Tesla Model 3 Instrument Cluster Mock-Up Surfaces

Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3 Instrument Cluster Mock-Up, Image Credit: Matt Parra (Facebook, Imgur)

Tesla Model 3

Facebook via Matt Parra (Facebook, Imgur)

When the Tesla Model 3 was unveiled, there was little coverage of the interior. More specifically, we have no idea what the plan is for the instrument cluster. The prototypes not only seem to be missing a traditional dash display, speedometer, etc., but really, there is nothing visible there at all.

The Model 3 has the large center-mounted touchscreen that is typical of all Tesla vehicles, but that can’t be the only display in the car. There have been many guesses as to what the case might be, and before long, we will all know the truth. Tesla is planning its third and final Model 3 unveiling (Part 3).

Matt Parra, Model 3 reservation holder, doesn’t think that the car will have a head up display, or that the center screen or console area will show cluster information. This is supported by the fact that Elon Musk announced at the recent fourth-quarter earnings call, that the upcoming vehicle only has one computer, to keep costs down.

Parra believes that the instrument cluster has been “hiding” in the Model 3 all along. However, it can only really be seen by the driver, based on the way that it is configured. This concept by Parra would be inexpensive, wouldn’t require another “computer,” and serves its purpose in a minimalistic sort of way.

We will all know the truth soon enough … hopefully around June 2nd or thereabouts.

All photo and information credit to Matt Parra/Facebook, Imgur

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69 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Instrument Cluster Mock-Up Surfaces"

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The instrument cluster is in the upper left hand corner of the screen. It shows the MPH, battery level, gear selected, whether cruise control is on, and whether Autopilot is on. What else do you need in an EV. It explains why the screen is orientated horizontally, so that the info that the driver most readily needs can be seen right behind the steering wheel.

The screen is to the right of the steering wheel. Not behind it.

With heads-up you do not take your eyes off the road. Unlike looking to the right at a screen.

It is immediately to the right of your right hand. I agree that that would be a better system, but it is putting too much into a car that is supposed to be much simpler/cheaper. It is not ideal, but not dangerously out of your field of vision when driving. I’m sure Tesla will put an HUD into the MS/MX first, since Musk said those will always be the flagships with the cutting edge tech. I’m not saying it won’t happen, I just doubt it will be included in the initial base car.

Dan, Clive, do you think that the III will have a display that is landscape format, like this mockup? I just don’t see it happening, but I am not up to speed on all things Tesla. I would have bet that the III would have the same portrait format for its display and that it would be faired into the dash much more smoothly than this mockup.

There’s no way to know yet. We should find out soon once prototypes are spotted on the roads. My bet would be yes. You already have a vertical display and the software oriented to a vertical display. Why would you go through the added design, engineering, programming and production costs to put a horizontal display in the reveal car? The interior was not finalized then, but I can’t make any sense out of spending that kind of money for no reason.

Yea, until we actually see the Beta’s (which we know Tesla is already building from their SEC papers), we might as well be using divining rods to determine what the interior will look like.


Interesting take by Marshal and Darren below. I am starting to really look forward to the III reveal. I got so sick of the Volt mini-reveals with photos of tail lights and rear windows, I didn’t think I would care about reveals again. I do, a bit, now.

There is video on the internet somewhere taken during the test rides after the unveiling last year. That question was raised and the Tesla official said yes it will be landscape. The thinking is it will be shared by the driver and the front seat passenger.

They have always said including Musk the only thing that is 100% is actually the horizontal screen. That is the production screen. They did say the position might change, but the size and orientation are here to stay.

Wow. That is interesting. The edges look so unfinished and, in a collision, unsafe. Maybe it will be faired into a wider center portion of the dash while keeping the orientation and size. I could imagine a landscape oriented screen, I just can’t imagine it being so “in your face”.
I do believe that the final III look will be more futuristic than the S or any other car, but I don’t think it necessarily will look a lot like these photos. I think the production III will look better than this.

Make that “more futuristic than the current S or the vast majority of other cars.” 😉

That’s enough for me.

Why is it so hard to believe they will have a HUD? Its been done before in a few other cars like luxury BMWs.

Panasonic showed off a “next-gen” heads-up display at CES 2017 in January. Panasonic is already a huge battery and solar panel partner of Tesla. I don’t need to guess at the HUD and who will be supplying it.

For a sneak peek at a Panasonic mockup, see: http://www.carscoops.com/2017/01/ces-2017-panasonic-debuts-next-gen-head.html

That Big Center Screen Should Be Blended in ergonomically in a Large “ADJUSTABLE” POD (Like a side view Mirror with Rounded corners etc:) Only in the Center of the Dash..

The low front cowl height will offer a transformative driving experience. I have the HUD in my vette and it’s cool but not a big deal..the low front cowl height telsas new dash offers sightlines will be incredible

One computer can easily drive two full displays, so that fact isn’t relevant to anything about the display options.

They gotta find some sort of reasoning to put out these dumb ideas.

Heads up display is the most logical

Too expensive for the base car. Maybe it’ll be an option, but Musk said half the display wiring. Whether the argument is that it’ll be a screen or HUD, you can’t cut the wiring in half without getting rid of one display in its entirety. So the most logical thing is to KISS and have one screen.

I agree, but KISS would mean keeping a dash screen, losing the center screen, and saving Tesla a bundle of money.

If people want a landscape screen this big, let them bring an Ipad to the bus, or train. This is where the controls, you hardly have to look at, belong.

Sorry Dan, but that is an argument by someone that doesn’t understand electronics. Completely flawed logic. The car in total has half the length of wiring, but that says nothing about the number of computers and certainly nothing about the number of displays. For all we know, the reduction in wiring is simply due to efficiency gains. The Model S/X are essentially hand made compared to what the 3 will be. You simply can’t make the conclusion you have given the information we [don’t] have.

I’m pretty sure we’ll see a HUD in the 3. To me, the question is going to be how cool it is, not whether or not there is one.

That one computer don’t forget is also powering the fully integrated autopilot. Whether u equip it or not, and I promise no BS simple computer is running that software and integrating the hardware etc. So it is possible having the one computer is conservatively part of the reason no second screen.

What massive wiring would a HUD need? Power + HDMI?

Heads-up is so cheap now and ironically there are ads on this site trying to sell it. Go figure!

Locking mini-HDMI for use in a vehicle.

Hardly the data requirement for HDMI to be honest unless a HUD that’s simply a projector is used. Minimal information is needed to be put in front of the driver surely so data bandwidth and power could easily managed by even USB. A single chip HUD would do the rest. At the anticipated Model 3 production volume this need not be an expensive option. HUD gets expensive to implement when traditional manufacturers offer it as an option and therefore fail to reach critical volume requirements to achieve benefit of scale.

Would a single HDMI-or-displayport-type connection to each display (HUD/touchscreen) count as “half the wiring”? The comment could be taken different ways, as a traditional instrument cluster has dozens of wires in several separate bundles.

There’s the possibility of a HUD-type display projected behind the steering wheel, rather than on the windshield. This would be “spaceshippy” and still reduce price, as the “HUD” wouldn’t need nearly as bright a driver in the shaded area of the traditional cluster.

It also retains the ability for OTA updates, unlike traditional LED/LCD displays found in most cars.


Good video. I’m thinking HUD or some unique new idea that incorporates some new ideas with Tesla glass:



They were probably working on the solar roof, which is made of glass.

from the ref:
…but all these features were created before the ‘Tesla Glass’ program, so what is this new program about?

Looking at the background of the program director, Mike Pilliod, might be helpful. Prior to joining Tesla, Pilliod was one of Apple’s top materials engineers. He is named on a long list of patents at the Cupertino company, most of them having to do with innovations in glass touchscreens and electronic devices using glass, like the iPhone.

from the ref:

“…but all these features were created before the ‘Tesla Glass’ program, so what is this new program about?

Looking at the background of the program director, Mike Pilliod, might be helpful. Prior to joining Tesla, Pilliod was one of Apple’s top materials engineers. He is named on a long list of patents at the Cupertino company, most of them having to do with innovations in glass touchscreens and electronic devices using glass, like the iPhone.”

Interesting. I too had thought that Tesla Glass would be working on a glass roof. But your post makes it certainly sound even more likely that the glass they are working on will be the center display glass.

Thanks for the info.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Not a fan of that giganto tablet on the dash.

Yeah, also not a fan of the landscape mode, loving the integrated screen in the Model S and Model X much more than this bolted on monitor… I am guessing the reveal will show something drastically better.

Me neither! It was the second deal breaker for me behind the sedan instead of hatchback. In all fairness, it is just a concept and I believe that the production car will have the traditional, integrated two screen set up and not this ridiculous tablet thing.

Having said that, I bet they do stick with the minimal, no buttons, no knobs and no levers scheme to keep it cheaper to build and at the same time look minimal and modern. I also think they will get a lot of criticism on this choice in the press and from owners.

Of course it’s all speculation on my part, but then this whole post is just speculation to pass the time and entertain ourselves. It may end up just like the S and X before it, who knows?

Tesla won’t have a second display strip, nor will they have anything they can’t update later. They did hire HUD engineers, but that may be for manufacturing or it may be for the car itself. They will have multiple processors in the Model III, notably one of them being the autopilot processor.

The premise here is lame.


Nothing to see here; move along, move along!

Looks quite ugly

Speculation is speculative.

I used to live on Twain St. my number was 22.
Thus I lived at 22 Twain.

I think the interior was essentially “camo’ed” by having nothing to show, because they hadn’t finished the design yet. I don’t think we can take anything at all from what was in those cars. Which is exactly why Tesla didn’t spend a lot of time showing the insides. The insides existed just so that these pre-production prototypes could be used for demo rides.

In fact, it wasn’t until August of 2016 that Tesla announced “Pencil’s down” on design, months after the demos were done.

They only camoed the steering wheel. I think they are moving the single display somewhere, but that’s based on input from those who went to the reveal party last year. Guests were also told this was nearly final on the interior. That is why I said the second display strip was a non-starter.
They still haven’t shown the new steering wheel.
Now if someone wants to mock up a display in the middle of the steering wheel, I’d believe that. Maybe.
My theory is the HUD projector will be in the steering wheel.

Why wouldn’t they put the standard Tesla steering wheel in place, instead of that chintzy neoprene decoy steering wheel?

The laptop I’m on right now is driving its built in screen and two monitors, and it’s a basic model.

No reason one computer couldn’t drive many screens in a car.

No doubt that it can, but that doesn’t mean it will. This is what Musk said on the quareterly call: “The Model 3 is designed for manufacturing. It is conservatively a simpler car than the S or the X. Some of these indications are obvious. For example the Model 3 only has one screen whereas the S and X have two screens and two separate computers powering each screen. The Model 3 has 1.5 kilometers of wiring. The Model S has 3 kilometers of wiring so we’ve simplified the wiring system conservatively.” Multiple screens and/or HUD is not inline with this comment.

Everyone is forgetting about Elon’s comment “Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship.”
That does not sound like the solution shown here.

That’s what I was thinking. Elon made a huge deal about the steering wheel.

Perhaps there will be a touchscreen over the airbag?

My first hybrid car was a Prius. I thought the steering wheel looked space-aged, but funky. It was only after owning it did I appreciate so many controls on the steering wheel. The next gen had the “Touch Tracer” round touch buttons on the steering wheel. I never owned one of those, but I tried it and it seemed kind of gimmicky to me.

I did like the HVAC-defrost controls at my fingertips as well as voice control which also took care of some of those duties too.

When you think about the steering wheel, many controls could be there which are ergonomically convenient and if shaped right for memory control – need no eyes off the road to take care of nearly all functions in the car.

What’s wrong with all the info including the speedo being located in the screen in the center? This would make it easier to build LHD and RHD cars without moving as much stuff. My Mini E (and gas Minis) had its display in the center and while it took a little bit to get used to, it the end it worked totally fine.

It’s problematic and never works. Toyota’s first Prius, the little three-box car that looked like a Yaris – had the center readout approach – next was the Mini Cooper. When automakers try this, they get complaints because the driver has to avert his vision to get basic data he/she needs just to keep at the speed limit and monitor basic functions. Even if the center screen’s corner has speed, mileage and charge information – it’ still going to require the driver’s eye to switch to the side – not good when safety requires all eyes straight ahead and full peripheral dedicated from fog line to lane line. The M3 preproduction cars’ large horizonetal screen also was blinding white. Models X and S have large screens whose night mode is not bright and glaring, and is positioned away from the drivers main line of sight. This prevents the graphics and glare from distracting or semi-blinding the driver at night. Eye fatigue is brutal on a long drive with that huge monitor right in your line of sight. I can’t see that going forward into the production model. If it is adjustable, so you can cant the screen down and away from… Read more »

Two words : No way …

I thought it was supposed to look like a spaceship

Rick (no, not that Rick)

Whatever you do, either lose the bolted on tablet or integrate it into the dash if you want this car to appeal to a mass market.

Right, it is simpler/cheaper in this regard, than a Leaf, or virtually any other modern car on the road.

I’m thinking that horizontal slit along the dash is not for a dash display but for a single wrap-along AC/Heat vent…rather than multiple small grill vents that need be pointed.

I’m thinking single large center screen, no HUD, no secondary mini-screen.

Large Photo Of Center Display:

There will be shouts of disapproval similar to when Apple axed the physical keyboard on smartphone, deleted the CD Drive on laptops, and most recently killed off the traditional headphone jack on iPhone.

Huge free press for Tesla will follow in that much will be written & debated around the question of “Is Tesla Overdoing Car Interior Minimalism ?”

After people start driving the Model 3, after people get over the shock of no wheel dash display…the Model 3 will be labeled as a design trend setter ahead of its time.

by removing the dimensions at the end of the URL you can get the full-size photo https://c.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/tesla-model3-11.jpg

I was actually totally turned off by the Model-3 prototypes and their lack of an instrument cluster in front of the driver. I used to drive a Prius and thought I would get used to the center-oriented display, but I never did. I was so glad when I got my Volt and had a display to look at. I hope this mockup is true. Even though it is skinny, the display looks very functional and I would be happy with that. But if I had to look at the center display to see my speed, forget it. Model-3 is off my list if that is the case.

I would liken it to so many software developers and website designers; sometime thinks are better off left alone.

I’m in the same boat and would consider no instrument cluster or equivalent a non-starter.

looks like somebody copied an old honda civic dash into that little slit… 🙂

I like clean and all but I am sorry ” yuck”.

Not everyone is a millennial who likes to stare at their phone, tablet, or phablet all day.

A display has its purpose for sure but I can’t stand the huge ones that aim to replace everything. They just are too distracting.

I’m starting to like the big Tesla display less and less; it’s too distracting and liking the MB EQ dash layout

Looks like instrument cluster of 2012 Honda civic. I know be because I drive one… Would gladly trade to a model 3 though 😀

Having a Galaxy Tab or iPad in front of my eyes, tempting me to tweak, slide or swipe it – to watch a video, or glare at too much information…I don’t think that is what I need.

Controls are oh so very interesting. I like what BMW did with it’s drive control stalk on the i3. In fact, but for the nice, forward-thinking eco interior – it’s about all that I do like about the i3.

Much ado has been made over the years at the CES in Vegas about OLED curved, thin screens. This is the way forward, as surely screens will bend and curve to achieve ergonomics that a flat screen never could.

Imagine shift, climate and ventilation controls requiring a mere move of an inch or two for your hands to meet the surface of the interface. Truly “wrap-around” touch controls are possible now.

Porsche tries to make controls handy by raising the center console, making a giant Great Wall of China between you and your passenger. This isn’t necessary if you use touch screens that bend around the driver.

You won’t be watching a video in your Tesla unless it’s on Full AutoPilot…at least not on the display in the car you’re not, so don’t even think about it.

This was also just a guy screwing around while waiting for Model 3…and yes, it was taken from HIS Honda, I believe.

Glad she’s not the only one in town.

That photo is wrong. That slot is actually the HVAC system.

This is what a SpaceX “spaceship” cockpit looks like (starting at 3:45):


Which interestingly the SpaceX capsule interior is very minimalistic…same as Model 3.

Just fyi, that driver console behind the steering wheel showing a speedometer is from a Honda Civic.