Tesla Rep Reveals Little-Known Model 3 Info – Alcantara Out, Heated Rear Seats, White Interior Soon

Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3 At Stanford Center

A source who viewed the Tesla Model 3 at the showroom at the Stanford Shopping Center says the Tesla representative on hand revealed some new info.

Alcantara Is Out And It’s Never Coming Back – Textile On Left, Alcantara On Right

According to the Tesla rep, that alcantara headliner material that vanished without a mention from Tesla is gone forever. It’s replaced by “premium” textile fabric, which can be found on the Model 3 on display in the showroom.

Additionally, there’s been lots of chatter in regards to this:

Premium Upgrades

  • Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs

Well, it seems the premium heated seating throughout is not actiavated yet. The rear seat heating elements are in place, according to the Tesla representative, but they won’t be enabled until some later date. No explanation was given as to why this is the case, nor did the rep provide a timeline for activation.

Lastly, the rep hinted that a new interior color (white) is coming sooner rather than later. The rep expects white to be offered on the long-range version of the Model 3 prior to Tesla making available the shorter range 3. That puts the timeframe for the arrival of the white interior at point time from now through the end of the year, as Tesla simply lists this very vague timeline for the start of production of the shorter range version of the Model 3.

2018 – Production of the Standard Battery begins

So, to recap, headliner material is textile from here on out. Rear heated seats will be activated at some undisclosed point in time. And white interior will be offered before the end of this year on the long-range Model 3.

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59 Comments on "Tesla Rep Reveals Little-Known Model 3 Info – Alcantara Out, Heated Rear Seats, White Interior Soon"

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Living in the hot central valley of California, a BLACK interior is pretty much a NONstarter, and white is a rather extreme alternative, IMHO. Some of us, perhaps many, would like beige or for me caramel as an interior option. Can’t wait for the AWD and LUDICROUS package to come available.

This reaction always amuses me. You may not like black interiors, but it is objective fact that most cars, even those in your area, have black interiors.

True. But why? I have never had a car with a black interior and don’t understand why anyone would buy one, unless it was a limo, and even then it’s not really necessary.

I’m not concerned about the heat aspect, and all my previous cars only came with dark interiors, but after having a light interior I would not want to go back. Dark interior is so drab and depressing, light interior is so much better.
People will complain about marks on the interior, fair enough but I’m not a pig so my interior is kept pretty clean, plus Tesla white material is reported as very durable and strain resistant.

I work in the outskirts of the Sacramento valley and while I was originally concerned about black leather interior, in an EV it isn’t a problem. Remote Start pretty much solves the issue of getting into a hot car.

Well said, George.

Living in the part of the USA farthest from the oceans, Kansas, the summer/winter temperature variations can get pretty extreme. I also would avoid any car with black interior like the plague, but white produces too much glare.

Give me a nice beige or light blue interior, please!

All good news! White will look awesome with the blue or red exterior paint.

Looks like the “Save the Alcantara campaign”, has grown some legs, especially with Tesla.

More Eco fabrics are always welcome.
Kudos for saving the free range baby Alcantara habitat, now having special protected status, and being preserved in perpetuity.

Yes, the annual clubbing of the baby Alcantara’s is just despicable.

“Alcantara is composed of about 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane, giving increased durability and stain resistance. The appearance and tactile feel of the material is similar to that of suede, and it may be identified as such.” — Wikipedia.

Some, won’t know you made a joke.
I liked it.

All that Beating, on Poor Poly! What’s a Poly to do, nut seek Protected Status! ?

Not only that, but even adult Alcantara’s where captured in large numbers, taken to the Telsa factory, and workers took turns clubbing them. Basically non-compliance in the clubbing meant a poor performance review. 🙁

“There’s no ‘Can’t’ in Alcantara!”
-Poster seen in Fremont break room

“No alcantaras died in the making of this Tesla car.”

How much for the white interior?

Guessing it will be about the same as in an S or X.

Does a car really count as launched when major features are disabled? If Tesla hasn’t enabled something, they should give a portated portion of the sales price back until it is. At minimum, they cannot count that portion as revenue.

It still strikes me as odd how quickly and nearly seemlessly Chevy launched the Bolt. Very little fuss (a minor thing here or there) on the launch. But seemingly unable to capitalize at least yet. It’s doing fine in the market but seems like it could be so much more. Meanwhile Tesla has such cachet they can deliver vehicles that aren’t even all the way ‘done’ and customers will still gladly pay the money. Maybe Tesla could outsource the assembly to GM? Tesla has a ton of good will built in. They would be wise not to use it all up.

Bolt took over a year to reach production, and you think GM has never had any recalls? Model 3 is done. The software updates will never be done.

Actually the production rate for the Bolt hasn’t changed much. Inventory is just lower especially in CA.

u think that the bolt was launched easy?
NO new car launches easy, unless the company controls 100% of the product.
There is a HUGE reason why GM started in such small amounts and then increased very slowly over the last 1.25 years.
And even with that, they still sell less than the Model S.
If GM, or any of the regular car makers were smart, they would get Tesla to design and make cars for them.

Quickly?! It took almost a full year for the Bolt to roll out to all 50 states.

Bolt is an extreme outlier as nearly any other GM car hits all 50 states almost simultaneously

The Bolt was a high-visibility car for GM that utilized a lot of new technology. Even so, it went from concept car to dealership floors in less than two years.

If you look at the timeline for the Volt, the original concept was shown in January 2007 and the rollout started in December 2010. The Bolt was a concept car at NAIAS in January 2015 and was at full nationwide availability by August 2017. That’s an incredibly quick turnaround.

The production ramp up is so far out pacing the model 3 and they were at least able to released a FINISHED car a full year a head and counting of the model 3.

Remember, Tesla is bringing the Model 3 out almost two years early to try and meet the unexpected demand. If they had stayed with the original schedule all of this would have been down out of the public eye like Chevy did.

The Bolt EV started production much earlier in the year than its last week of December rollout, they just didn’t claim it was for sale until they sold to the first actual customer. So just like Tesla they were producing in small volumes for 6 or 9 months before. Tesla really sold the first Model 3 ladt week or so of Dec, anything before that was still early production and not really being sold (buyers were not allowed to resell or even talk much about their car).

Just enjoy the torque for a while.
You get the chance to drive the car before 99.9999% of the population, isn’t that enough?

Even Apple, a pretty arrogant company by anyone’s standards, couldn’t get away with delivering finished hardware with half-developed software. Sure there are revisions to the software after initial release, and sometimes even new functionality. But no case ever where basic functions are just missing. This is rather as if the accelerometer wasn’t enabled – it’s not an absolutely necessary feature, but it’s a basic one you take for granted.

Apple, like Google and other companies, regularly deliver hardware that has software that will undergo multiple patches.
Their map debacle comes QUICKLY to mind.

That’s not correct.
Portrait mode was not available on launch in the 7 and was made available in a software update a month or two after launch.
Wireless charging was either not available or restricted on iPhone 8 /X launch
App Store was not available for several months on initial iPhone.
Apple Pay was not available on launch of iPhone 6


The iPhone didn’t even have copy-paste until iPhone OS 3.0

Is English not your first language. Launched is a pretty common word for you not to know the definition.

WTF? You do realize that most people aren’t walking in and handing them the full price in cash? Banks or other institutions are fronting the money and people get a payment schedule. To even attempt to introduce the complexity of nonsense you suggest is folly.

What major features are missing?

Nm, you meant the rear seat heaters.

“At minimum, they cannot count that portion as revenue.”

The serial denials from Tesla bashers like 3/4/5/6/7 Pretend Electrics, finding one excuse after another to keep denying that Tesla has started selling the Model 3, or that income from such sales “doesn’t count”, are an ongoing source of amusement. The Tesla haters must have a team working full time, moving goal posts!

😀 😀 😀

My delivery date for the base model is listed by Tesla as mid 2018, so it seems that Tesla would offer the white interior before then on the LR version, well before year end 2018.

My best guess is that the delay for the rear seat heaters is voice commands. There are no physical switches in the rear for the seat heaters, so the only controls that make sense would be voice controls for the rear seat passengers to turn up and down their own seat heaters, with redundant controls on the front screen.

Sounds like another reason the Model 3 really isn’t mainstream. You’d think people might be nervous about batteries, etc., but its something else Tesla deliberately got wrong.

At least the AP safety statistics should get a boost from all that manual driving “distraction”.

..The Model 3 is a rolling statistical control group, for “Autopilot is safer”. What I respect about that CNN story, is how he was actually okay with the center screen but took issue with controls. MS has become more distracting, over time. So, I won’t agree if someone comes back and says, “Updates will fix it”.

Nix, Voice Command controls internet radio, phone and navigation destinations. That’s it. I think VC rear seat heat is a long-shot. More likely a sub-menu, like the driving screen (as on current MS) when you want to cover up some other type of control (media, nav, internet, wipers).

I’ve been a software engineer for over 30 years… I can’t imagine this is difficult stuff to write. Why is it taking so long? Am I underestimating something?

It has to be tested extensively, so you don’t fry the little kids!!!

Yeah, what’s so hard about programming voice recognition for “Left rear seat heat on 20%” in 98 languages for male, female, whatever gender, adult, elderly, child voices, instead of having a simple button to cycle through five heat settings?

Oh, so that’s why there is no GUI to turn on the heat? Because unlike every other feature, the heating element can’t function until voice recognition is in place and in 98 languages? Good thing there are smart and helpful people like you around to enlighten us dummies. Thank you so much!

The guy working on UI is busy working in Voice recognition. He can’t do two things at once.

I’m a software developer and its actually not that hard.

and what Software engineering did you do over the last 30 years?
Did you work on cars, airplanes, boats, trains, medical, or tools using C/C++/Assembly, where a bug can kill ppl?

Or did you do business software, doing things like CObol, rpg, pl1, visual basic, etc?

Because there is a HUGE difference in these.

No it wouldnt make that much of a difference when the case is as simple as a on off switch and a temp monitor. its probably under 50 lines of code and there is no reason they can reuse the existing code or logic from the model S/X

“Why is it taking so long?”

I don’t have any “insider info”, but given Tesla’s history, I would guess that at least part of the problem is Elon’s insistence on overseeing everything personally. As Tesla continues to grow, Elon’s tendency to micromanage and his inability to delegate, are going to become bigger and bigger bottlenecks.

And to be fair to Elon, let’s not forget that arguably the biggest reason Tesla cars are so popular is because all the functions and systems in them work so well together. That means Tesla can’t just assign different functions to different development teams and let everybody develop a function in isolation. Every function has to be integrated into the whole as much as possible, and has to work as intuitively as possible, which certainly makes it a more difficult challenge for software design.

Hmmm, if Tesla says 2018 it can’t possibly happen until 19 at the earliest. Otherwise they would be on time, and that would invalidate all known physics.

Nice, but no. Musk said the car would launch in 2017 AND it did. So if Tesla says people will get their white heated seats in 2018, I’m going to go with that.

Elon said the Model X would be released at the beginning of 2014 and he was nearly two years late on that. He also there would be 100k-200k Model 3s built in 2017, and he fell approximately 99% short of that goal.

The pessimist sees the goal as 99% failed. The fanboy sees it as 1% met.

launching with 30 unfinished cars doesn’t really count as a launch.

If you don’t like the 3 buy a Bolt. The day you get the Bolt will be the best it will ever be. Only a Tesla gets better over time. I can’t believe some people just don’t get it.

If you pay Twice as much, and you do it quickly before Tesla is no longer eligible for the Federal Tax Credit, you’ll get a car that gets perhaps 10% better over time,
ignoring entropy of course !

Let’s itemize what updates have done:
-Redefined the “low” setting up higher
-reduced P90D by ~15KW
-Added elaborate “launch mode” choreography to reduce people’s access to fully using the car.
-Throttled Supercharging down to a peak of 90KW, after ~200 charges
-Added strokes to operate the touch screen, to reactivate the top controls, etc.
-Taken away AP1’s ability to handle 25mph speed zones, at speeds greater than 25 or, say, the 40mph speed of traffic. (Everything has got to be as bad as AP2, you see. Can’t let MobilEye get away with being better.)
-Mangled the center screen into an AP cartoon, even when you aren’t using AP.

As long as you loved the above, like an Apple customer loved being throttled to save his battery, you should be super-excited about a future that “only gets better”.

All this, and the cars are still awesome.

Can we expect a voice operated heated steering wheel delivered OTA as well? /s

Elon Musk finally admitted what all (non-TSLA zealots) knew from the beginning: the Model 3 wasn’t finished when it was initially launched in July. And STILL isn’t finished as of today.

Meeting deadlines seem to have taken priority over delivering finished products at Tesla. Even ignoring what Elon said, the above details outline that clearly.