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Tesla Model 3: unlikely leak claims to be official Model 3 mockup, but we’re not so sure [Updated]

model 3 mockup published a picture (see above) today of an alleged leak from a Tesla employee. The publication wrote:

“In an e-mail to AutoGuide sister site TheTruthAboutCars, a person who claims to be a Tesla employee sent the image you see above, claiming to have accessed a colleague’s computer and taken this photo of a photo.”

After only a few minutes of investigation, we feel confident in calling it a “fake”.

We’ve seen a bunch of unofficial mockups of the Model 3 over the past few months and this one was not among them, which is a good sign, but it still doesn’t hold up to a little scrutiny.

First of, it looks like it was designed on top of a shot of the Model X’s promotional picture.

The background and colors are the same, while the lighting seems to only look different because it’s a picture of a monitor.

Here’s a side-by-side of the two:

Secondly, there are a few obvious imperfections like the windshield line and the wheel wells.

The door handle placement also suggests that the rear doors are ‘Falcon Wings’, which wouldn’t make sense for the Model 3 which is supposed to be a sedan. It would make sense for the Model Y, but that’s not what the alleged leak is claiming.

And finally, the origin of the leak , which was first sent to TheTruthAboutCars, is suspicious on its own. The publication has a long history of extremely negative commentary on Tesla. It had a long standing series called the “Tesla Death Watch” predicting Tesla’s imminent death, which has yet to happen.

It’s a cool mockup, but is it the Model 3? We say no. What about you?

Update: Tesla confirmed that it is not the Model 3.

Images: and Tesla.

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  1. freedomev - 7 years ago

    Shadows are wrong too. Looks good though.

  2. ag80911 - 7 years ago

    sounds likely – it’s going to be a smaller version than the Model S – the question is what features will come standard to hit the magical 35k price

  3. KingBezos - 7 years ago

    isn’t the Model 3 supposed to have a Cd of 0.20? if so, the tail end would definitely be more streamlined and not end so abruptly.

  4. DK - 7 years ago

    It sure does look like the clay model partially under wraps during that Australian interview that you guys have posted a few times. That tail end is a dead ringer. Those doors could be suicide doors. Or could be model Y. If we assume 16-18″ wheels that vehicle is quite a bit smaller than the model X and could even be smaller than the model S.

    • Trev Page - 7 years ago

      That was the Model X you saw in the interview.

      • DK - 7 years ago

        You could be right. This looks slightly smaller to me but my angle isn’t too good and I can’t locate the interview that provides the much better angle.

  5. It may be fake but that car is the best guess so far. I like it.

  6. Ryan - 7 years ago

    I hope it is fake, that thing is ugly as hell.

  7. BEP - 7 years ago

    How can anyone seriously think this crap is a real product picture/rendering of the Model 3?

  8. jednoucelovy - 7 years ago


    • Fred Lambert - 7 years ago

      We called the “leak” “unlikely” in the headline and then expressed even more doubt about it again the headline with “not so sure”. I think we were fair.

      • František Kubiš Jr. - 7 years ago

        agreed Fred…

      • jednoucelovy - 7 years ago

        Fred, I would never put stuff from the spam folder on a news site. I guess my standards must be flawed then.

      • Fred Lambert - 7 years ago

        Someone was faking a leak and pushing it to the media. We took it and try to debunk. Period. What’s wrong with that?

  9. - 7 years ago

    who ever thought this was the Model3 is a fool 😀

  10. Noz - 7 years ago

    Oh man I so hope this isn’t the way it’s going to look…no go for me if it does.


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