After a lot of speculation, Tesla has pulled the covers off of its new Model Y SUV, which CEO Elon Musk says “will probably sell more than the Model S and Model 3 combined.”
Launched last night at Tesla’s LA design studio, and following the successful Model 3 launch last year, the Model Y is a 7-seater electric SUV with prices starting at $39,000. According to the Californian-based automaker, the Model Y should arrive sometime next year.
As expected, the Model Y will have all-wheel-drive powered by two ultra-responsive, independent electric motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels — for better handling, traction and stability control. Due to this, the SUV is more than capable in rain, snow, mud and general off-road adventures.
In terms of technology, expect the usual Tesla touch. The Model Y comes with emergency braking, collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and more as standard. It will also have “full self-driving capability,” enabling automatic driving on city streets and highways pending regulatory approval, as well as the ability to find owners anywhere in a parking lot on its own.
The Model Y is around 10% bigger than the Model 3, but still sports a hatchback for more accessibility. Unlike the Model X, it won’t have over-the-top falcon doors due to the extremely high cost of manufacturing them. The most significant difference to its older sister, other than the extra seats, is that it has a much higher roofline. The sizing is very similar to the BMW X1, so it will be interesting to see just how comfortable it will be for passengers in the back. To me, it looks like a bit of a squeeze.
When first announcing the Model Y to the world, Musk tweeted: “Model Y, being an SUV, is about 10% bigger than Model 3, so will cost about 10% more and have slightly less range for same battery.”
But, following the ongoing controversy surrounding the Model 3 since its launch, including price, range and build quality, we will have to wait and see how this unfolds.