The Model Y takes design cues from both the Model 3 sedan and Model X large SUV, with a glass panoramic roof and optional seven-seat layout. It doesn’t feature the gullwing doors found on the more expensive Model X, using instead pillarless doors similar to those of the Model 3 and Model S.
The crossover is around 10% larger than the Model 3 – with which it shares a platform and as many as 75% of its components – putting it close to the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC in size. Elon Musk said that the Model Y had “the functionality of an SUV but rides like a sports car”, with a low centre of gravity and a drag coefficient of 0.23Cd.
The first versions to arrive will be the Long Range, Dual Motor and Performance models. The car is likely to arrive by 2022, based on previous Tesla model roll-outs globally.
The Long Range model will offer 500km of range, a 210km/h top speed and a 5.5sec 0-100km/h time, and will be priced from around $75,000. The Dual Motor will have a lower range of 450km, a higher top speed of 220km/h and a 4.8sec 0-100km/h time.
The Performance model also offers 450km of range, but its top speed is increased to 240km/h and its 0-100km/h sprint time reduced to 3.5sec.
A Standard Range version will follow later in 2021, with a 370km range, a 200km/h top speed and a 5.9sec 0-100km/h time.
The Model Y is compatible with Tesla’s third-generation Superchargers, which are capable of 250kW charging. Cars will be able to recover 120km of range in five minutes, with a peak charging rate equivalent to 1500km for every hour. Tesla now has more than 12,000 Superchargers globally across 36 countries.
Inside, the Model Y has a similar interior layout to the Model 3, with a single 15.0in touchscreen interface containing all of the car’s controls, and no traditional instrument cluster. It also includes the same “self-driving” hardware, including Autopilot, which can be unlocked for a fee and upgraded wirelessly as new features gain approval from regulatory bodies.
Split-folding second-row seats and a front boot provide a maximum storage space of 1869 litres. Its rear hatchback should prove more convenient when loading than the Model 3’s tailgate.