Watch These Fascinating Tesla Model 3 Teardowns

Tesla Model 3 frame


Tesla Model 3

A look at reinforcements and high strength steel inside the Tesla Model 3 (Image: Gas2 via Tesla)


There are now dozens of Model 3 reviews out there, and new ones are coming out seemingly every day. These are highly informative for the average driver, but engineers and other technically-minded folks will want to go deeper, examining the components of the car with some detailed technical explanation. For them, Ingineerix has produced a series of three videos that take a look “under the hood” of the new Tesla (so to speak – you won’t find much under the actual hood of a Tesla). Ingineerix takes us on a grand tour of the space behind the frunk liner and under the chassis, and explains what all the bits do.

However, there are some – namely engineers at the legacy automakers, tasked with designing a vehicle that can compete with Tesla’s technological marvel – for whom a much more detailed examination is necessary. This is called a teardown, and it’s something that carmakers do routinely, buying a competitor’s vehicle, taking it apart and examining each component to see how it works and get an idea of what it costs.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

A few weeks ago, the eagle eye of Electrek’s Fred Lambert spied a pair of Model 3s headed for Germany via air freight. He guessed that a German automaker had bought them to be torn down and reverse-engineered. Sure enough, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that an unnamed German automaker bought a Model 3 (for a whopping $230,000 plus freight) test-drove it and took it apart to see what makes it go.

Electrek translated the article and shared some of the engineers’ impressions:

“The power electronics made the testers’ eyes go wide. Compact, expandable, fully integrated, modular, easily accessible, well-protected, reasonably priced and astonishingly clever in many details – that was the verdict of the experts, to which colleagues from other manufacturers also agreed.”

Article author Georg Kacher didn’t say which automaker sponsored the teardown, but that last sentence implies that it may have been a joint effort. He also said that German automakers currently have a dozen Model 3s in their clutches.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3s in parking lot

The anonymous automakers were also impressed by the design, saying that Tesla has “perfected the minimalist design,” which applies not only to Model 3’s interior, but also to its powertrain. “Minimalism runs through the entire vehicle. There is initially only one engine, only one forward and reverse gear, only one driven pair of wheels, only one cooling circuit for the entire system.”

The interior, Kacher writes, is “reminiscent of a completely cleared, black-washed Bauhaus living room.” Of course, Model 3’s minimalist mojo centers around its center-mounted 15-inch touchscreen, as CleanTechnica noted. “The whole thing is bare, cool plastic, sparingly decorated with open-pored wooden slats. There are no instruments, but unfortunately also no head-up display. The usual hundreds of knobs, buttons, cogs and levers are anathema to Tesla chief Elon Musk. Only the windows open and close, according to old custom, by forefinger command,” wrote Kacher.

Herr Kacher noted that his sources didn’t like every detail. He called adjusting the mirror “a particularly tricky electronic Sudoku,” and was less than impressed with the door handles and the complex locking system. He said that the back seat “is mounted so low that large passengers only have a chance when they are folded like a Z.”

Above: Taking apart the Tesla Model 3 (Youtube: Ingineerix)


Written by: Charles Morris

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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23 responses to "Watch These Fascinating Tesla Model 3 Teardowns"
  1. theflew says:

    It’s a stretch calling these teardowns. It’s more like look what’s under the covers.

    1. Paul Stoller says:

      Agreed, I was expecting full disassembly.

      1. rey says:

        See my comment below re;Sand Munro assoc.

    2. John Doe says:

      Yeah, but it was interesting to look at anyway. It is very similar to an ICE car, in regards to mechanical contruction.
      There will be quite a few parts to change after a while.
      Looks like it would be stable and tight to drive, so that’s good.
      Looks like it’s good access to parts, so most will be quick and easy to replace.
      Did he remove a cover under the car, before the last video, or is it that open on the underside?

      1. morrisg says:

        Removed the covers as he states in the video.

    3. rey says:

      If you want a real teardown and cost analysis Sandy Munro and Assc. can give you all the info you want,down to the nuts and bolts,be prepared to pay big bucks ,like way more than the car original price ,and possibly two to three months from now as he even goes to the parts suppliers .Sandy Munro& Assoc was paid by UBS bank to do the GM BOLT tear down and came down to within a few hundreds of $dollars accuracy of the BOLTs production costs to GMs & LGs chargrin.

  2. John Doe says:

    If you read the German paper, the reporter is clearly a Tesla fan, and the lack of sources makes it hearsay/rumours.

    It has been linked to this article at least twice.

    That statements may be true, but the lack of facts and sources makes it at best a poor source of information.. but all Tesla news are good news for EVANNEX I guess.

    It is of course a given that this model will be torn to pieces by car manufacturers, and special companies that does nothing but reverse engineer cars, 3D scan parts, look for sources, check out materials used and what not. . and then sell the information to companies that’s interested in it.

    They can deliver detailed CAD drawings, that makes it easy for some to copy individual parts, or the complete car – if they want to, and can get away with it (if they live in a country that does not care about copyright laws at all).

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    My favorite part of the videos was when he showed that the Model 3 has an old fashioned spin-on oil filter. I can’t wait to hear the Tesla fanboys try to spin this (pun intended) as a great feature!

    There’s a close-up still pic of the oil filter in the link below:

    1. AnonyMouse says:

      I forgot to say where to find it in the videos. You can see the Tesla-branded oil filter in the third video @ 2:00.

    2. scottf200 says:

      Clarifying Electrek comment:
      Karen EV-CONES • 9 days ago
      Model S required a lubricant change at its first service visit, since you wear metal into the oil while the gears polish together down during the burn-in period. Having a filter (and pump) means no need to do this. Remember, the goal is that the drive unit last a million miles without service. Maintaining lubricant quality is important to achieve that.

      1. morrisg says:

        I hope people understand that previous car designs had no filter in the differential or transmission. The metal wear particles might get stuck to a magnet on the drain plug but the standard fix was to use a very heavy oil in the transmission / differential to get the life up to 100k to 200k miles. Having an oil filter with a decent element to filter out metal particles above a few microns in size and an electric pump to circulate the thinner oil through the filter is a good way to increase the life 5x to 10x as well as reduce energy drag loss a few percent. The real question is why hasn’t any other manufacturer done this?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yeah, it was really bizarre of AnonyMouse to try to spin this as a negative thing. Maybe he’s just another Tesla basher?

          And why would anyone care if the oil filter is “old-fashioned” or not? There are legitimate questions for any mechanical part found on a car: Does it work well for the intended purpose? Is it reliable? Is it accessible if it needs service? Is it either too expensive, or too cheaply made? Those are questions which matter.

          Whether or not it’s “old fashioned”… who the frack cares? Wheels and axles are thousands of years old; should we stop using them because of that? 🙄

    3. Nick says:

      Yes! The Model 3 has an oil filter!?

      You got ’em Anony! Time to sell your Tesla stock! ?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        +455,000 😉

  4. Get Real says:

    Yep, only in the mind of a serial anti-Tesla troll/fool cell shill shill, shorter and hater could having a filter to prolong the components life be a bad thing!

    This mentality shows us what anti-progress ideology does to weak people.

    1. DJ says:

      To be fair all you do is write the same crap over and over and over again. Talk about a weak mentality.

      At least try and get some originality in to your name calling or if you’d prefer I’m sure that those of us with a brain could give you a few canned replies you can pick and chose from so it at least looks like you’re trying.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “To be fair all you do is write the same crap over and over and over again. Talk about a weak mentality.”

        Oh, at first I thought you were referring to yourself, there.

        Nothing is so repetitive as as serial Tesla Hater cultist’s FUD. Over on Seeking Alpha, which is no doubt where you copy a lot of your FUD from, one can literally see the exact same Tesla bashing comments repeated dozens of times day in and day out, for years and years.

    1. philip d says:

      Anecdotal. The guy who loaned them the 3 for that article comments frequently on the site and also owns a Model S. He rebuilds old cars and knows his way around cars in general. He stated that everything was accurate in the article except that he didn’t personally find that the fit and finish was as bad as the author of the article did.

      He also mentioned that he found the location of the creak in the console. It was one location and he placed a piece of felt where the console was rubbing and it fixed it.

      The one big issue was that a sway bar bolt wasn’t torqued tight enough from the factory and was causing the wheel shake. It was fixed. Everything is fine with the car now.

      This certainly isn’t what you want from a new car but it is anecdotal. CR anonymously bought a Model 3 and had no complaints about fit and finish or operation and gave it a good review. Do either of those reviews prove it is a poorly manufactured car or a flawless manufactured car? No.

      Tesla is under a microscope like no other car manufacturer. Any problem with any of the new Model 3s gets immediate attention on YouTube spreading throughout social media ending up in auto sites. I can tell you that neither of our two EVs that we bought are perfect. Our 17 Volt and 15 i3 both have their creaks and flaws.

      The i3 steering wheel whines while turning left at low speed when it’s cold outside. The instrument cluster screen sensor has trouble picking between dark and light when there is border lighting conditions so the screen flickers rapidly between the two settings. We thought it was a short at first but they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. We figured it out after awhile what the problem was. Also on the first day when we took our i3 home from the dealer the AC stopped working so we had to take it right back before even getting home. They kept it for 3 weeks.

      The Volt has numerous rattles in the dash and the outside leather bolster squeaks against the seat plastic on the drivers side. There are other minor issues but I’m happy with the cars overall.

  5. Get Real says:

    Look, I wrote about the persistent trolls and look who shows up—DJ!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      What would we do without the persistent, serial Tesla bashers who infest these comment threads like vermin?

      I dunno, but I certainly would like to find out! 😀

  6. jim stack says:

    Better yet I saw them being made at the Fremont Factory. Lots of quality checking steps and very precise robotic spot welds and parts checking.
    I also picked up our mew 3 and it’s perfect in every detail. Simply the best quality I have even seen right down to the trim.

    1. GSP says:


      Congratulations on your Model 3 delivery. Glad to see a long time EV supporter like yourself get to enjoy driving such a great EV.

      I have had mine for three weeks now. It was built in January and I am very happy with the fit and finish. I love the clean interior with touchscreen, and it is a wonderful car to drive.


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