musk sat down for an interview during Wednesday night’s Code Conference to chat about how life is just a simulation, the Apple car, and the government of Mars. Maybe he’s an alien himself. But he also hinted about what’s in store for Tesla later this year.


Elon Musk’s interview was pretty wild. Only one man can generate half of a dozen headlines from a single stage interview. But, considering his hands in Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, the Hyperloop and so much other stuff, he must have a lot to talk about.

Here’s a snippet from Recode:

Talking about Tesla, Musk hinted at what the automaker has planned for the rest of its 2016.

First up, Musk confirmed that the Model 3 design would be “pencils down” in the next six weeks, which lines up with the previous projection of completing the car by the summer.

The CEO also chatted about how this would be Tesla’s first car designed specifically to make manufacturing more cost-efficient and easier. That should help the company meet the massive demand for the car and its recently rushed production timeline. He also mentioned that future “versions” will likely pick up additional features.

Musk was later asked about the doubt surrounding the company’s confidence in mass production of the Model 3 by the end of 2017, where he shifted the pressure onto Tesla’s suppliers, saying it comes down to the “least lucky” and “least competent.”


The big mysterious moment of the night was when Musk hinted at another “big” event for the Model 3 later this year. The hint was given in response to a question about seeing a fully-realized autonomous Model 3 when the design was complete in six weeks, with Musk answering that there are no events planned for that time frame.

But that still leaves a big event for 2016, so is it an advancement of Tesla’s autopilot program? That’s likely, but what else could it be?


We do also already know that Tesla is working on a “Model Y,” which is expected to be a small crossover variant based on the Model 3. It may be unlikely that the company would reveal a second car before successfully beginning production of the Model 3.


It could also be a partnership announcement, as that’s been the name of the automotive game recently with all sorts of automakers and tech startups joining forces. Musk was also pretty chatty about the “missed opportunity” of Apple developing a car sooner.

Of course the biggest event will be actually seeing the Model 3 and its accelerated production timeline realized successfully, which should really be the main focus for the team right now. That, and all those pesky quality issues.


Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


You know how you fix quality issues? Accelerate development and launch timelines! Surefire success.

Oh wait.

Anyone who has ever worked in manufacturing knows Elon Musk says A Lot Of Things that are all lies, but people eat them up and post a bunch of worthless articles and thinkpieces about them anyway. If you have quality issues, the solution is to put systems and checks in place to ensure quality is improved... not accelerate development cycles (which implies rushed testing, supplier approval, sourcing of parts... often leading to less certainty in the quality).