Here’s how the Tesla Model 3 changed from prototype to production car

Curious about what exactly has changed on the Tesla Model 3 now that we have our first look at the production vehicle? The original prototype was revealed back in May 2016, and it’s changed a bit since that pre-alpha design was shown off to a crowd at Tesla’s Hawthorne Design Studio.

The design team at have created a visual that makes it easy to spot the differences, and see what’s changed in the intervening year and a bit in terms of the Model 3’s design lines. In the GIF above, the light-colored Model 3 is the pre-alpha prototype, and the black one is Elon Musk’s personal first production Model 3.

It’s true that the final design is very close to what we saw with the pre-alpha prototype, but the lights appear visibly changed, and the PartCatalog folks note that either the car is also longer overall, or the back passenger door is slightly smaller than in the original.

Slight geometry changes are to be expected in development cycles for vehicles like this one, even during that final year heading into production, so it’s not that surprising. Still, interesting to see how the design evolved over time.