At the Tesla Model 3 launch event in California this week, Green Car Reports got a quick ride in a prototype of the $35,000, 215-mile electric car.

That provided an opportunity to glimpse the interior of the Model 3, scheduled to go into production late next year if Tesla stays on time.

With nothing but a centrally-mounted screen for instrumentation, the dashboard certainly made a statement.

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But what if what we saw isn't actually real?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said last week's fanfare was only the beginning of a drawn-out reveal for the Model 3, so what if the interior we saw isn't what will go into production models?

That's a possibility hinted at by several cryptic Musk tweets strung together by Jalopnik.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

In what seems to be his favorite medium of communication, Musk tweeted that the setup shown last week is "not the real steering system."

"Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3," Musk said in a separate tweet, "It feels like a spaceship."

In response to a tweet questioning the Model 3 prototype's apparent lack of a traditional gauge cluster, Musk also said "it will make sense after part two" of the Model 3 reveal.

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That Tesla still has more of the Model 3 to show isn't surprising.

The cars unveiled last week are prototypes and, as with the Model S and Model X, they likely differ significantly from the production vehicles that Tesla plans to begin delivering in late 2017.

Tesla was also short on details, and wouldn't demonstrate seemingly-routine things like how the seats fold.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

We also noticed that the central screen appears to be interchangeable.

None of these details have anything to do with the steering, though.

As with all things Tesla, Elon Musk will explain exactly what he means by "real" steering controls when he is ready.

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In the meantime, the mystery should help keep interest in the Model 3 up until Tesla's next media event.

Those 300,000 or so deposits don't hurt either. In a separate tweet, Musk has promised an update on total Model 3 orders to come tonight or tomorrow, a week after orders could be placed starting last Thursday morning.


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