Tesla Model 3: Lightening in a bottle [Photo Gallery / Video]

When Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] launched the Tesla Model 3 at their design studio in Hawthorne, CA, we were there. The security team restricted professional cameras inside the venue. Yes, you could take photos with your phone, but, no guests were allowed in with any professional cameras. Unfortunately, most Tesla fans have only had access to low quality iPhone photos from the Model 3 launch event or limited stock photos from Tesla. However, Motor Trend* (MT) was invited to the Gigafactory for an exclusive photo/video shoot of the Tesla Model 3. The complete footage arrived this week... and the images look absolutely stunning. We also extracted some of our favorite Model 3 quotes from Motor Trend and included them below.

Why is Tesla so important to the automotive industry? MT writes, "The Tesla phenomenon underscores a deeper truth about the auto industry: Consumers relate to an automotive brand that clearly and unambiguously stands for something. Tesla doesn’t do marketing. It doesn’t spend vast sums on advertising. It doesn’t sponsor a race team, back a high-profile charity, or put on rock concerts. It just makes game-changing cars that have set new standards for electric vehicle performance and style, usability and desirability. And along the way Tesla has become something else: a genuine premium automotive brand. Tesla doesn’t need faux-luxury pomposity or pseudo-sporty psychobabble or any one of a dozen other marketing tricks; the cars do the talking."

What are their thoughts on Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk? "He’s achieved something remarkable. It’s not that he’s created an auto company from scratch. It’s that he’s captured the lightning in a bottle for which automotive marketers around the world would sell their souls. He’s made tech-savvy 21st-century consumers fall in love with the idea of owning an invention that defined the 20th century. A car."

After experiencing the Model 3, MT raves, "The auto industry’s disruptor-in-chief [Elon Musk] has done it again. With the public reveal of his BMW 3 Series-fighting Tesla Model 3 in April, Elon Musk did something the auto industry has failed to do in more than half a century: get people truly excited about a new car. So excited, in fact, that about 400,000 of them have reportedly plunked down a $1,000 deposit for a vehicle that’s said to be still more than a year away from the showroom. The last time the auto industry saw anything like this, the Beatles were on top of the Billboard charts, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, and the tragedy of Vietnam had yet to sear America’s psyche. The car that did it was, of course, Ford’s original Mustang... Well, the Model 3 just blew the Mustang away."

MT writes about the glass roof, "This view from inside the Model 3 shoots up to the clouds. I’m already envying kids who’ll eventually ride back here and stare up at stars on inky nights... But the glass is more than translucent. Its thinness allows great rear headroom and a critical roofline shave."

What are the car's dimensions? MT noted that they got, "an opportunity to make a SWAG of the car’s basic measurements: 184.1 inches long, 74.2 inches wide, and 56.5 inches tall. That’s within half an inch of a Mercedes-Benz C300, but almost 3 inches wider. A 2016 Toyota Camry is 190.9 inches long and 71.7 inches wide. Also consider that the Model 3 is built on an all-new platform that allows the passenger space to be pushed farther forward than typically possible with a traditional internal combustion engine powered vehicle."

Kudos to Motor Trend for such amazing coverage, photos, and video of the Tesla Model 3. Let's leave you below with a few more amazing shots -- including some photos with all of the current electric vehicles in Tesla's portfolio including the new Model S refresh, the Model X, and the Model 3.


*Source: Motor Trend; Youtube: Motor Trend; NOTE: excuse the typo in the title, unfortunately I can't edit the title but spelling should have been "lightning" not "lightening"