What's the news?
The Tesla Model Y makes its debut and introduces the company's fourth model which is a compact SUV to sit below the larger Model X. That's a hugely popular segment of the global car market right now and having an all-electric offering there could be very lucrative for Tesla if it can get the car on sale in a time-efficient manner.
Its looks are a blend of Model 3 and Model X, though it sticks with conventional doors and a hatchback rear tailgate. There are flush door handles and a choice of wheels ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches. Tesla will also offer an expansive glass roof with built-in UV protection.
On the inside, the minimalist design from the Model 3 carries over, and the Model Y will feature a centrally mounted 15-inch touchscreen display. The new model gets five seats as standard, but Tesla will offer a third row to increase capacity to seven. However, judging by the design of the car's roofline, we suspect these extra seats won't provide a great deal of passenger space.
Initially, Tesla has said that it will offer a 'Long Range' version, in early 2021, with a claimed driving range of 540 kilometres (according to WLTP estimates), rear-wheel drive and decent acceleration from 0-100m/h in 5.8 seconds. This same battery pack will also be available to order with a Dual Motor all-wheel drive setup. That sees range drop a little to an estimated 505 kilometres while acceleration increases to 5.1 seconds when sprinting to 100km/h.
For those that want the fastest version, there will be a 'Performance' model that retains the Dual Motor all-wheel drive setup, adding 20-inch wheels and a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds. Its top speed will be 241 km/h, but that does impact on range, which Tesla estimates to drop to 480 kilometres.
There is no confirmed pricing of delivery date for RHD models in Ireland, but in mainland Europe, the Model Y will start at €56,000 for the Long Range rear-wheel drive, with prices rising to €60,000 for the Long Range Dual Motor all-wheel drive version and the range-topping Performance model will cost from €69,000.
Following the release of these versions, Tesla plans to introduce a 'Standard Range' model that will have a reduced range of 390 kilometres, with rear-wheel drive and a 0-100km/h time of 6.3 seconds.
All Model Y cars will be compatible with the Tesla Supercharger network, but owners will have to pay per use. Like the European spec Model 3, it is likely that the Model Y will come with CCS Combo 2 connectors to allow for rapid charging at public charge points.
If you haven't already noticed, the naming system of Tesla's model range now spells out the word 'S3XY' - who said Elon Musk didn't have a killer sense of humour.