Tesla is unveiling Model Y, its upcoming small electric SUV based on Model 3, later today and here’s what to expect.
Model 3 Platform
Tesla has been going back and forth about building a new platform for the Model Y or using the Model 3’s.
CEO Elon Musk had a vision for a new system that would result in needing only a fraction of the wiring found in Model 3 or most cars today.
But the CEO later mentioned how it would likely push the timeline to production and his executive team convinced him that bringing the vehicle to market faster was more important.
Earlier this year, he also said that Model 3 will share 75% of its parts with Model Y – leading us to believe that it will indeed use the same platform, but with a different body.
Model Y Specs
If the Model Y is indeed using the same platform as Model 3, it should end up having very similar specs.
The vehicles will share battery packs and electric motors – resulting in the same energy and power capacity, but the Model Y is expected to be a little heavier and less efficient than Model 3.
I would expect about 10-15% lower range resulting in an advertised range between 200 and 280 miles depending on the battery configuration.
That said, Model Y is not going to enter production for more than a year and battery technology improvements could potentially result in more capacity by then, but I’d be surprised if Tesla addresses that today considering the potential impact it could have on its current sales.
Model Y Design
As you can see, we have been talking a lot about Model 3 even though this article is about Model Y and there will be no exception when it comes to the design.
Musk already said that it is “about 10% bigger than Model 3” and it will look “a lot like” the sedan.
Also, Tesla released several teaser images and they all point to Model Y looking like a higher and slightly elongated version of Model 3:
When first talking about making a crossover/small SUV version of Model 3 years ago, Musk mentioned plans for it to have Model X’s Falcon Wing doors, but he confirmed last week that those plans have been abandoned.
One Model X design feature that could still end up in Model Y is the panoramic windshield. The windshield seems to be going far back in some of the teaser images, but it’s still hard to tell.
Other than that, I would expect the design to be very similar to Model 3.
Tesla Model Y Production
This is where I think we could get the most interesting announcements tonight.
Tesla claims that the vehicle will enter volume production by the end of next year, but the automaker has yet to confirm a production location for the Model Y.
The best we got from Tesla so far is when they said that Model Y will ‘likely’ be produced at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, which is a strange thing not to be certain about…
Musk also said that Tesla is planning some highly automated production lines for the vehicle after having learned from their mistakes with Model 3.
He referred to Model Y production as ‘a manufacturing revolution’ in the making.
Therefore, I expect some details about Tesla’s production plans for Model Y to be announced today.
The pricing information for the Model Y should also be announced – though Musk already said that it should be about 10% more expensive than Model 3.
That said, like Model X, it could possibly only be offered in a AWD version, which could make the base price of Model Y significantly higher than Model 3.
We expect to have more details after the launch event.
Tesla Model Y Unveiling
The unveiling event is set starts at 8PM Pacific time at Tesla’s Design Center in Hawthorne. It will be live streamed on Tesla’s website.
It is expected to be quite a S3XY launch.