In response to a question from our own Nilay Patel at Code Conference this evening about whether Tesla would be able to deliver the Model 3 in a timely fashion despite the company's history of delays, CEO Elon Musk noted that the car would be "pencils down" — that is, more or less completely designed — in about six weeks' time. "Almost all of the Model 3 design is done, and we're aiming for pencils down basically in six weeks, complete pencils down. And we're tabling — you know, if there are ideas for future cool things, we'll have it in version 2, version 3," he said.
Musk has said on several occasions that "hubris" was one of multiple factors that contributed to delays and troubles with manufacturing of the Model X, which he admits tried to pack too much new technology into a single new model. Since launch, Model X deliveries have been off to a slower-than-expected start, beset by quality issues and troubles with the vaunted "falcon" doors that hinge upward. With the Model 3, Musk contends, some big ideas will wait for future versions of the car beyond the initial late 2017 launch.
Earlier in his Code interview, Musk mentioned that Tesla would hold a "big" event for the Model 3 toward the end of this year, which could see the debut of the finished, production-ready car — particularly considering his assertion that the design will be done in just a few weeks' time. Questions remain about the features and details of the final model, particularly around the interior, which appeared unfinished and largely unexplained at the car's March unveiling.