The vehicle displays all information on a 15-inch, horizontal, touchscreen display mounted in the middle of the dashboard. And that's just the beginning.
The Tesla Model 3 has been billed as a groundbreaking car. And in one respect, it is: It doesn't have an instrument cluster.
Instead, the vehicle displays all information on a 15-inch, horizontal, touchscreen display mounted in the middle of the dashboard. And unlike other carmakers, Tesla hasn't shifted functions to the steering wheel. There are two control stalks and a pair of multipurpose thumb wheels.
Rumors had swirled for months that Tesla would make this move, but we now have confirmation.
But the elimination of traditional interior elements in the Model 3 goes beyond the instrument cluster.
In fact, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, recently stressed that the interior was in many ways the most satisfying, innovative, and radical part of the Model 3.
"Everything we do has to be beautiful, but it has to be functional," he said at a press conference before an event last week at the carmaker's factory in Fremont, California, when the company delivered the first 30 Model 3s, most to employees.
Because the Model 3 is a smaller car, Holzhausen said, a goal was to make the interior feel as big as possible.
"Interior volume was important to us," he said. "It's a really great attribute."
Some critics have complained that Tesla's interiors have been too minimalist. They aren't as upscale as those from other luxury automakers. Tesla has addressed that concern, and with the Model 3 — base-priced at $35,000 — the expectation for a lush and pampering interior isn't as high.
The clean and minimalist design, Holzhausen added, enables the driver to concentrate on driving — or being driven, as the Model 3's hardware and software are engineered to deliver full autonomy.
"It doesn't look like anything out there," he said. "It feels advanced, but not scary, and it will age gracefully."
Holzhausen is right — this is the most minimalist auto interior I've ever seen. Have a look: