Tesla boss Elon Musk has revealed that the Tesla Model Y SUV will be launched in 2020 – a change to original plans for the model to join the US firm’s range in 2019.
The Tesla Model Y will be the next pillar in the company’s assault on traditional carmakers, following the launch of the electric Tesla Model 3 – a BMW 3 Series rival. Tesla is currently getting Model 3 saloons to eager customers before the Model Y arrives, with other projects like the forthcoming Tesla Roadster, Tesla Semi HGV, minibus and a pickup truck still in the pipeline as the company expands its range.
While Tesla previously stated the Model Y would sit on an all-new platform, the lure of sharing complex mechanical components has clearly become more attractive and founder Elon Musk has now confirmed the Model Y will share its backbone with the Model 3.
Our exclusive image – along with the most recent teaser shot above – show how the Model Y should look: these follow an earlier teaser shot that revealed a sleek, sculpted car, completely lacking wing mirrors. Being an SUV means four-wheel drive is likely, although those after a truly capable electric vehicle may be better off waiting for the forthcoming Tesla pickup, which is also understood to be in development.
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Safety regulations may force Tesla to adopt physical mirrors rather than cameras for the production Model Y. Once it’s here, the Model Y should provide potential BMW X3 and Audi Q5 buyers with a fresh, battery-driven option.
We expect the Model Y will continue the design ethos of the Model S – Tesla’s first mainstream offering – meaning it’ll sport a blanked-off front end, as no radiator or associated grille is necessary due to the lack of an air-hungry engine. Expect the company’s impressive suite of Autopilot autonomous systems to feature, too.
Details elsewhere are scant, but we understand the Model Y will ditch the complex and expensive ‘Falcon’ doors fitted to the £80,000 Model X SUV and should be closer in price and size to the Model 3 saloon. Sharing underpinnings with that car means the Model Y is likely to have a similar range, which is officially pegged at 220 miles, or 320 miles with the long-range battery pack – although battery technology may have moved on by the time the Model Y launches, bringing with it commensurate increase in range.