Musk says “you won’t care” about not having a dedicated speedometer.
Tesla’s main man Elon Musk has opinions and ideas and isn’t afraid to go against norms when it comes to automobiles. There’s been talk for some time that the forthcoming Model 3 won’t have any kind of traditional instrument cluster or head-up display, and now it seems that’s been confirmed.
Electrek reports that Musk feels the large centre display will be all the Model 3 needs when it goes into limited production later this year. The display will show speed, but clearly the manufacturer is banking on an all-encompassing self-driving mode to be the Model 3’s primary chauffeur. With such duties left to the car – and with no fuel tank or engine that would require monitoring – it makes a certain amount of sense to consolidate everything into the main display.
It could be a bit of a gamble, however. Among other things, cars have had dedicated speedometers since pretty much forever and people are used to it. While the centre display will include speed, it could be a turn-off for potential buyers to not have it readily available at a glance in its own spot. Also, there is plenty of speculation that Tesla’s next-generation Autopilot with full autonomous capability will not be ready in time for the Model 3’s launch. And even if it is, there are still all kinds of federal regulations to step through.
Tesla is fast-tracking the Model 3 for production, skipping the beta phase entirely to go from prototype to an early release that’s expected to begin in July. It’s expected to cost around $35,000 USD and offer a range of nearly 220 miles (354 kilometres), with 0-60 mile per hour (0-96 kilometre per hour) performance under six seconds.
There is still time for the manufacturer to include some kind of dedicated monitoring system – most likely a head-up display – if there's significant feedback that people really want one. But with Musk on-record as saying “you won’t care,” it would appear the centre display is the final decision on checking speed in the Model 3.