And, boy, it sure looks like the Model 3.
Built on the same platform as the wildly successful Model 3, the Model Y has taken the stage at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles. As expected, this EV cashes in on the “crossover coupe” trend that blends the lean, athletic look of a sport coupe with the spacious, utilitarian vibe of a utility vehicle — all with the added value of an electric powertrain and the brand cachet Tesla has been so skillfully building upon for over a decade now.
Oh, and if you’re keeping track, this new EV continues Tesla’s (juvenile?) naming scheme. Put them all together and you get “S3XY.” (Ford helped to put the kibosh on Tesla’s bid to call its last sedan “Model E.”)
Let’s take a look at the few specs available so far. The Model Y, according to Musk, will be capable of 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. He expects 300 miles of “true, usable” driving range. We’re assuming this is for the long-range model, which will be available first. That version will cost $47,000. The base version, which will be slower and have a shorter range, will come in at $39,000, with an availability of 2021.
According to Tesla’s configurator, the rear-wheel-drive, Long Range version will cost $47,000. That one will have 300 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph, and a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds.
Dual motor, all-wheel-drive versions will come in Long Range ($51,000) and Performance ($60,00) guises. The former will have 280 miles of range, a top speed of 135 mph, and a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds.
The Performance shares the 280-mile range, but goes up to 150 mph, and does 0-60 in that hard-to-fathom 3.5 seconds. It also gets 20-inch performance wheels, performance brakes, a carbon fiber spoiler, lowered suspension, aluminum alloy pedal and a track mode.
Look closely, and the Model Y looks pretty familiar, as about 75 percent of its DNA comes from the Model 3. As a crossover, it’s slightly larger, and will eventually be offered as a three-row vehicle, seating seven, though a two-row version will be offered first.
As for Autopilot, Musk said self-driving capabilities will arrive sometime this year. If regulators agree, it’ll be “safe enough to not pay attention.” The hardware is all built in. It’ll just need software upgrades to achieve those capabilities.
Musk has high hopes for the Model Y. He said Tesla expects to sell more Model Ys than S, X and 3 combined.
Tesla plans to build the Model Y for the U.S. market at its Gigafactory in Nevada. Model Y units destined for China will be built at the Gigafactory that is currently under construction in Shanghai.