The Tesla Model 3 that begins rolling off the assembly line this month will be a close cousin to the one Elon Musk introduced at a gala event in southern California on March 30, 2016. That’s when CleanTechnica senior editors Zachary Shahan and Kyle Field crashed the event and recorded 20 minutes of exclusive video of the pre-production prototypes that were on hand for people to drive that night.
Tesla wasn’t quite done with the Model 3 at that point. Between then and now, a number of subtle but significant changes have been made to the car. Thanks to Ryan Taylor who sent along this GIF put together by the Tesla fans at PartCatalog. Watch as alterations to the shape of the Model 3 occur over time.
The finished car has a longer, flatter nose section, no doubt for better aerodynamics but maybe also due to feedback after the initial reveal event. The front wheels have also been pushed forward slightly. In the rear, the tail section is a tiny bit higher. There were complaints at the unveiling that the trunk was a “letter slot” that hampered access to the interior of the car for things like bicycles, surfboards, and other bulky items. It appears the trunk opening has been redesigned to make it somewhat larger and taller.
Taken together, the changes make a car that was already acclaimed for its clean, modern styling even more appealing. Elon Musk will get SN1, the first car off the line, thanks to a gift by Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis, who was the first person in the world to reserve a Tesla Model 3. The gift from Ira was made to commemorate Elon’s 46th birthday. The serial entrepreneur already owns the first Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model X.
The first 30 Model 3 cars are scheduled to be delivered to their new owners on July 28. With luck, Zachary and Kyle will crash that party as well and present us with even more exclusive video coverage from deep inside Tesla Central.