Tesla Model 3: POV Ride-Along First Impressions

Photo Credit: Tesla Motors via Screenshot
Photo Credit: Tesla Motors via Screenshot /

The first ride-along videos have already hit the web for the Tesla Model 3. 

Earlier today Tesla Motors delivered on the end-game of a master plan that stretched back to 2008 with the Tesla Roadster. Just hours after the Tesla Model 3 was unveiled to the world we already have our first driving impressions via ride-along videos.

Keep in mind that these are very early pre-production models, and from our understanding there were only three running Model 3’s available at the press launch. Nevertheless, these short ridealongs on smooth California back streets have already left a strong impression on journalists and the public. Take a look at one of the better POV ride along videos down below and let us know what you think about this all-new Tesla Model 3 in the comments below.

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First, there are all the touch points to go over. Keen eyes will notice that there isn’t a gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. And according to the engineer who gave a ride-along to one of CNET’s own journalists, “there will not be a gauge cluster behind the steering wheel.” That means drivers will have to get used to the giant updateable touch screen that not only serves as a multimedia and information center, but as the speedometer as well.

We’ve inserted what the touch screen looks like below. You’ll notice the speedometer on the top left corner.

Even though this is a pre-production model, the steering wheel doesn’t look all that inspiring nor sporty but that’s all bound to change come production time. Elon Musk did hint that there will be lots of changes done from the time of the unveil to production sometime later next year.

The seats were plush but not exactly road hugging. They were comparable to the Tesla Model X. In the unveiling Musk said that the Model 3 would fit 5 comfortably and with Tim from CNET’s 6’4″ frame, he did confirm that he was quite comfortable up front. Although he didn’t sit in the front, the rear did look reasonably comfortable as well.

“We don’t make slow cars.”- Test Drive Engineer

As for the driving dynamics, the Tesla Model 3 will come standard with a single motor rear wheel drive setup. These first few test cars were dual-motor All-wheel drive models. As such they were pretty quick off the line and were much quicker than the reported 0-60 MPH in six-second range. If you head on over to Jalopnik’s first ride-along at 8:42 you can hear the same engineer say, “We don’t make slow cars.” Towards the end of the video we hear the engineer mention that the RWD base model is light on its feet and quite nimble.

And fast forward to 1:55 and you can hear the engineer emphasize the low-center of gravity contributing to the inspiring confidence and handling characteristics we’ve come to know and love in the Model S.

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These first drive impressions are encouraging to say the least. For those 115,000+ people who put in pre-orders in the past 24-hours, this all bodes well for their investment. Seeing as their is a boat load of time between production and now, we hope they throw a couple of Model 3’s to journalists to see for themselves just how good the handling is.