The electric Tesla compact crossover we’ve been waiting for was finally revealed Thursday evening at an exclusive event in the company’s design center in Hawthorne, California. The Tesla Model Y will seat up to five or seven passengers, depending on the configuration, and according to CEO Elon Musk, it will have the functionality of an SUV but ride like a sports car. The crossover will arrive in the fall of 2020.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the new Model Y in front of hundreds of Tesla owners and employees, noting that the electric crossover’s driving range will max out at 300 miles. The top range will be available on the Long Range model priced from $47,000. Also in the fall of 2020, Tesla will offer a Dual Motor AWD version ($51,000) and Performance version ($60,000), both with 280 miles of range. The Standard Range model will arrive in the spring of 2021 with a $39,000 price tag. All Model Ys will support third-generation Supercharging, which means you can get 75 miles of range in just five minutes.
The Model Y will accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds on the Performance model. In our exclusive First Test of a long-range Tesla Model 3, we clocked the sedan hitting 60 in 4.8 seconds. A Dual Motor Performance version of the Model 3—equipped with AWD—reached 60 in a MotorTrend-tested 3.2 seconds.
Aesthetically, Tesla followed the same design language we saw on the Model 3, but with lines inspired by the Model X to give the compact crossover a polished look. The front bumper still has that blunted look to it. The Model Y will a get a panoramic glass roof, and to keep costs down, it has the elegant door handles from the Model 3. The raised belt line also gives the Model Y a crossover appearance, and on the back, the hatch gives it a bigger look.
Between the frunk and split-folding second-row seats, the Model Y offers a total of 66 cubic feet of storage space. Inside, the Model Y sports a simple and tidy design thanks to the free-floating 15-inch touchscreen, which is pretty much the only thing you’ll see when you sit inside. Like in the Model 3, there is no gauge cluster, and the shifter is in form of a lever located behind the steering wheel. Other features like the A/C, audio system, and side-view mirrors will be controlled through the touch display.
The center console has designated spaces to put your phone down, key card, or any other small objects. Wood trim and leather can be seen throughout the dash and door panels, adding a touch of luxury.
Like the Model 3, the Model Y will be unlocked and turned on with your phone or designated key card. Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability packages will be available for an extra cost (as with the Model 3).
There’s no doubt the EV game has drastically changed over the last two years. Hyundai’s Kona Electric, which starts at $37,495 and has a range of 258 miles, is causing a lot of buzz in the market, and Kia will have the Niro EV and Soul EV with 239 and 243 miles of range, respectively. The Chevrolet Bolt EV, our 2017 Car of the Year, has a range of 238 miles and a starting price of $37,495. On the luxury side, the Jaguar I-Pace has a range of 234 miles, and we expect Audi’s upcoming E-Tron to have a range between 210 and 225 miles. The biggest difference, however, is that Tesla is running out of the $7,500 federal tax credits, which are gradually being phased out for new Tesla models because the company hit the 200,000 vehicle limit in July. Currently, all Teslas can get a $3,750 federal tax credit, but that will drop to $1,875 on July 1, and by the end of this year, Tesla owners won’t receive any federal tax credits at all.
We hope Tesla has learned from its “production hell” mistakes and doesn’t run into as many issues as with the production of the Model 3. Musk said the Model Y is designed to be the safest midsize SUV.
With the Model Y being written in the books, Tesla will start to focus on future models. Musk said in the past that a pickup truck is in the plans, and last year it showed the Roadster and Semi. With competition from Rivian with its upcoming electric R1T truck, it seems likely that Tesla’s next new model could be the pickup. The Model S and Model X could also get a refresh soon, especially inside, where they could adopt a cleaner look similar to the Model 3 and Model Y.
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Author: Zach Gale