Skip to main content

Tesla Model 3: first video of a release candidate testing in the wild

Yesterday, we shared pictures of the first sighting of a Tesla Model 3 release candidate testing in the wild thanks to a new friend of the site, Wayne, who chased the vehicle around Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto.

Today, Wayne spotted the prototype again and sent us the first video of the vehicle, which shows the Model 3 under new angles and driving for the first time, aside from Elon Musk’s quick 5-second video.

It would seem that the area around Tesla’s headquarters is still the hot spot to get a glimpse of Tesla’s prototypes being tested – like it was when Tesla was testing Model X prototypes back in 2015.

In both sightings, Tesla was using a BMW as a chaser car. Other comparable vehicles are often used during testing phases for performance tuning.

We combined both yesterday’s and today’s sightings in a single video, which we stabilized a little since they are stitched together from the iPhone’s burst mode photos. It’s not perfect, but at least it offers a high-resolution:

 Footage taken by Wayne – use his referral code for $1,000 off Model S or X

As we reported earlier today, the main new thing we learned from the latest images of the release candidate is that it features additional sensors on the C-pillars.

Based on the rear hatch, the trunk opening on the release candidate (left) appears to be the same as it was on the pre-alpha prototype (right):

Some reservation holders complained about the opening when the vehicle was first unveiled and Musk later said that Tesla “fixed it”. While it’s not apparent from the visible outlines of the hatch, the opening itself could be bigger.

The thing reservation holders are probably the most curious about is the interior due to Musk’s ‘spaceship-like’ comment, but unfortunately, we don’t have a clear view of the interior with the recent Model 3 release candidate sightings.

One reassuring aspect though is the body panel fits, which so far seem more than decent. When Tesla started production of the first release candidates last month, Musk said that he was seeing a significant improvement in fit and finish with the Model 3 over the Model S and X during the same phase of development.

Hopefully, for reservation holders, it will only get better leading to the start of production, which is still expected in July.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.