Tesla Model Y Compact SUV Announced: Features, Specs, Price, Release Date

Tesla Model Y Compact SUV Announced: Features, Specs, Price, Release Date

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a cheaper electric crossover, the Model Y, in a bid to regain momentum after a rough start to the year.

It's fair to say the automaker is up against an entirely different set of hurdles than it was on March 31, 2016.

"It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports auto", CEO Elon Musk introduced at the 40-minute event at Tesla's design studio, saying it "will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far". And with Tesla being Tesla, an all-wheel drive dual-motor version will be available for $51,000 while a performance version will be available for $60,000.

Some Wall Street analysts had raised concerns that demand for the higher-priced Model 3 was slowing down in the US, especially after a reduction in the federal tax credit this year.

The Model Y will feature the same headline technology available across the rest of the Tesla range.

Some have lamented that due to the fact the Model Y shares 3/4 of its architecture with the Model 3, it may not have the roominess most come to expect in an SUV.

Earlier this month it revealed its $US35,000 Model 3 and also announced its intention to close the majority of its stores to remain financially stable.

In running the opposite direction from Model X's Fabergé Egg uniqueness and ambition, the Model Y has for the first time put Tesla in the position of facing criticism of a poorly-differentiated design. That costs US$39,000, but won't be available until spring 2021.

Tesla Reveals Model Y ‘Baby SUV’ Tonight: How To Watch Live

Inside, the Model Y shares the Model 3's simplistic interior with a horizontal shelf-like dashboard and 15-inch touchscreen that houses almost all vehicle controls.

As to the technical data and prices of the Model Y; According to Tesla, the basic version "Standard Range" will cost 39,000 U.S. dollars (net price).

The newest offering from Tesla has seating for seven, a panoramic glass roof, and standard battery with 230 miles of range.

Another shot of the Model Y can be seen below.

The event at Tesla's Design Studio was very quick, with most of Musk's stage time centering around a retrospective of the company's accomplishments since 2008. But Ford had a trademark - or something - on the letter E, Musk said, so his team convinced him that a 3 looks enough like a backwards E that everyone would get the joke. In the USA, Tesla requires a deposit of $2.500 and lists all variants except the basic model "Standard Range".

It's important to Tesla's future that it eventually delivers the Y at volume. It is a radical new vehicle which can sprint from 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds and has 620-miles of range on a single charge.

One of the headline figures for the Model Y is its 0.23 Cd. "This timing likely implies the company is postponing the costly Model Y ramp in 2019 to conserve cash", Munster wrote in a note.

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