Vroom, there it goes. There’s not much happening here, but Elon Musk said Friday that the brief clip you see above is a Tesla Model 3 “release candidate”—after he reportedly told investors on a secret call last week that the automaker is skipping the usual beta prototype phase.


As we noted earlier this month, Tesla hadn’t completed beta prototypes of the Model 3 sedan, despite that production is set to begin in July. According to Teslarati, Musk held a secret call with investors on March 16, and said that early release candidate Model 3s will be driven within “a week or two.”


So that’d suggest the production line at Tesla’s Fremont plant is ready to go. Of course, if a problem arises in the coming weeks, that means the entire production line would have to be overhauled, but according to Teslarati:

Musk reportedly said [on the investor call] that advanced analytical techniques are allowing the company to skip the usual beta phase. He promised the Model 3 will have higher initial quality than either the Model S or Model X because of those analytical tools.

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment to verify the investor call, but it hasn’t disputed numerous reports about it.

So in the meantime. Here’s a Model 3 release candidate, starting, driving straight, and coming to a stop.


Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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