“Pencils down.”

Those are the words Tesla Motors’ chief executive Elon Musk used in describing the time deadline for the Tesla Model 3 final design.

“Almost all of the Model 3 design is done, and we’re aiming for pencils down basically in six weeks, complete pencils down. And we’re tabling — you know, if there are ideas for future cool things, we’ll have it in version 2, version 3,” Musk said.

His remarks were made on Thursday speaking on stage at the Code Conference (a tech industry speakers series) in response to a question about whether his company would be able to deliver the mass-market $35,000 electric sedan in a timely manner.

Musk has said the Model 3 will go into production by the end of 2017, a time frame that some say is wildly optimistic and maybe not possible, given the company’s past history of delays.

Production delays, followed by owner quality complaints of the Model X crossover electric vehicle have plagued Tesla, although customers have been kind with their remarks.

At the Tesla annual shareholders meeting earlier in the week, Musk put much of the blame for the Model X problems on himself, using the word “hubris” several times.

The CEO has said frequently that both the Model S sedan and Model X were designed first, and then made production capable. At the Code Conference he said the company has learned from its mistakes, and the company is taking a completely different approach to designing the Model 3.

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“We want to do the opposite of what we did with the X, which is make something that is a lot simpler, but still a car that people will love, and every design decision is factoring in the manufacture ability,” he said.

When the Model 3 made its debut at the end of March, Musk said it was just “phase one,” and stated a phase two would be something special.

At the conference, he promised that a “big event” would happen “before the end of this year,” he said.

Whatever is coming has sparked much speculation.

Will the Model 3 be the first true autonomous vehicle? Or, will it introduce a head up display with all the vital information on the windshield so the driver never has to take his eyes off the road?

And be assured that between now and the big event, Mr. Musk will use Twitter to fan the flames of interest.

The Verge