Tesla's Model Y Launch Completes the Company's 'S3XY' Lineup
【Summary】Tesla has officially unveiled its highly anticipated electric crossover SUV, the Model Y.
Electric automaker Tesla held the official global unveil of its new Model Y crossover SUV at an event in Los Angeles on Thursday night where Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the new crossover onstage for the first time.
The Model Y unveil was accompanied on stage by rest of the company's lineup, including the first Tesla Roadster ever built, which Musk said was his personal car, the first Model S, Model 3 and the Tesla electric Semi at the event.
At first look, the Model Y looks like a bigger version of the car it is based on, the Model 3. The new crossover sits higher off the ground and gets a much larger hatch, which translates into more space for carrying stuff. This is not surprising, considering the Model Y is built on the same platform as the mass-market Model 3 and both cars share about 75 percent of their parts.
For now, the company is only taking deposits for the Long Range version of Model Y, which was launched with a price tag of $47,000. Musk said the Standard Range Model Y will cost $39,000, but it won't be built until early 2021.
The Model Y Long Range accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, gets 300 miles of range and features a top speed of 130 mph. Production of the crossover will start sometime next year followed by deliveries in the fall.
Musk confirmed that the lower priced versions of Model 3 and Model Y will be manufactured out of the company's China Gigafactory located near Shanghai, which is currently under construction and is supposed to be completed by year end.
In the fall of 2020, Tesla will also offer a dual-motor AWD Model Y for $51,000 and a performance model for $60,000.
The AWD model will get a 0-60 mph acceleration stat of 4.8 seconds whereas the Performance can hit 60 mph in just under 3.5 seconds. The top speed for AWD Model Y will be limited to 135 mph, but increased to 150 mph for the Performance version. Both versions will feature the same 280 miles range.
Stepping inside the cabin, we find five seats and a panoramic glass roof similar to the Model X. Tesla also announced that an optional seven-seat configuration will be offered in 2021 for an additional $3,000.
Musk also confirmed that Model Y will get an autonomous driving software update within a year's time.
The Model Y's minimalist interior. The vehicle also features a panoramic glass roof.
The autonomous driving feature is an optional upgrade and costs an additional $3,000 for pre-orders and $4,000 if ordered post delivery.
The new electric SUV will also get what Tesla calls "full self-driving capability", which costs an additional $5,000 on pre-orders and $7,000 if added on later.
Full self-driving capability allows the car to self-park in both parallel and perpendicular spaces, self navigate on freeway entrance and exit ramps, navigate interchanges, overtake slower moving traffic, drive automatically on city streets and recognize street lights and stop signs.
In addition, the car will also get the advanced "summon feature" in this upgrade bundle. The summon feature allows a driver to summon their Tesla Model Y from parking spaces or in a parking garage. According to Musk, the Model Y will automatically drive to an owner's location anywhere in a parking lot.
With the growing popularity and competition in the electric SUV segment, Tesla's upcoming Model Y will help the company to keep its portfolio fresh. Tesla expects Model Y to be one of its best selling vehicles, courtesy of its features and competitive price tag.
In January, Musk assured investors saying that he expects demand for Model Y to be 50 percent higher or even double that of the Model 3. For that we'll have to wait and see.
Since the Model Y will not even be available until late 2020, it will be a long wait.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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