Last week Elon Musk took to the stage to announce the Tesla Model Y, a crossover based on the Model 3, much like the Model X is based on the Model S. The car will be a 7-seater all electric car with a range of up to 300miles and capable of reaching 0-6mph in just 3.5seconds.
We got to see the previous 4 models that Tesla had released from the Roadster through to the Model 3 and another look at both the Tesla Semi and the new Tesla Roadster before the Model Y rolled onto stage with seven people inside. Seeing the original Roadster reminded me the first time I had heard the Tesla name, I went looking for the video and found that it was featured by the Mahalo Daily web series. The car doesn't look that different to most Lotus models from the '00s but it looks pretty dated at the same time.
While watching the event (below), it struck me how poor Musk is at these events. He managed to get in jokes about the model lines spelling S3XY and the fact the there is an innuendo in the name of the Tesla Semi (if pronounced sem-ee, not sem-i) but it felt almost amateurish. The graphics, the staging and the cars themselves all came together better.
But back to the car that headlined the event...
Model Y models and stats
|Range||Top speed||0-60 mph||Price||Available (US)|
|Standard Range||230 miles||120 mph||5.9 seconds||$39,000||Spring 2021|
|Long Range||300 miles||130 mph||5.5 seconds||$47,000||Autumn 2020|
|Dual Motor (AWD)||280 miles||135 mph||4.8 seconds||$51,000||Autumn 2020|
|Performance (AWD)||280 miles||150 mph||3.5 seconds||$60,000||Autumn 2020|
As with its little brother the Model 3, the cheaper version will ship some time after those with a higher specification.
The Model Y vs the Model X
The base Model X already starts at twice the price. Musk said at the event that the X had everything thrown at it, including the falcon-wing doors. No such luxury's on the Y and it features the same sparse interior as the 3 but that's keeps the price low.
I quite like the side profile of both the Model 3 & Y but it's the face of the S and X that do it for me. The interiors of the former are really interesting but the latter are more familiar.
The headlights make the 3 and Y almost bug like, but they're not ugly enough to pass on and as with everything, you get what you pay for. There are some angles it looks great from, as you can see in the image at the top of the page, but there are others where it just doesn't get your juices flowing.
The 7-seat configuration will be worth keeping an eye on it. Will it really work with it's raking roofline? The Model S used to offer rear facing seats in the boot and the X is built to be a proper SUV but the Y is effectively a taller 3 so unless you're sacrificing most of the boot space I'm really not sure if it will work for adults or if it will be a children-only option.
Watch the Model Y unveiling:
Tesla expect the Model Y to outsell the S & X combined which will be no mean feat. Given the range, capacity and seating configuration it's hard to argue with that assessment.
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