Tesla’s lineup is gaining another crossover. Called the Model Y, the all-electric automaker’s latest vehicle is built on the same platform as its Model 3 compact sedan, but will be slightly larger and more expensive.
The Model Y likely won’t go into production until next year. However, Tesla has already started building hype as it often does, by fully revealing the Model Y at a special event at its headquarters in March. Here's everything we know about the highly-anticipated small crossover.
The Model Y will start at $39,000 for a Standard Range version, though other packages will be offered as well. The Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive Model Y, capable of going 300 miles on a charge, will be the second least expensive Model Y, beginning at $47,000. There will also be a Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive variant that can travel an estimated 280 miles for $51,000. The final cost to buyers will likely be cheaper by a few grand, thanks to government subsidies.
Rounding out the list is the top-of-the-line Performance version at $60,000. This Model Y also routes dual-motor power to all four wheels and is capable of traveling 280 miles on a charge. However, it's significantly faster than its less expensive siblings, with a top speed of 150 mph and the ability to go from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. That's 30 mph faster and two-and-a-half seconds quicker than the Standard Range Model Y.
Production and release date
Tesla says production of the Model Y is planned to begin "late next year" at its Gigafactory 1 production line in Nevada, albeit only for the three priciest versions: the Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and Performance. Buyers should receive delivery of those cars by fall 2020. The Standard Range Model Y, on the other hand, won't begin reaching customers until spring 2021.
Preorders are live at Tesla's website right now for all Model Y configurations, save for the Standard Range one. Buyers will have to put down a $2,500 deposit to reserve their vehicle.
Specs and infrastructure
Leading up to the Model Y's launch, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the crossover's range would be “slightly less” than that of the Model 3, likely because it uses the same battery as the sedan yet weighs in a bit heavier. Musk may have been referring to the pricier Model Y variants, because the Standard Range version is actually rated for 230 miles before needing a recharge — 10 miles more than the equivalent Model 3.
The Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive Model Y is the marathon runner of the group, able to go 300 miles on a charge, while the two Dual Motor options top out at 280 miles. Top speeds range from 120 mph in the Standard Range version to 150 mph in the Performance, while 0-60 mph times vary from 5.9 seconds in the cheapest Model Y to 3.5 seconds in the fastest, most expensive configuration.
Tesla says the Model Y will be capable in all conditions, thanks to advanced traction control. In the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive versions, each powerplant modulates the amount of torque sent to the front and rear wheels for improved stability and cornering.
Like all of Tesla's cars, the Model Y can be topped up at any one of the company's 12,000 Supercharger stations worldwide. Additionally, the Model Y supports the latest generation of the platform — Supercharger 3 — which operates at 350kW. That's significantly greater than the 145kW Supercharge 2 system, and according to Tesla, the new technology will enable charging rates of "up to 1,000 miles per hour."
Interior and amenities
All Model Y variants come with a massive, 15-inch touchscreen front and center. Like on the Model 3 before it, there are no obvious gauges, dials or displays strewn across the dashboard. The crossover's glass roof, which stretches from the front of the cabin all the way to the liftgate at the rear, is standard. Passengers also get to enjoy the same premium audio system no matter which Model Y they're sitting in.
The Model Y seats five, though Tesla is planning to introduce an optional third row to accommodate seven passengers in 2021. The seats in the second row fold flat independently, and a low floor in the trunk eases hauling around cargo.
Self-driving features and tech
The Model Y will support Tesla's Autopilot functionality, which allows for Level 2 autonomous driving. That means the car will be able to drive itself in specific scenarios, although the driver must maintain full attention and be ready to assume driving responsibilities at any moment.
That's no different than today's Teslas, however the company's website promises "full self-driving capability, enabling automatic driving on city streets and highways" pending government approval. This system will rely on a network of 12 ultrasonic sensors, each spread out across the vehicle for full, 360-degree awareness.
Autonomous driving aside, the Model Y comes equipped with a range of preventative safety features, like emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and collision warning as standard. The Model Y also doesn't require a separate key — it uses your smartphone — and you can summon the car to your location over short distances and in certain scenarios using the Tesla Mobile app.
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Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.