Tesla is planning to add a more affordable electric car to its lineup in the near future, starting with a crossover SUV called the Model Y. This will sit below the full-size Model X SUV being more comparable in size to the upcoming Model 3.
The new car was teased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter and, combined with established Tesla models, the four will spell out ‘S3XY’. Our exclusive render shows what the Model Y could look like.
New Tesla Model Y – styling
The Model Y’s exterior design will draw inspiration from the chunkier, larger and more expensive Model X, but will do away with its unusual upward-hinged gullwing doors instead opting for the more practical regular variety.
It’ll feature the same skinny Tesla grille, pointy headlights, sharp lines and a similar sloping roofline to the Model X, but will feature smaller dimensions. Like the Model X, it will be designed for on-road use with no real off-road capabilities to speak of.
New Tesla Model Y – interior
Like the styling, the Model Y’s interior will be similar to other Teslas, including the huge touchscreen infotainment system that dominates the centre console. The rest of the cabin will be elegant and uncluttered, with lots of tech. With a cheaper price tag, however, interior material quality may not match the standards of other Tesla cars.
Compared to the Model X, the interior will be a little smaller, with not quite so much legroom and headroom. Boot space may also be smaller but, overall, the Model Y still looks generously sized in the competitive compact crossover/SUV class.
New Tesla Model Y – driving and engines
The Model Y will be based on the Model 3 saloon and is likely to use the same electric drivetrains and technology as other Teslas, providing strong acceleration. As technology improves, so will the range meaning the Model Y will eke out more miles compared to current models – maybe up to 250 miles. It’ll probably use 60, 75 or even 100kWh lithium-ion batteries found in the Model X.
Two and four-wheel drive could both be offered with the compact SUV. Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous driving system will also be offered on the Model Y, but it’s not known to what degree it’ll be activated given current legal wrangling over the technology.
New Tesla Model Y price and release date
Considering the Model Y will be based on the Model 3 saloon, the Model Y could be with us sooner than many might think. As Tesla’s next major project, it’ll probably be revealed in 2017 and could be released as early as 2018 shortly after the Model 3.
Tesla will probably price the Model Y at around £40,000, just more than the Model 3 but well below the larger Model X and the Model S. This’ll make it much more competitive in price to non-electric SUVs and crossovers on the market.
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