Never let it be said that Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn't a man of strong opinions.

His tweets are the stuff of legend, his dismissals of hydrogen fuel-cell cars as "fool cells" have been consistent for many years, and if you get his attention, he will definitely tell you what he thinks.

Perhaps U.K. software developer Nick G hadn't really expected to get a response from the man who's running two companies (Tesla and SpaceX) and just started a third.

All he wanted was a conventional speedometer in the usual place in the Tesla Model 3 electric on which he's put down a deposit.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Elon Musk said "No" to that one. Twice.

Here's the Twitter exchange, which also revealed that Musk believes drivers won't much care what speeds they're traveling at in cars with a high degree of autonomy.

The challenge to this line of thinking, as Mashable points out, is that it's not at all clear how much real autonomous-driving capability the Tesla Model 3 will have at launch.

As of today, the latest Tesla Model S and Model X cars still don't have active-safety features enabled that would give them even the capabilities of the same cars sold last summer.

That was due to a sudden switch in sensor hardware in cars built starting last September, after Tesla got into a dispute with Mobileye, which supplied much of the sensor system for the earlier cars.

It's now been almost six months, and Tesla continues to promise that software updates to take give the latest cars at least the previous suite of capabilities—with far more to come—is just around the corner.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

If the Model 3 goes into production this summer as announced, with first deliveries to customers before the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether it will offer autonomy beyond the Autopilot capabilities present in Tesla cars until last September.

Still, we're betting General Motors CEO Mary Barra doesn't respond personally to tweets about specific product features on her company's upcoming vehicles.

In fact, she'd likely respond with no more than the usual, "GM does not comment on future products"—a mantra every automotive journalist can recite by heart, accompanied by a sigh and a slight shake of the head.

Ah, Elon, never shy of news value.


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