Tesla Model 3: First Drives, Promo Videos And Gallery

APR 1 2016 BY JAY COLE 104

Time To Go For A Drive!

Time To Go For A Drive!

The Model 3 was recently revealed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and it didn’t take long for the promotional footage and first drive reports to hit the airwaves.

Check out complete details (and full debut footage) on the 215+ mile Tesla Model 3 in our full recap here.

We should note before watching these videos, that they are “Dual Motor” Tesla Model 3s (on option), which are not only all-wheel drive but have more oompf than the base $35,000 cars.

No further details, pricing, specs were revealed on these particular cars…other than what you see in the live drive.

Video (below): SlashGear gets a ride in a Dual Motor Model 3

Video (below): TMC takes a spin…of special interest, check out the functioning trunk hatch/rear cargo room (from 3:24)

Video (below): Sebastian Blanco takes the Model 3 for a late night first drive.

Tesla Model 3 Driving

Tesla Model 3 Driving

Taking Off In A Model 3!

Taking Off In A Model 3!

Tesla Model 3 - Scientifically Proven Faster And Sexier In Black

Tesla Model 3 – Scientifically Proven Faster And Sexier In Black

Tesla Model 3 - Arriving In Late 2017

Tesla Model 3 – Arriving In Late 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Introduces The Model 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Introduces The Model 3

Tesla Model 3 Interior Dash (from the live reveal)

Tesla Model 3 Interior Dash (from the live reveal)

Video (below): Full Tesla Model 3 debut event

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104 Comments on "Tesla Model 3: First Drives, Promo Videos And Gallery"

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I’m so glad I reserved 2.

so what is the range? about 350km.

Yes, but 350km realistical (EPA) range. The NEDC value will most likely be around 450km or more.

Extremely good value for the money. And it looks fantastic.

Tesla wins.

Even if this costs $40K for the base model, Tesla has just blown past everyone else. They just do things right.

Video is almost anticlimactic. Model S little brother. I’m fine–stoked even–with that.

You will all get these cars for just $35k in late 2017.

PS: April 1 today.

It will be late and over budget. But it will still be a huge success.

They must still be getting orders. Apparently TeslaMotors.com is temporarily shut down for anything other than reservations and all you can do is place your deposit.

I’m sure everyone who just placed a deposit thinks it is worth the wait. As mentioned, its closest competitor seems to be the $5000 cheaper BOLT.

The Bolt costs $2500 more! Dealers have to make money, too.

The Bolt costs $2,500.00..but worth $20,000.00 LESS!!!!Keep knocking Musk every at chance you get! mary mary quite contrary….

that should have read,,,The bolt costs $2,500.00 “MORE”…………..

$5000 cheaper?

I’m going on the asumption that all automakers include the $7500 fed tax credit as a given. Tesla always had assumed the credit in the past, as has also GM and others.

Supposedly it may be different with the ‘3’, but time will tell.

Oh, by the way, its not a dig against Musk. If you read my earlier posts, I thanked him for his recognition that Roadster purchasers were necessary to his company to make the ‘3’ even possible. His was an ‘adult’ response, not the childish stuff so often seen here. If thats not good enough, how much cash have the naysayers given to Tesla Motors? I’ve given $109,831, not including taxes and shipping.

If he REALLY sells the car for $27,500, this will put pressure on GM and Nissan to drastically lower their prices, which is also a good thing.

GM has, beginning with the Bolt launch event, explicitly stated that the Bolt will sell for “as low as 30k after federal tax credit.” The starting price before the credit is $37,500.


Tesla expressly advertises the Model 3’s price as “$35,000 Starting price before incentives.”


But for each automaker, the federal incentive amounts are set to start tapering down beginning when it sells its 200,000th qualifying vehicle. Unless the next Congress extends the incentives program in 2017, Tesla’s allotment of full $7500 tax credits will likely run out before GM’s does. People who have put down a Model 3 deposit but are low on the waiting list will not get the full $7,500 federal credit.

Separately, many California residents will be eligible for a $2,500 state credit whether they buy a Model 3 or a Bolt. Some other states have similar programs. (Colorado offers a $6,000 state income tax credit!)


Here’s the full event in hd if you want to add that: https://youtu.be/3YK8SM2GkhM

video still being processed should be in hd in a bit

Looks nice. Very professional reveal. And it has some genuine innovations, especially in the interior – e.g. no dashboard/binnacle!

Driver must have amazing view out of the windows… front AND back.

Hate the dashboard, the only thing that bothers me about this car, is its dashboard!

My one question that I have not seen an obvious answer to… what is the rear access – a hatchback? Is it that huge back window?

Good question. Also I assume the frunk is there just like in the Model S and X?

Just for the info (in reply to my own question) there is a frunk. Saw on pictures from test drives that night.

Steve asked:

“My one question that I have not seen an obvious answer to… what is the rear access – a hatchback? Is it that huge back window?”

Good question. I assumed before seeing it that it would have a rear hatch, like the Models S and X, but seeing actual photos, maybe it will have something closer to a traditional trunk. At least, I don’t see that entire huge rear window opening up as a hatch… but I could be wrong.

Anyway, see the photo here for yourself, altho of course this is just a pre-production prototype so it may be missing a seam or working hatch:


Standard trunk. In one of the videos, they open it.

Thank you, sir!

Sure looks like a standard trunk. No liftback. 🙁

Standard trunk with fold down rear seats right?

I would hope so…for that 7′ surfboard? Definitely.

Before we took delivery of our Model S 90D on Monday my thoughts were that Tesla was 3-5 years ahead of everyone. But after driving 350 miles that afternoon and evening. I realized it’s more like an 8-10 year lead.

Not even mentioning the total no B.S. buying and delivery process with Tesla. Two clicks in MyTesla account and the car was ours.

Tesla is forcing everyone to be better. Whatever your brand loyalty may be……….life just got better for you also………It will just take you a little longer to get there.

+1 absolutely spot on

i plunked down $1k at the earliest online reservation time, but i’m currently a LEAF driver. i’m excited to think that the model 3 could motivate nissan to drastically improve the LEAF model by the time i have the option to config/buy my model 3.

chances are nearly 100% that i’ll still go with tesla regardless, but it’s exciting to see competition stirring an otherwise rather stagnant industry.

Despite what the Tesla rep says during that test drive, I don’t believe for a moment that Tesla will really make the Model ≡ with no instrument panel.

The claim that a driver can adequately see what should be on the panel out of his peripheral vision on a centrally mounted screen… seems like an April Fool’s joke on the part of Tesla. 😉

But seriously, I strongly suspect that’s just a placeholder for whatever instrument panel they actually plan to put into the car.

This is Renault Twingo dashboard:

There are others too. Having everything in the center is not a new idea, and it reduces cost of manufacturing LHD and RHD model. I don’t like it, but some drivers say it’s OK after getting used to.

Center Dash Pod, That part I’m not too crazy about , But it cuts costs..

P-P, Have you seen the central position of the Speedometer in the Toyota Prius? I thought it was weird, and would be a pain, but when I got my 8 year old 2004 Prius in 2012, I found I got used to it pretty quick!The Speedometer Functions are almost in the same viewing angle in this Model 3, but a bit closer to your eye!

Plus, the Prius did not have Autopilot, as this does, and – this will read the speed signs and adjust it’s speed when engaged, giving you more time to enjoy the view, instead of having to focus all your energies on Speed, Traffic, closing distances, lane keeping, etc!

Mini Cooper also has the speedo in the center

May be they plan to make it swivel able.

That would be good, but then the passenger would have more difficulty reaching to change the song or the passenger-side climate controls…everything is on that screen…

Toyota Echo had a center-mounted speedo and cluster back in the day. A lot of people liked it; some hated it. I never found it a problem for driving.

Based on the appearance and what the reps said behind the wheel in the test drive videos, I do not expect an instrument cluster.

They mention everything from having the speedometer readout in the upper left-hand corner, to improved air flow and forward visibility.

That does not sound like a stop-gap design to me – they meant it. I would not hold my breath for a driver-side cluster of any sort.

That’s the only thing keeping me from giving Elon my money. I want to see what the real interior is going to look like. I like having an instrument cluster and I especially like having the portrait infotainment display EMBEDDED INTO THE DASH, not floating in there like it’s placement was an after though. Craziness… but in all I’m a huge fan. If I don’t like the interior (non cluster and iMac sitting on the dash) of the 3, I’ll wait till I hit the lotto to get the Model S then. 🙂

To all who replied:

Thank you for the numerous corrections!

Okay, so I was wrong to say that production cars don’t have centrally mounted instrument panels. Even the Prius has that, and certainly the Prius sells well enough.

However, I am still of the opinion that Tesla isn’t really going to omit an actual instrument panel from the production version of the Model ≡. I think the video screen in those prototypes were just placeholders for something still in development.

Not fact… just my opinion. This appears (again, just my opinion) to be supported by one video in which you hear a passenger asking the Tesla rep, who is driving, if that will actually be in the production version. I find it significant that he lets the question go by without answering, after speaking at length about how you can see the screen in your peripheral vision while driving. In other words, he implies the screen will be in the production version, but when directly asked he declines to answer.

Heads up display would solve this issue.

My bet for the Dashboard on the final Model III: They will put in a nice HUD to show the most important Data you require for driving. That’s it, everything else as well as the techie stuff to play around with will be on the Center Screen, clean and simple. 😉

Elon did tweet that not everything would be revealed tonight.

Then again in some videos you can hear that the interior/dash is final. I wouldn’t be surprised if they add a HUD but I am fine without it too – having owned a Primera P12 I haven’t missed instruments right in front of me.

Yeah, HUDs are very revealing. Both you and the cop driving next to you can see exactly how fast your going.

HUD is only visible in a narrow field of vision. When you move your head side to side it disappears

I remember the old ’89 Nissan 240sx that had a HUD. It was laser projected on to the windshield. In full view of anybody outside of the car.

If this is different, then Ok, I’m satisfied.

Is a HUD (Heads-Up Display) practical in an automobile designed for civilian use?

So far as I know, the HUD that fighter plane pilots use needs a special sort of visor on the helmet they wear.

Is it possible to project a bright enough image onto the inside of the windshield to be reliably seen against the glare of sunshine on a bright sunny day?

I’d appreciate a response from anyone with an informed opinion on the subject.

Huds do not require a special visor. They did, however, used to require a flat glass surface in front of the wind shield, this glass surface is placed at 45 degrees to reflect the image of a display below it.

It is simple today, with any modern graphics chip, to have both the resolution and GPU ability to create an image that would compensate from the distortion created by curved glass.

The display would need to be very bright for daytime visibility, but that’s the only challenge. It is actually not hard to do this.

Tesla have done a great job, now it suffices that Elon makes that extra little effort and makes first Model 3 deliveries in January 2017. Now it’s quite obvious that no competition can follow that. The only niche Tesla hasn’t touched yet is wireless charging and that’s where Merc, BMW and Audi will attempt to chime in, that is if they want to stay in the game. All other areas are already covered by Tesla. Well done Tesla, see you – hopefully – in January 2017 !

You mean January 2018? The Model 3 will not start shipping until the end of 2017.

Two of the prototypes had different shaped door handles. I actually like the one that looks like the outline of the Model S, and not the hooked ended ‘icon’ for door handle.

So, some smaller details do seem to be in flux yet…

Hope the folks that insisted Elon was only going to show just PICTURES, are eating their words today. 🙂

But at least one regular post-er here is in full-bore denial mode. I won’t embarrass him (or her) by giving the screen name, but he/she seems to think the now nearly 200,000 reservations for the Model ≡ are an April Fool’s joke on the part of Tesla! Can you imagine the backlash if that actually turned out to be true?

i really dont like that there will only be 1 screen. i want some kind of gauges behind the stearing wheel. that one think i hate about the mini cooper. the gauges are in the middle…gross.

Yes the fugly nose cone is gone for good.

The backside and trunk design is work in progress.

The interior looks cobbled together at the last minute.

And these are just two examples.

I don’t know how some people still believe in a “late 2017” release date.

Same for the test drives, apparently dual-motor, AWD etc. These versions will likely cost $50.60k….

I see a giant backfire coming in 1-2 years when the reservation holders find out their
“$35k, late 2017” Model3 car was a mirage that will be delayed and cost a lot more.

PS: What happened to “free” Supercharging in all future Tesla cars? Is this now a paid option for the Model3?

PPS: It will also be interesting to see the “Osborne effect” on lower-end Model S and Model S resale values over the next quarters now that the Model3 has been revealed…

spreading FUD.. spreading FUD.. la la la la …
osborne, I jknow for sure that it won’t be end of 2017 (crystal ball or a martian told you?), doubtss about stated facts (supercharger included is not clear enough for paid trolls)

PS you forgot about the “tesla is paid by taxpayers” angle and “they will loose money on every car”. Or maybe you saved these for later. Bolt it would be much better isn’t it? Like the R&D top guy said, it also comes with dealership experience that people love and trust. :-)) (the GM guy really had politician level nerve)

“(supercharger included is not clear enough for paid trolls)”

Again, hardware is included. But is access free (as for Model S and X)?

If so, point me to a source. I’m sure this would have been mentioned more prominently.

At this point I tend to believe that SC access will be a paid option for Model3.

How much money did you lose yesterday tftf?

Or better yet, how much are you going to keep losing until you figure out that your desperate attempts to spread FUD here are not working?

tftf – Tesla charges Model S purchasers $2500 to “enable” the Supercharger option. Once enabled, charging is “free” for life. I suspect a similar fee will be charged to “enable” the Supercharger hardware on the Model 3.

Tesla was very careful last night to say the Model 3 would have Supercharger “capability” as a standard feature. Not free access. There’s no way they could cover both the hardware cost and the ongoing SC network operational cost in the base price of a Model 3.


edit – I should clarify that the $2500 fee is charged for the low-end 60 kW version of the Model S which I believe is no longer made. The cost is included in the purchase price for the higher end Model S’s, which are all that is currently sold. The Model 3? It will almost certainly have an enabling fee, as Tesla never said “free supercharging”.

If I remember correctly, they removed the $2k surcharge on the S60 before it ended production.

But, yes, the 70, 85 (disc.) and 90 have no SC surcharge.

To keep prices down, I have long since assumed that there would be an SC surcharge – but we don’t know.

The language may have deliberately been vague. They were clear that the autopilot hardware would be standard, which clearly means that there will be a surcharge to activate the autopilot features, just like the Model S. The good news there is that the safety features will be standard! It’s just the self-driving, lane-changing features will need to be unlocked for a fee.

Getting pretty desperate in your serial Tesla bashing, aren’t you, “tftf”?

The Osborne Effect doesn’t apply to car models half, or twice, the cost of the other car model. I’m sure you know that, but you hope some readers will be gullible enough to believe your FUD.

In fact, the Model X (and to some extent, the Model S) will function as a “halo car” attracting more sales for the Model ≡.

I think in some ways, judging by the global response to the Model III, that it will in fact, help sell __MORE__ Model S’s and X’s to people who don’t want to wait a couple years for a Tesla.

Model X is fresh and new. Model S is getting a significant refresh, possibly in a few days, to a few weeks.

They’re available NOW. The new danger, is Tesla being able to fulfill backlog orders.

Autopilot safety features and supercharging are included Aka no extra charge
Autopilot convenience features optional

“supercharging are included Aka no extra charge”

Yes, the hardware is included, but is actual access included?

If Tesla makes SC accees free I don’t see the business model working…expect fist fights on weekends.

We don’t know anything that has not been verified. It could be free, it might not. As far as I can recall, the blanket statements Musk has made about free SCs pertained to the S and X.

And how would you know whether the front and back are “works in progress”? The only major works in progress were the interface and such.

You also can’t tell fit-n-finish from an amateur video through a smart phone.

Model S and X had almost no cosmetic changes from their respective prototypes. I expect that what we see is what we’ll get.

TomArt said:

“We don’t know anything that has not been verified. It [Supercharger access] could be free, it might not. As far as I can recall, the blanket statements Musk has made about free SCs pertained to the S and X.”

Correct. Elon described Supercharger access as “free” for Model S owners, even in the early days when Tesla charged a lifetime access fee of $2000.

It’s entirely possible that Tesla will charge Model ≡ owners a similar lifetime access fee for Supercharger use. In fact, all Tesla car owners should hope that will be the case, because that will help keep the Supercharger network from being clogged by those who don’t really need to use it.

Elon clearly said that Supercharging would be enabled on the base model ≡, but I, too, find it hard to believe they won’t charge for it on the base model.

It is very hard to imagine that people will be shocked when “their” car is not delivered at the end of 2017. Musk has been clear – deliveries being at the end of 2017. That could mean 1, or 100 or 1,000, but certainly not 200,000, which is probably what the reservations numbers are up to now.

Also, anyone who has paid any genuine attention to Tesla’s products will know that a top-line Model S is more than double the base price. I see no reason to expect anything different with the Model 3. Look at it this way, using Model S Design Studio upgrade prices:

dual-motor +$5k
Autopilot +$2.5k
Cold weather +$1k
paint (other than black and white) +$1k
upgraded sound system +$2.5k
bigger battery pack +$13k
performance edition +$20k

The last two might be a bit cheaper with the Model 3 (maybe +10 and +15), but what I’ve outlined is essentially the price I expect to pay in late 2018 when my turn comes up in the qeue: $35+5+2.5+1+1+2.5 = $52k

Options will be different, possibly, but not more expensive…probably not cheaper, either.

“core DNA, low center of gravity”, “the car turns in great and is really flat w/o that really super stiff suspension that most people use to get that, because the car is really low.”

This is why all the Model S suspensions converged. They really don’t need stiff shocks, because there is no upper roll-center whose transients need to be controlled.

Then there’s the bad:
That said, the dash board and probability that, like the Model S, this car has traction control dialed wayyyy up are deal-breakers for me.

Here’s where he blew smoke: “so much torque you really want RWD”. No. What he meant was “We figured out how to kill power when the steering wheel is turned. That way our straight line acceleration numbers stay good, and we can decelerate into our lateral G stat.”

A safe car-maker would never say “RWD because of all that torque”. The above is part of how they get away with it (before slip even begins). Word to the wise, if you enjoy handling a car near the limit.

Some good, some bad, all Tesla.

Well, what he said is generally true. Hi-powered vehicles are never FWD – they are RWD or AWD. Tesla’s torque is astonishing – I would not want to deal with torque steer of that magnitude.

I really, really DO NOT like the center console/instrument panel mix. It is worse than the Prius. In fact, I will probably wind up buying a 2017 Volt instead for this fact alone. Everything else about the new Model III looks great, though. I have no other complaints.

It is interesting to hear people’s experience. I’ve seen vehicles like this, particularly the Mini Cooper. However, I have never driven a vehicle with a central instrument cluster.

Musk said they were cutting costs, and having to make as few changes as possible for RHD markets is not a trivial cost reduction.

WOW! Chevy Bolt is going to need serious money on the hood to move.. Can’t wait to see how cheap they go for!
this is great for buyers

Wow, I have to say that front-to-rear glass roof is pretty impressive. I’m sure it would be a fortune to have replaced, but damn.

The whole center console/dash looks unfinished however. I have a feeling it will look quite a bit different for the production version.

Oh, plus I don’t see how any kind of roof rack would be compatible with the all-glass roof…except some very pricey Tesla-made rack.

I see very little “unfinished” about the dashboard. The only thing I can see is if they make the center screen more of an integral part of the dash instead of that goofy computer monitor look.

The drivers in the videos made it clear to me that the dashboard we see is pretty much what we’ll get – the one touted the improved visibility, improved air circulation and the fact that the speedometer readout was fixed in the upper left-hand corner of the display for ease of viewing.

Also, bear in mind that the S and X had extremely few/slight cosmetic modifications from prototype to production, inside and out. Except for the center screen mount, I expect that my Model 3 sometime in late 2018 will look pretty much exactly as we saw these here.

TomArt said: “I see very little ‘unfinished’ about the dashboard.” Really? Well, my reaction is pretty much 180° away from yours. When I re-watched the first-posted video of a “test drive” at the Reveal event, I looked carefully at the shot of the dash because it seemed to me that it was more or less entirely missing. “Also, bear in mind that the S and X had extremely few/slight cosmetic modifications from prototype to production, inside and out.” That’s very far from the facts. Here’s a quote from a post made to an InsideEVs article about 7 months ago, regarding the Model X’s cargo space: “People are mad- people that had reservations. They discuss trips to Home Depot that they could make in a Model S that might be more difficult or impossible now. At the forum, somebody posted a link to the original reveal of the prototype. Elon himself said, ‘All the seats fold flat; you could practically put a queen size bed in there’. There is a reason for the anger- promises yielded deposits and years of interest free money for Tesla to use. This was a MAJOR promise that appears to have been broken.” A queen sized… Read more »

Good points – it is easier for me to remember the Model S because I got a rope-side view of an alpha at the DC store, sat in a beta at the DC store, and just recently test-drove a _P90D_ at the Tyson’s Corner store. There were extremely few changes, certainly nothing substantial, and definitely not to the extent that the Model X had changed.

In fact, I have yet to see a Model X in person, so it’s easy to forget.

Don’t forget, though, that the guy talked about how the speedometer readout was positioned for the driver, and how they were able to completely revolutionize/improve/whatever the air circulation in the car by having the vents way up there somewhere, and he also said how the visibility looking forward is significantly improved (to Tesla, anyway).

They didn’t go through all of that just to turn it around and throw the entire dash design out the door. They clearly put a lot of thought into making it/justifying it. The only change I expect is to see a more palatable mounting of the screen.

With a little bit of luck, I might be wrong. As I mentioned elsewhere, I’ve never driven a car with a center stack only, so I don’t know how I’d like it. It is definitely not ideal, and not motivated by safety – it is purely a cost cutting measure.

Well, you could be right. You’ve certainly got facts to back up your opinion. And yes, the Tesla rep driving the demo car did talk up the advantages of the centrally placed screen used as an instrument panel.

However, I still find it significant that he didn’t respond when directly asked if that configuration was going to be in the production car.

As someone pointed out, that dash looks more like a configuration for a fully autonomous (self-driving) car than for a car with a human driver. Could it be that Tesla is really looking ahead that far? It’s certainly not impossible.

But I’m going to stick to my guns on this issue, at least until more facts are available.

Anyway, I predict those of us posting comments to InsideEVs will be arguing over this subject for months to come, unless Elon makes a clear and logically unequivocal statement putting the issue to rest.

IT’ll take a bit of getting used to the front end big blank area, but I will get used to it, I’m sure.

I really hope it is available with a more traditional roof. That is the biggest thing that I absolutely do not want on my car. Please Elon, let the panaramic roof either be an option on it, or at least only available on one of the higher spec cars.

Whats your problem with it? Sun? You can tint/vinyl it, can’t you? Musk says its for extra headroom so I doubt it will be optional.

Apparently you don’t live in a region where it actually gets hot in the summer. Anyone in Kansas wouldn’t need to ask just why someone wouldn’t want the roof of a car to be entirely made of black glass. Around here, we don’t like cars which act like a solar oven if left sitting out under a hot summer sun. It’s not merely that the seats and steering wheel will be much too hot to touch for a few minutes after opening the doors; it’s also the fact that you don’t dare leave such things as CDs inside, because they’ll be warped by the heat.

Measurements have shown that a car painted black, sitting under a hot summer sun, is ~20° hotter inside than one painted white. I, and many other people who live where it actually gets hot in the summer, would like to have the option of having a much lighter color for the roof of an automobile.

Mere tinting just doesn’t cut it. (And I have the same objection to the Model X’s panoramic windshield/roof.)

Not every would-be Tesla Model ≡ buyer lives in California.

Quite true. I didn’t buy a Volt until they got rid of the black roof they originally had. Stupid car designers!

In one of the videos, the driver notes that there will be a solid option, but not for that huge rear glass – just that small part between the huge rear glass and the front windshield. It will also have an optional pano roof (a-la Model S).

They have learned alot from the Model S pano roof. I presume that it will be properly tinted when the time comes.

I made the reservation, but have not received any email from TESLA confirming that I had. I did it online after the reveal. I see on hold on my credit card from tesla but no email.
Strange? Those who have reserved, can anyone please confirm if they got the email right away?


No, no email yet. And I placed my reservation about 12:45 pm Thursday (after bailing on the huge line at Santana Row and going to Fremont, where the lines were gone).

Nope, no e-mail here, either – I made my reservation around 11:20pm EDT waiting for the live feed to start.

I checked my credit card account online, and the charge is there. I e-mailed their sales address to get an explanation – haven’t heard back yet, but that was only a few hours ago.

Keep us posted if you hear back from them, please


Will no one say it?

A Model 3, in the flesh, with dual motors….

The MODEL 3D!!!!

Aw; fuggetaboudit. ?

+1 🙂