Love him or hate him, Elon Musk has certainly shaken up the automotive world when it comes to electric vehicles. Would the established car makers be as far down the path with their EV plans if it wasn't for Tesla? It's certainly up for debate. Now the Tesla range (no pun intended) has been bolstered further with this, the new Model Y.
A crossover-SUV-SAC creation, the Y shares 75 per cent of its parts with the Model 3 - hence the similarity in design. The key difference here, as you may have guessed, is the increase in interior space over the 3. Tesla says the Y "has the functionality of an SUV, but rides like a sports car"; that extends to having a third row of seats optionally available, the seven-seat Y available from 2021.
The rest of the interior is as you were for the other Teslas: note the lack of conventional instruments, and the main control screen that measures 15 inches across. The cabin is said to be "built around the driver", the combination of elevated seating and a low dash giving "a commanding view of the road ahead". All Model Ys will come with a panoramic glass roof, too.
As for performance, the Y will be initially launched next year with Long Range, Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive and Performance models. Long Range is said to deliver 300 miles of range, 60mph in 5.5 seconds and 130mph; the Dual-Motor AWD drops the 0-60 time to below five seconds and has 280 miles of range, while the Performance is claimed to complete the sprint in 3.5 seconds, as well as offering 150mph and 280 miles of range. A more prosaic Standard Range (120mph, 5.9 seconds, 230 miles) will join the other models in 2021.
As for charging, all Ys will be compatible with Tesla's third-gen, 250kW Superchargers, now capable of providing enough juice for 75 miles driving in five minutes. Older Superchargers are being updated with the technology, too.
Elon Musk tweeted from the launch event: "Model Y, being an SUV, is about 10% bigger than Model 3, so will cost about 10% more and have slightly less range for same battery." Therefore prices will kick off at $39,000 in the US for the Standard Range (when it's available), or $47,000 for the Long Range. Another $4k gets the Dual Motor Y, with the Performance topping the range at $60k. As is often the way with Teslas, it'll be little while before we get the Y in the UK, but who would bet against there being a glut of orders as soon as they are?