Tonight at 8pm PDT (11pm EST), the Model Y will be unveiled to the world at a special event at Tesla’s Los Angeles Design Studio.
Elon Musk has been talking about the entry-level SUV for years and unrelenting rumors about ithave kept it in the news. So, here’s what we know about the new “baby” SUV.
Model 3 underpinnings
First and foremost, the Model Y will be based on the same platform as the Model 3 sedan. This wasn’t always going to be the case, as Musk previously said that it would utilize a bespoke platform. Evidently, common sense prevailed and Tesla decided to drastically cut down on development and production costs of the Model Y by using one of its existing platforms.
As part of Tesla’s move to base the Model Y on the Model 3, the two vehicles will apparently share some 75 per cent of their components. Consequently, the compact SUV is expected to be similar in width, length, and wheelbase to the Model 3, although it will obviously have an increased ride height.
In 2017, Musk indicated that the Model Y will require just 328 feet of wiring in its construction compared to the 5,000 feet of wiring used by the Model 3. Since, however, the two will share the same architecture, this remains to be seen.
Pricing according to size
When announcing the Model Y’s premiere date on Twitter, Musk took the time to suggest that the SUV will be about 10 per cent larger than the Model 3 and also cost around 10 per cent more.
If recent moves from Tesla have taught us anything, it’s that the car manufacturer likes to initially start construction of range-topping variants before making more affordable alternatives available – and we have no reason to believe they will change their practice with the Model Y. As a result, initial dual-motor versions should cost a touch over $50,000, although it’s still unknown what form the entry-level SUV will take, as it seems unlikely Tesla will sell the vehicle in single-motor, rear-wheel drive guise like the $35,000 Model 3.
Production in the States and China
Tesla currently builds the vast majority of its vehicles at its Fremont, California site. With the Model Y, production is expected to be initially handled by the company’s Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. Most units sold globally should be built here, but reports assert that Tesla will also build its baby electric SUV at a new Gigafactory in Shanghai, China for the local market.
While the Model Y’s official launch will take place in a few hours, production won’t get under way until next year. If current reports are accurate, the automaker is looking to start building it in August 2020. It is hoped that production will swell to 2,000 units a week by September 2020, and continue to grow from that point onwards.
Tesla is known to have missed production targets before, though, so there’s a chance things may change.
If the Model 3 and Model X had a child
Tesla has only released a handful of teaser images of its compact electric SUV, none of which offer us a great look at it. From what we can tell, much of the front fascia will resemble the Model 3, while the overall shape will echo that of the Model X, albeit on a smaller scale.