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Tesla Model Y scores official unveil date


Elon Musk's plan to bring S.3.X.Y back is one step closer, with the Tesla boss finally confirming a date for the unveiling of its new Model Y crossover.

Tesla fans, mark March 15, 2019 in your calendar now. But do it in pencil - Musk has something of a loose relationship with deadlines. Production, he says, will follow in early 2020, which is also when he says his electric truck (the design of which will have shifted slightly) and roadster will be ready for the production line.

When the crossover does eventuate, it will join the Models S, 3 and X to complete Tesla's cheeky quartette.

Musk made the announcement at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting in Silicon Valley, even teasing another picture of the Model Y - albeit one draped in mysterious shadow. The picture reveals little, but does appear to confirm the lack of side mirrors that was pointed out on an earlier teased sketch.

"The Model Y is really going to be something super special," Musk promised at the shareholder briefing.

Musk also used the stage to confirm that Model 3 (the rollout of which has been plagued with delays) production is finally increasing, and should lift from 3500 to 5000 vehicles per week by the end of June. The increased workload will be handled by a new and dedicated production line in its Californian plant, along with new factory planned for China.

It couldn't come at a better time, with Musk also claiming the Model 3 is now the best-selling premium mid-size sedan in the USA, flashing a graph on screen that shows the Model 3 ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS, and commanding a 30 per cent market share. Exactly what it means for Australia, though, is yet to be known, with international deliveries still tipped for 2019 on the offical Tesla website.

Last but not least, Musk also hinted at a significant upgrade to Tesla's existing Autopilot technology, and free 30-day trials for Tesla owners, to be rolled out as soon as this month. While details are scarce, Tesla's own website says "Enhanced Autopilot" will be introduced as soon as validation is completed.

"Enhanced Autopilot adds these new capabilities to the Tesla Autopilot driving experience. Your Tesla will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes without requiring driver input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when your destination is near, self-park when near a parking spot and be summoned to and from your garage," the site reads.

"Once on the freeway, your Tesla will determine which lane you need to be in and when. In addition to ensuring you reach your intended exit, Autopilot will watch for opportunities to move to a faster lane when you're caught behind slower traffic. When you reach your exit, your Tesla will depart the freeway, slow down and transition control back to you."

Are you ready for the electric revolution? Or is Musk on the fritz? Tell us in the comments below.