Tesla Model Y: new electric mid-size SUV revealed

Tesla Model Y: new electric mid-size SUV revealed

Tesla revealed the Model Y small crossover at its Southern California offices late Thursday night.

That, certainly, goes some way to describe the Model Y. After all, it's clearly related to the Model 3, which is Tesla's compact premium passenger vehicle.

Some of the features highlighted during the event include the Panoramic Glass Roof and an option for seating 7 people in the vehicle, which prompted some cheers from the crowd.

The estimated EPA range is 300 miles, going down to 280 for the Long Range with AWD and Performance that comes standard with all-wheel drive. The standard battery will have a range of 230 miles with the long-range version capable of 300 miles on a single charge.

Tesla is also pursuing a similar approach to their Model 3 when introducing the model variants of the Model Y. Starting in autumn 2020, the higher-priced versions will be delivered before the basic version follows in spring.

Model Y will be based on the same architectural platform as the Model 3, the entry level Tesla, with which it also shares 75 percent of its parts. Musk said that the company got a bit carried away with the Model X, creating something like "a Faberge egg meets a space ship". We don't know for sure where Model Y will be built, besides Tesla's new, under-construction Chinese plant but it seems increasingly clear that it won't simply be cranked out in huge volumes next to the Model 3 at Fremont. "But perhaps this Model Y will show otherwise". He also said that the auto will have up to 300-miles of real-world range when it launches. He did say, however, that orders are now being taken with a $2,500 deposit.

A Chinese government official recently stated that Tesla's Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai is expected to complete the first phase of construction this coming May, with assembly lines on track to be set up by the end of the year. Though that translates to just £26,400, it's unlikely that the Model Y would make it to British shores without a significant price increase.

Musk also said the Model Y will be powered by the same battery as the Model 3.

As I pointed out in my first article about the surprises, the reveal of the Model Y was the first time that I feel like Tesla acted fully like a major automaker for an announcement. In another year or two when the Model Y arrives, shoppers-even those who prefer Tesla-will likely have many more choices.

While the carmaker has copped some criticism for delays in initial deliveries of the Model 3, it has been delivering on schedule for Europe and even ahead of schedule in the case of China, with the United Kingdom and Australia next in line.

Plenty has been made of the fact that Tesla is tackling a huge potential market with the Model Y. Crossovers and small SUVs are big business right now, and Elon Musk & Co. are fully aware that the demand for a more affordable vehicle than the Model X - but with similar SUV-esque styling cues - is considerable.

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