Just as Elon Musk promised, Tesla has unveiled the all-new Model Y at its Los Angeles design studio, completing the company’s “S3XY” line-up of vehicles. While it may appear like a downsized version of the Model X, the Model Y actually shares more in common with the Model 3.
As revealed by Musk earlier in Tesla’s full year 2018 update, the Model Y is built on the same platform as the Model 3 and shares about 75% of its components. This is readily apparent when you look at the thing, as it roughly shares the same face as the Model 3, although the fastback rear is more akin to the Model X.
While the exterior is a mix-and-match case, the interior is very much identical to the Model 3, with a 15-inch touchscreen being the predominant feature of the cabin. There’s even a panoramic glass roof and a high seating position, the latter a result of the floor-mounted batteries.
The Model Y also gets the same smartphone-as-a-key interface, and connects with the Tesla Mobile app for functions such as remote unlock, Summon, remote pre-conditioning, location tracking, Speed Limit Mode and more.
Unlike the Model 3 however, the Model Y can be ordered as a seven-seater just like with the Model X (five seats as standard). This explains the need for a high roofline that gently slopes towards the rear as seen from the outside, although the gullwing doors are absent here.
In terms of available powertrains, the Model Y can be had with either one- (RWD) or two-motor (AWD) configurations. Only the Standard Range variant gets the former, but there’s no mention of outputs in Tesla’s release (for now). Instead, we’re being told the Standard Range offers a 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) sprint time of 5.9 seconds, 193 km/h top speed and 370 km of EPA-estimated range.
Moving up the ranks, there’s the Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive variant capable of doing the same sprint in 5.5 seconds, hitting 209 km/h and providing 483 km of range.
With the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive variant, there’re improvements to the acceleration (4.8 seconds) and top speed (217 km/h), but at the expense of range (450 km). Lastly, the top-rung variant is the Performance that is also AWD, and will complete the same sprint in 3.5 seconds, hit 241 km/h and provide 450 km of range.
Tesla says the Model Y will provide the highest levels of safety like the rest of the vehicles in its range, and is fully compatible with its current Supercharger network, including the new V3 Superchargers rated at 250 kW.
Deliveries of the Model Y are slated to begin in the United States in fall next year, with the Performance (USD55,700), Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive (USD42,700) and Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive (USD46,700) variants set to go on sale first. The base Standard Range will come later in spring 2021, priced from USD39,000.
The seven-seat option will cost an additional USD3,000, while unlocking features linked to the on-board self-driving hardware (identical to the Model 3) – rear, side and forward-facing cameras; forward-facing radar; and 12 ultrasonic sensors – will cost between USD3,000 and USD5,000.