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The Tesla Model 3 Prototype Looks Pretty Good In The Real World

There’s been only few public glimpses of the Tesla Model 3 since it was revealed in 2016, and production’s set to begin on the sleek sedan this July despite the fact a beta prototype hasn’t been completed. But in the meantime, there’s new video of an alpha prototype tooling around California.

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The minute-long clip, made by Tesla customizing shop Unplugged Performances, shows the Model 3 prototype cruising down a nearby road and a parking lot near Tesla founder Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop track in Hawthorne, California.

As we reported earlier this month, Tesla hasn’t completed a beta prototype of the Model 3 just yet, and Musk said in a recent conference call that he isn’t sure if a production-ready version of the vehicle will be shown to the public before production beings. Videos like this could be the closest glimpse we get of the Model 3 until then.

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While Tesla may have differing definitions of an “alpha” and “beta” prototype from traditional automakers, Tesla reportedly started assembly of a pre-production Model 3 in February, and the company wrote in SEC filings that it expects a beta prototype to be completed by the end of 2017's first quarter, later this month. Moreover, it puts the company on a completely atypical trajectory to move a vehicle from prototype to full production.

And that makes the July production date all the more interesting to follow.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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DISCUSSION

DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane
DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane

The nose still looks awful.

They need SOMETHING to break up that massive empty spot, it looks so weird with the massive area of glossy paint just sitting there reflecting the road surface.