In a long write-up about a behind-the-scenes view of its photo shoot at Tesla’s Gigafactory, Motor Trend says the Model 3 is to be taken seriously.

The car since its reveal in pre-production prototype form three weeks ago has captured the attention of many with around 400,000 or more reservations, and MT offered its opinion to put to rest those who may have reservations of a different kind.

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In amongst all the voices praising Tesla, skeptics have expressed doubts that the vehicle can be built profitably and satisfactorily and sell for a starting price of only $35,000.

The publication offered its view after being wowed by the Model 3 under the supervision of Tesla personnel at the company’s Nevada facility.

“Perhaps most important is that we spent quality time with the Model 3 and can verify that it is as much the real thing as its two siblings, S and X,” said MT. “A $35,000 electric Tesla may still seem like the stuff of pipe dreams to some hard-bitten critics, but after seeing one in action it is difficult not to be swayed by what Musk and the Tesla team have coming just around the bend.”

However, the vehicle MT was given access to is a carefully built pre-production model, and MT said its editors had “pleaded, cajoled” to get in for the exclusive shoot which had originally included an interview of Elon Musk, which Tesla denied.

SEE ALSO: False Alarm: Motor Trend Does Not Reveal the Apple Car

MT offered thanks to all parties, even Tesla’s security team in what was essentially a bit of very soft reporting. As it is, for a list of 400,000 reservation holders, MT does vouch for what Tesla is putting together.

“If or when the $35,000 Model 3 comes to market, we believe the 400,000 or so early adopters will probably feel the same way,” said the write up.

Much more was said about the photo shoot, making it about that, but perhaps more details will be subsequently released by MT about the actual car.

As for its design, it had a few things to offer as well.

“It looks much better in person; pictures don’t do it justice,” said Motor Trend staff photographer Robin Trajano, without one trace of irony. “The proportions don’t really work in picture but in person looks really good. I wouldn’t mind owning one.”

His boss, Motor Trend’s visuals manager Brian Vance, went for specifics, “It really does have a lot of his Mazda concepts in it, like the lines.” Vance is referring to Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s head of design, who was at Mazda prior to joining the company. “I can’t believe the entire roof is glass. It’s two pieces (three if you count the windshield) but in the right light, looks like one piece.”

Summing the imagery, MT added another word to attest to the Model 3.

“Even in prototype form, the silver Model 3 you see in Bacarella’s stunning shots performed nearly flawlessly,” said the publication. “It had a hiccup here and there with the charging but, for what we needed to accomplish, we couldn’t have been happier.”

Motor Trend