Tesla Model Y

Style

The version of the Tesla Model Y revealed in March 2019 was a pre-production model. So the design and its features are subject to change leading up to production in fall 2020.

Based on what we understand today, the Model Y will have the look and feel of the Model X full-size SUV—but downsized to a compact crossover. Notably, the Y will not offer the dramatic (but finicky) falcon doors used in the Model X.

You can expect the Y to have about the same footprint as the Model 3, which measures 185 inches in length and 76 inches in width, with a wheelbase of 113 inches. That makes the Model Y one inch longer than the Jaguar I-Pace but nine inches shorter than the Audi e-tron. Gas-powered competitors will be the category that includes the Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Audi Q5.

For styling purposes, use the Tesla Model 3 compact for reference. The Model Y will add a few inches of height and ground clearance—got a taller seating position and roomier rear cargo area. The two vehicles share the same front-end styling and minimalistic interior – with nearly every control managed from a 15-inch touchscreen system and steering-wheel thumbwheels.

Performance

As typical of any Tesla vehicle, the Model Y’s acceleration will be exhilarating. The zero-to-60 numbers range from a mere 3.5 seconds in the dual-motor Performance vehicle to a slightly more modest 5.5 seconds in the single-motor, long-range variant.

The slowest version of the Model Y is the Standard model, which will go into production in spring 2021. It promises sprints to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds. That’s no slouch, especially for a crossover SUV with seating for up to seven.

Elon Musk promised that the Model Y—with its instant torque and low center of gravity—will be a great handling vehicle.

By the time the Y arrives, Tesla is expected to offer further enhancements to its AutoPilot technology, already a leader in the space. The basic AutoPilot option is $3,000, and the so-called full self-driving package is available as a $5,000 add-on.

Tesla Model Y

Efficiency/Range

The Model Y’s battery-pack options will match those available in the Model 3—approximately 50 and 75 kilowatt-hours. In terms of range, it equates to 300 miles in the single-motor, long-range version at sells for just below $50,000.

Range is slightly diminished to 280 miles in the dual-motor configuration, even for the lightning-fast Performance model.

These are not official E.P.A. numbers so we suspect that range and efficiency numbers will shift before the Model Y comes to market.

Charging

Tesla hasn’t said much about how Model Y charging will be distinguished for other cars in the lineup. The timing of the Y’s release in 2020 means that it will almost certainly support the latest-greatest V3 version of Tesla’s Superchargers. The new version ups the charging rate to 250 kilowatts, which should cut charging times down for a highway pit stop to about 15 to 20 minutes.

Regardless, even with existing 500 or so Superchargers in the Tesla network, a full charge from nearly empty to 80 percent of capacity, happens in about 40 minutes. With those speeds and the size of the network, road trips are feasible.

Of course, most EV drivers charge at home. For Model Y owners with a $750 Tesla wall charger and 50-amperage capability at home, the car’s 16.5-kW onboard charger will add about 50 miles of range for every hour that it’s plugged in. That beats the 25 miles or so that most EV drivers experience from a standard charger (and about 40 amps of service).

The longer-range versions of the Model Y will take longer to charge. But at 280 to 300 miles, you’ll have plenty of reserves—giving the owners the option to charge when it’s most convenient without interrupting daily use.

Passenger/Cargo Room

Tesla says that the Model Y is 10 percent bigger than the Model 3. That will help you visualize the passenger and cargo space for the crossover Tesla. As with competing small crossovers, the in-between segment is more like a sedan-plus—a beefier car that sits slightly higher, provides a little more room, and (with the panoramic glass roof) gives an impression of space.

The company says that the Y provides the option for a third-row, but it’s hard to imagine how that would be comfortable for adult passengers.

Tesla Model Y

Price

It only took a week after the Model Y’s unveiling for Tesla to add another $1,000 to its price. The target prices could move again—although your specific price is locked in when you place a deposit.

As of this writing, three variations of Model Y will become available in fall 2020:

  • $48,000 - single-motor version offering about 300 miles of range and a 0-to-60 time of 5.5 seconds
  • $52,000 - dual-motor model with 280 miles of range and acceleration to 60 in 4.8 seconds
  • $61,000 – dual-motor Performance model reducing 0-60 speed to 3.5 seconds. The range is also reportedly 280 miles

A Standard version of the Model Y, providing an estimated 230 miles of range, is expected in spring 2021. It will be the most affordable version, offered with a base price of about $40,000.

We recommend visiting Tesla’s website to explore the latest prices and what features are included. For other Tesla models, premium upgrades for $5,000 add heated power front seats, leatherette upholstery, a panoramic glass roof, and a premium audio system. Black exterior paint comes standard, but other colors increase the price by at least $1,500. Selecting the Autopilot package adds between $3,000 and $5,000.

By the time you drive, off you can expect the price to be $10,000 or more above the base price.

It’s also important to note that Tesla reached its limit for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. So, for the first half of 2019, the tax incentive for a Tesla buyer is $3,750. After June 30, the tax credit for Teslas is cut in half again to $1,875 before it completely disappears starting Jan. 1, 2020. As a result, Model Y buyers are unlikely to benefit from any federal incentives.

Tesla Model Y specifications

Availability: 2020
Base MSRP: $48000
Est. tax credit: Not available
Technology: Electric Vehicle
Body type: SUV
Seats: 7
EPA Range: 300 miles pure electric
Battery size: 75 kWh
Charging rate: 16.5 kW

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