Tesla just unveiled the Model Y. Can it bring back the luster of Tesla’s years?
Tesla lost a little luster over the past couple of years but remains an innovator. Slow adoption of its solar roofs, Model 3 manufacturing issues, and Elon Musk’s battle with the SEC have set the company’s trajectory back a bit.
Announced this week, the Model Y is a slightly larger vehicle with more upright seating and enhanced cargo capacity than the Model 3. But it’s still based on the 3’s technology and architecture. Think about the new Model Y is to the Model 3 what the Model X is to the Model S.
What’s in a Name?
Tesla’s vehicle lineup has filled out nicely with this new addition. We now get the Model S, Model 3 (They tried to call it the Model E, but Ford owns the copyright to the name Model E.), Model X, and, soon, the Model Y. While those names alone are pretty bland, they might just combine to make a “S3XY” proposition.
Model Y Versions
The rear-wheel-drive Standard Model Y will actually be the final version of the vehicle to reach the market. Standard Model Y manufacturing is anticipated to begin in early 2021. The vehicle will start at about $39,000 and will have a 230-mile range, but little else is known about the base model.
The rear-wheel-drive Long Range Model Y will be among the first versions to hit the streets. Production of the and the other versions of the vehicle is expected to begin in late 2019. This version will begin at $47,000 and provide an impressive 300-mile range. While it’s no slouch, with a 130mph top speed and 5.5-second 0-60mph time, it’s slower than all other variations of the Model Y.
The Dual Motor all-wheel-drive Long Range (say that 10 times fast!) Model Y will place you back at least $51,000. It’ll go 280 miles before needing a recharge, hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and top out at 135 mph.
Lastly, the most expensive Model Y are the Performance. Starting at $60,000, this model provides you the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive system but is specifically designed with pure performance in mind.
It can launch from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and will top out at 150 mph. Performance brakes and a Track Mode will make the Model Y Performance perfect for hitting the race track on the weekends. It even looks fast, with its 20-inch wheels, carbon fiber spoiler, aluminum pedals, and lowered suspension.
Tesla Model Y Features
The new Model Y provides everything drivers have come to expect out of a Tesla. Plus, it will sport a beautiful panoramic glass roof. It will have one 15-inch touchscreen interface to handle all car controls and a complete suite of tech features accessed through the Tesla Mobile app.
You’ll get keyless entry/exit, remote unlock, Summon, remote preconditioning, location tracking, Speed Limit Mode, and much more features as Tesla releases them.
Like Tesla vehicles, the design starts with safety. In actuality, Musk himself touted the Model Y as the “safest midsize SUV available. ”
For driving enjoyment, all Model Y will have a “premium interior and sound. ” We’re not sure exactly what that means, but we expect it to be comparable to what you currently find in the Model 3.
The Model Y’s front rear and split-folding second row combine to provide 66 cubic feet of storage space. Once we get the chance to crawl around the vehicle ourselves, we’ll see just how roomy that really is.
Tesla vehicles are famous for the Autopilot and Self-Driving features. Rest assured, the Model Y will have both on offer. Autopilot will set you back an additional $3,000, or $4,000 if added after delivery. Full self-driving capacity will cost $5,000, or $7,000 if added after delivery.
Model Y Interior, Colors
Strong Black paint comes standard. If you want Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Pearl White Multi-Coat, or Red Multi-Coat, you’ll pay an additional $1,500-2,500.
Inside, each Model Y will include a standard black interior. The only other inside option will be a white-and-black option that will cost an additional $1,000.
A five-seat interior comes standard, with an optional seven-seat configuration also available. The additional row of seats will cost an additional $3,000. And in the Performance edition Model Y, the seven-seat interior won’t be available until 2021.
You’ll get futuristic-looking 18-inch Aero Wheels standard on all models except the Performance. The Performance comes standard with 20-inch wheels. The rest of the models offer optional 19-inch Sport Wheels for $1,500.
Purchasing a Tesla Model Y
Make certain to check out Tesla’s online ordering portal, where you can design and preorder a Model Y today. You’ll have to put down a $2,500 deposit to get your place in line.
Expect deliveries to begin in fall 2020 for all versions besides the Standard, which should ship in spring 2021. After your Model Y arrives, you’ll have 7 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first, to decide whether the model Y is right for you.
Never forget to read the small print! The order system lists costs with “gasoline savings” factored in. However, it doesn’t explain how Tesla came to those savings figures.
I’m pretty sure the brand still expects you to pay full price, not the adjusted “gasoline savings” numbers.
Model Y: First Impressions
The Tesla Model Y is more of a road performance vehicle with upright seating and optional third-row seating than a standard midsize SUV. Sure, it offers optional AWD, but it doesn’t seem to have any more ground clearance than a traditional sedan. That and the big wheel, skinny tire combo may keep the Model Y from tackling off-pavement excursions.
Since Musk alluded to on Twitter prior to the Model Y launch, the vehicle is about 10 percent bigger, 10 percent more expensive, and 10 percent less efficient than the Model 3.
Sure, more room is amazing for carrying equipment. But the Model 3 already wasn’t an inexpensive vehicle, so I’m not stoked about the Y’s bigger price tag. Plus, in this case, less efficiency means less range. And that means fewer adventure destination options in this vehicle.
In my opinion, two important factors are required for any true adventure vehicle. First is the ability to have a roof rack. I want to transport bikes, kayaks, and ski equipment. We don’t know yet if the Model Y will provide any roof rack grip, but the all-glass roof will probably be expensive to fix if we happen to drop a mountain bike on it when loading.
Second is the ability to maneuver in the vehicle. I like the efficiency of stealth car camping once the option presents itself. The Model Y’s second-row seats lay almost flat, but the actual overall cargo span with seats folded is still unclear.
As a vehicle for you and a whole lot of your buddies to the ski resort on a well-maintained paved road, the Model Y ought to be great. As an adventure vehicle to reach the trailhead up a windy dirt mountainside road, the Model Y will probably come up short.
1 thing that’s always improving is that the number of locations where you can charge up your Tesla quickly. There are now over 12,000 Supercharger stations across 36 nations. And big growth and upgrades continue to take place.
The V3 Supercharger just launched and promises up to 250 kWh charging rates. That translates to about 1,000 mph charging hour. So the Model Y will have the ability to get a 168-mile recharge in only 15 minutes with one of those new Superchargers.
New Tesla Model Y Factories
Currently, all Tesla vehicles are made in the Freemont, Calif., factory. That factory is now completely maxed out on production, two new factories will come online this year to create the Model Y.
The North American-market Model Y will come out of the Tesla Gigafactory outside Reno, Nev.. Meanwhile, the Asian-market Model Y will be produced in a new Shanghai Tesla Gigafactory which ’s anticipated to be completed at the end of the year. It’ll be the size of the Reno Gigafactory and Freemont vehicle factories combined.
The Future of Model Y and Tesla
The unveiling press conference of the Model Y began quite late, which continues the trend of Tesla being late to deliver. Only time will tell if it can build out two new vehicle production facilities and get production up and running for the new vehicle this year.
If it can meet the targets, Tesla plans to sell more Model Ys than other Tesla vehicles combined. The brand also plans to surpass 1 million vehicles produced around this time next year, which is a big jump from the 550,000 vehicles it’s produced so far.
Musk also said we could anticipate “feature complete” complete autonomous ability at the end of the year. While the vehicles should able to drive themselves with Tesla’s complete confidence, the people ’s confidence in the system and approved government regulations might still be a ways off.
Don’t forget that Tesla also intends to rule the solar power and battery storage businesses at both the consumer and industrial levels. These jobs shifted to the back burner after problems getting the Model 3 to full production capacity in 2018. Musk promised that these jobs are once again a priority and will be getting more attention in 2019.
Big plans abound, but Tesla is focused on offering a complete assortment of vehicles. It’s the S, 3, X, and now the Y. But plan to get “S3XYR” in 2020 with the launch of the new Roadster. Or maybe only “Semi S3XY” with the Tesla Semi, which should start soon.
And not to be understated, Musk also said, “Tesla will be on Mars in 10 years. ” Even if he’s joking, Telsa has a bright future if it can deliver on even half of its grandiose plans.
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