Tesla finally delivered the first 30 units of the Model 3 this past evening, and now that the production version of the company’s mass-market electric car is out in the wild, one key detail has finally been confirmed: the interior is going to look unlike anything else on the market. There’s one 15-inch, bezel-free, horizontally-oriented touchscreen panel — and that’s it. No instrument cluster, no heads-up display. The rest of what’s in front of you is just a smooth dashboard and a the windshield.
CEO Elon Musk had warned as much on Twitter since last year’s initial unveiling that the interior of the production version of the Model 3 would look as spartan as the prototype. And he has been steadfast in his confidence that people will like it, at one point telling a fan outright that “you won’t care” that there’s no instrument cluster or HUD. Still, it’s hard to imagine it won’t take some adjusting for anyone who’s driven a car before, because all the basic information you need while driving is now slightly more than just a glance away.
Considering Musk’s concerted push to make Tesla’s cars autonomous, it’s not surprising that he’s willing to bet that stripping the typical creature comforts from the interior of the Model 3 will be fine. “You won’t really need to look at an instrument panel all that often,” Musk said during the Model 3 handover event, adding that people will eventually be able to “watch a movie, talk to friends, go to sleep” in Tesla’s cars.
But while Musk often boasts about how Tesla is building hardware into its cars that can someday enable full autonomy, that day is still a ways away — on both the technical and regulatory sides. In the meantime, the Model 3 is supposed to be the first electric car for the masses. So as Tesla ramps up production over the next two years to deliver the Model 3 to those hundreds of thousands of people who preordered the car, we’re going to find out exactly what those masses think about this pared-down look.