Tesla is putting the Model 3 through its paces ahead of launch, and that means plenty of public sightings. On Friday, a photo of a white model surfaced on Instagram, the first time since the car entered the release candidate phase last month that the vehicle has been seen in this color.
“I had a heart racing, using my phone while driving, fan girl moment on my commute home because I was driving behind an unmarked Model 3 - and it’s my color!” Instagram user robinadastra said in her post. “It looked even better from the front from the view I got when I passed it.”
The $35,000 car will be Tesla’s cheapest electric vehicle by a long shot — the Model S, the company’s current cheapest car, starts at $68,000. With this cheaper model bringing the company to a wider audience, Tesla is planning to massively boost its manufacturing output, moving from an annual production rate of around 80,000 cars to 500,000 by the end of 2018. Around half of this projected output will be Model 3 vehicles.
The photo was taken heading north on Interstate 280 in California, near the San Bruno exit. The town is around 25 miles away from Tesla’s headquarters — until now, the vast majority of public sightings have been in the near vicinity of the headquarters, so it’s interesting to note that Tesla is now looking to put the car through its paces a bit more ahead of the July production start.
Release candidate versions of the Model 3 have also been spotted in black and blue, with varying design tweaks along the way. One model was spotted with an extra pair of sensors on the rear door pillars, while another had a slightly adjusted charging cover with a design that blended in with the rear headlights.
But most of the sightings have been on Deer Creek Road, where Tesla’s headquarters are located. This is par for the course when it comes to Tesla, as the Model X sports utility vehicle was also spotted along that road ahead of its 2015 launch. The white sighting breaks with tradition by driving along a busy interstate highway.
With just three months to go until production is expected to get started, it’s likely we’ll see more sightings of release candidates out on the roads.