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Tesla Model Y revealed

The long-awaited Model Y is essentially a pumped-up, more practical version of the Model 3 hatch.
Matt Campbell
Senior Editor
CarsGuide

15 Mar 2019 • 4 min read

The all-new Tesla Model Y SUV has been revealed at an event in the US, with the more compact crossover variant mimicking the design of the larger Model X.

The long-awaited Model Y is essentially a pumped-up, more practical version of the Model 3 hatch, with a taller body and higher ride height, along with model-unique styling features, setting it apart.

It is still offered with all-wheel drive, but the entry level models will be rear-wheel drive. There are set to be four variants offered.

The most affordable version is known as the Standard Range, with 370 kilometres and capable of doing 0-60mph (0-96km/h) of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 200km/h. It will be on sale in Spring 2021, at a price of US$39,000 ($55,000)

Next up is the Long Range, with 483km of battery range, a top speed of 210km/h, a 0-96km/h claim of 5.5sec, and a price tag of US$47,000 ($66,350). Deliveries for it, and the models above it (listed below) will start in the Northern Hemisphere autumn of 2020, so any time from September next year.

The Dual Motor AWD model is the next model up, with a US$51,000 asking price ($72,000). That model is set to be capable of running 0-96km/h in 4.8sec, a top speed of 217km/h, and it will have a range of 450km.

The top of the range Performance version is said to be capable of a 0-60mph or 0-96km/h of 3.5sec. Its top speed will be capped at 240km/h. It will have an electric range of 450km, and will cost US$60,000 ($84,700).

  • The most affordable version is known as the Standard Range, which will be on sale in Spring 2021, at a price of US$39,000 ($55,000). The most affordable version is known as the Standard Range, which will be on sale in Spring 2021, at a price of US$39,000 ($55,000).
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Model Y will be available with seven seats. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Model Y will be available with seven seats.
  • He claims the Model Y “will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far”, and that the car is aimed at family customers. He claims the Model Y “will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far”, and that the car is aimed at family customers.
  • Mr Musk stated that the brand will have full “self driving sometime later this year”, and that it will be “safe enough to not pay attention”. Mr Musk stated that the brand will have full “self driving sometime later this year”, and that it will be “safe enough to not pay attention”.
  • At the end of the announcement Musk invited the audience to come check out the Model Y. At the end of the announcement Musk invited the audience to come check out the Model Y.
  • The top of the range Performance version is said to be capable of a 0-60mph or 0-96km/h of 3.5sec. The top of the range Performance version is said to be capable of a 0-60mph or 0-96km/h of 3.5sec.
  • Mr Musk said the company has come along way in a few years, suggesting that people “take electric cars for granted”. Mr Musk said the company has come along way in a few years, suggesting that people “take electric cars for granted”.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Model Y will be available with seven seats (more of a 5+2 seat layout than the larger Model X), and that it will focus on function and fun.

“It will have the functionality of an SUV but will ride like a sports car,” Mr Musk said, stating the model will have the option of a panoramic glass roof, a slippery drag coefficient of 0.23Cd, and up to 1900 litres of cargo space.

He claims the Model Y “will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far”, and that the car is aimed at family customers. 

“Safety is the number one goal. Performance, sure - but safety first. This is the most important thing.”

Mr Musk stated that the brand will have full “self driving sometime later this year”, and that it will be “safe enough to not pay attention”, before adding that the brand would enable it and then “get the regulatory approval after that”. 

The aspirations are high for the Model Y. Mr Musk said that he feels the company will eventually “do more Model Y than Model X and 3 combined”. 

Mr Musk said the company has come along way in a few years, suggesting that people “take electric cars for granted”. 

“There was a time when electric cars seemed very stupid,” Mr Musk said. “Making an electric car company was like stupidity squared.”

The addition of the Model Y gives the brand’s eccentric leader, Elon Musk, his much desired “S3XY" range. Tesla was unable to do a Model E, as that trademark is owned by Ford.

Australian buyers will have to wait and see what happens - CarsGuide contacted Tesla Australia for comment on timing and pricing for the all-new model, but the company had nothing to say at this point in time.

Australian customers seem to be low on the priority list, with the Model 3 still not yet arriving here almost a year after the first examples hit roads in the US. Customers can reserve a Model 3 by paying a deposit, but the actual pricing and specification levels are unknown, and the wait time is lengthy.

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