Model Y Unveiling Completes Tesla’s S3XY Lineup

Mar 15, 2019   

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage at the Tesla design studio to in Hawthorne, California to unveil the company’s long-awaited Model Y, a mass-market SUV built on the Model 3 platform that looks strikingly similar upon first impression.

Musk anticipates five stars in every safety category, accompanied by the performance of a sports car with a 3.5 second 0-60, .23 drag coefficient, and an expected EPA range of 300 miles. It shares the panoramic glass roof of the 3 as well an interior that is virtually identical, including the same dashboard layout. The larger layout seats up to 7.

Deliveries will begin in Fall 2020 for the Long Range, Dual Motor AWD, and Performance Variants. The Long Range model will include a range of 300 miles and a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds at a price point of $47,000. Dual Motor AWD ($51,000) and the Performance ($60,000) models share a range of 280 miles, with a 4.8 second 0-60 time on the AWD that gets bumped down to 3.5 seconds on the Performance model.

The Standard Range base Model Y is scheduled for Spring 2021, starting at $39,000 with a range of 230 miles and a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds.

Unsurprisingly as Tesla’s goal was to simplify production, there was no mention of Smart Air Suspension or the Model X’s signature Falcon Wing Doors.

Musk expects full self-driving to be “feature complete by end of year,” then once they are confident that a driver’s attention is no longer required they will seek regulatory approval.

Leading into an explanation as to why Model Y shares many of the same parts as Model 3, Musk explained that prototypes are significantly easier to create than an actual car due to the challenges inherent in manufacturing.

Considering the market demand for sport utility vehicles/crossovers, Model Y is expected to sell as many vehicles as Model X and Model 3 combined.

Real Talk

Musk completed his goal of a complete Tesla lineup with a premium luxury sedan, a technologically-advanced SUV, a mass-market electric sedan, and now a mass-market SUV. The Tesla CEO couldn’t help himself from joking about his S 3 X Y accomplishment, and we feel for saving the world we owe it to him to have fun with Tesla as well.

While we knew that Model Y would be built on the Model 3 platform, I am genuinely surprised at how many design elements the Model Y shares with the 3 from the shared headlight design to a virtually identical interior. Crossover stature aside, the vehicles look almost identical. Regardless, an SUV built on the Model 3 should allow Tesla to streamline manufacturing as Musk reminded us is the most difficult part of automotive design.

We would bet Tesla has another category-leading vehicle with Model Y.

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– Adam Qureshi