This is the most controversial thing Tesla Model 3 Highland

This is the most controversial thing Tesla Model 3 Highland

On Friday, Tesla rolled out an updated version of the Model 3. So far, it’s only available in Europe and the Middle East, but the company is reportedly already marking down its inventory in the U.S., likely in order to clear the way for new models here.

The Model 3 is also getting cheaper with this update. It’s already one of the best-selling cars in the world, and the new version is likely to continue in that direction.

It comes with an updated front, including new headlights with LED accents. It also has a refreshed center display that is both brighter and more responsive. The back gets an 8-inch display that lets passengers watch Netflix, YouTube, or Disney+.

The exterior design changes make the Model 3 even more aerodynamic, giving it as much as 10 percent more range, according to Tesla’s specs. All of that is a good thing. The single most important factor for most electric vehicle (EV) buyers is how far they can drive before they have to charge.

There’s another change, however, that some people aren’t going to like. In the new Model 3, the gear selector is gone, with the control moved to the center touch screen. In addition, the turn signals are no longer a stalk, but buttons on the steering wheel.

Over the past few years, Tesla has been gradually eliminating almost every physical control in its vehicles. For example, the Model S traded buttons and stalks for capacitive touch buttons on the steering wheel.

The Model 3 has always been decidedly minimalist, but this is taking things to another level. It’s sure to be controversial–a lot of people are fans of changing controls with physical buttons and levers and switches. That’s because they work. Even more important, physical controls give you physical feedback and are far easier to use without having to look away from the road. If you toggle a lever to turn on a turn signal, you know what it’s going to do.

On the other hand, if your hands have to find a button on the steering wheel, that’s a different user experience. I’m honestly not usually a fan of eliminating physical controls, especially when they are replaced with touch targets on a screen.

Except, in this case, it’s probably fine. You really don’t shift gears that often. Maybe, at most, once or twice at the beginning of a drive, and once at the end. It’s not a thing you find yourself reaching for while driving.

Also, the previous gear selector wasn’t that great. It also served as the cruise control toggle, which was a very confusing thing if you ever sat in a Model 3 for the first time and worried you were about to put the vehicle in Park instead of activating autopilot.

More importantly, this is a smart move for Tesla. The company clearly has a very specific opinion about what a car should be. A big part of that opinion is minimalist. The company has been gradually removing as many physical controls as it can. Even the flagship Model S lacks many of the luxury elements found in its nearest full-sized competitors. The company even ditched a traditional steering wheel for a yoke, before adding it back as an option this year.

Part of it is that CEO Elon Musk thinks about cars differently from the way most people think about them. For most people, a car is a thing you buy to drive to places you want to go. The styling, comfort, and controls all create a better experience while you get there. But, at it’s most fundamental level, a car is a thing you drive.

For Musk, a Tesla is a feat of engineering designed to move towards the goal of a car that drives itself with minimal interaction from the passengers other than telling it where you want to go. All of the design choices the company is making today are pointing towards the day that becomes a reality.

It turns out, a lot of people think it’s the right opinion. They buy Tesla’s because they buy the promise of an EV, but also the promise of a self-driving car.

Sure, there are a lot more people who don’t like the opinion. Tesla’s design philosophy is divisive. There are some people who will never buy a Tesla because they don’t care for the styling or design choices.

Here’s the thing: Tesla has an opinion about what you want when you buy one of its cars. Not everyone shares that opinion, and that’s okay. But, if you’re going to have a strong opinion, you should lean into it, even it’s divisive.

Yes, some people won’t like it. Some people will think your opinion is wrong, but the way you design products and the way you talk about them tell your customers what to think about the thing you make. Tesla isn’t afraid of the fact that some people won’t want to buy its cars–it’s leaning into the fact that the people who are buying them are doing so for the very reasons they are controversial in the first place. That’s a stroke of genius.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest