The Tesla Model 3 has yet to reach consumers’ hands, but that hasn’t stopped people living near the company’s headquarters from snapping some photos of the car in action. A new set of photos highlights the glass roof, an engineering feat that CEO Elon Musk has been keen to tout as one of the car’s most impressive features.
Ever since unveiling the release candidate model in March, Tesla has been putting the entry-level $35,000 car through its paces, in preparation for a launch that will bring the company to a wider audience. On Monday, a Reddit user called spruceeffects posted images of a white Model 3 driving along interstate highway 280. The lighting shines through the roof, which merges with the front windshield and rear window to create a seamless design that makes the car seem out of this world.
The roof was one of the highlights at the Model 3’s unveiling back in March 2016, with the glass eliminating the roof beam normally situated over the head of the rear seat passengers. This creates more headroom for passengers and a simplified design for easier manufacturing.
In November, the company introduced an all-glass roof option, similar to the one found on the Model 3, for the Model S.
“I highly recommend the new all glass roof on the Model S,” Musk posted on his Twitter page. “This was very hard to develop, but it makes the interior feel amazing.”
Alongside the upgrades, the company reinforced the Model S’ surrounding body structure. It was already five stars in all measured categories.
The glass is the work of an internal production team, Musk explained in November’s Tesla conference call to investors, staffed by “some really phenomenal people.” Tesla Glass, as Musk calls it, is another step in the company’s efforts to integrate the manufacturing process and reach its goal of producing 500,000 cars per year by the end of 2018.
Musk has also hinted that the new glass design could also allow for new heating elements to act as a method of defrosting. Musk has also suggested that the Model 3 could feature a solar roof as an optional extra.
When the Model 3 enters production in July, it will bring the company to a mass market audience for the first time. The Model S, the company’s current cheapest car, retails for $68,000. Despite the push to bring electric to the masses, even the car’s roof has received the cutting-edge technologies that have helped Tesla stand out in a crowded marketplace.