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Tesla Model 3 prototype with new steering wheel emerges at Tesla Party [Gallery]


Tesla CEO Elon Musk made it clear that the steering wheel on the Tesla Model 3 prototypes unveiled earlier this year doesn’t represent the steering controls of the upcoming production version of the Model 3. He described those as “spaceship-like”.

Now a Tesla Model 3 prototype with a new steering wheel appeared at a Tesla party over the weekend.

Tesla hosted what it called a “family and friend event” at a soccer stadium in San Jose Saturday night to celebrate the recent record quarter.

A silver Tesla Model 3 prototype showed up and it looks like it could be the same silver prototype we have seen since the unveil event in March, but it definitely has a new steering wheel.

Though it looks nothing “like a spaceship”. Take a look for yourself via pictures taken by Ryan Eager last night (reprinted with permission):

Here’s a side by side of the previous Model 3 steering wheel and the one in the latest prototype sighting at the Tesla Party:

It could very well still be a placeholder steering wheel until the real spaceship-like steering control, but even if it is still a placeholder, it’s still interesting that they updated it.

The original placeholder didn’t seem to have any buttons or controls on it. Now the new one appears to have controls on each side. It also features a slightly updated design – less bulky and sleeker style.

We can’t find any updated design details on the prototype, but let us know in the comment section below if you find anything.

A source familiar with the Model 3 program told us that until the ‘pencil down’ on the design earlier this year, Tesla’s design team was still debating the door handles and front fascia of the Model 3. When Tesla unveiled the prototypes in March, they had both the rectangular retractable door handles found on the Model S and X, and a new style with a curved that you need to press in order to expose the pulling side of the handle. The source told Electrek that the new handles are the ones that will make it to the production version.

As for the front fascia, the source said that a front end more similar to the Model S and X was also being considered – something that was debated on Electrek before – but it looks like Tesla will stick to the one on the current prototypes.

Here are more pictures of the Model 3 prototype at the Tesla Party via Ryan Eager (reprinted with permission):

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