Last night, Elon Musk delivered a meandering Tesla history lecture. He pointed out that Tesla’s previous models would spell out S-E-X instead of S-3-X because “Ford killed sex.” Then, he promised a Tesla would drive on Mars 10 years from now. Shortly after, a dark blue vehicle drove onto the corner of a crowded, poorly lit stage — the Tesla Model Y.
The Model Y will be a midsize SUV with an option for seven seats in a third row. There will be four trims, two RWD (Standard, Long Range) and two AWD (Long Range, Performance), both with a panoramic glass roof. Pricing will range from $39,000 to $60,000. The standard $39,000 version will be available by Spring 2021. The “Performance” version will accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 150mph, but the Long Range RWD will have the best range at 300 miles. Tesla also asserts the Model Y will be the world’s safest midsize SUV.
Aesthetically, the Model Y is not a radical departure for Tesla. It resembles the Model 3, but a higher riding hatchback version with the ever-popular sloped coupe roofline. Tesla can achieve only so much variation with the body shape to still get the aerodynamics required for the performance and charge range. It won’t look like the Bollinger B1.
The Model Y is designed to meet mass-market demand and enters a crowded, popular, small SUV market at a competitive price point. When it emerges, it will face direct EV competition from Audi the e-Tron, Mercedes EQC and BMW iX3.