Seven-seat Tesla Model Y revealed with 300-mile range

Tesla has officially revealed its Model Y compact SUV, which is set to arrive in 2020.

The company’s fourth mainstream model was unveiled at its Los Angeles design centre by CEO Elon Musk, who confirmed the crossover EV would be capable of around 300 miles of range in its highest specification.

The Model Y takes design cues from both the Model 3 saloon and Model X SUV, with a glass panoramic roof and optional seven seat layout. It does not retain the gullwing doors found on the more expensive Model X, instead using pillarless doors like the Model 3 and Model S.

The crossover is around 10% larger than the Model 3, with which it shares a platform. Musk said the Model Y had “the functionality of an SUV, but rides like a sports car,” with a low centre of gravity and 0.23 drag coefficient.

The first versions to arrive will be the Long Range, Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive and Performance models, due in the autumn of 2020.

The Long Range model will get 300 miles of range, a 130mph top speed and 5.5 seconds 0-60mph time, and will start at $47,000 (around £35,500). The Dual Motor model will start from $51,000 (£38,500) and have a slightly lower 280 miles of range, but a higher 135mph top speed and 4.8 second 0-60mph time.

The Dual Motor Performance model also gets 280 miles of range, but increases top speed to 150 and drops the 0-60mph sprint time to 3.5 seconds. It will go on sale for $60,000 around (£45,000).

A Standard Range version will follow later in Spring 2021 for $39,000 (roughly £26,000) with 230 miles of range, a 120mph top speed and 5.9 second 0-60mph time.

The Model Y is compatible with Tesla’s third-generation Superchargers, which are capable of 250kW charging. Cars will be able to recover 75 miles of range in five minutes, and charge at rates of up to 1000 miles per hour. Tesla now has more than 12,000 Superchargers globally across 36 countries.

Inside, the Model Y has a similar interior layout to the Model 3, with a single 15in touchscreen interface containing all of the car’s controls. It will also include the same self-driving hardware, which can be unlocked for a fee and upgraded over-the-air as new features get approval from regulatory bodies.

Tesla has yet to confirm where the Model Y will be produced, with reports suggesting it could be built at the company’s Gigafactory facility in Reno, Nevada. Model 3 production is understood to remain at the company’s Fremont California manufacturing plant. Chinese cars are expected to be built in Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which is still under construction and projected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The Model Y will likely prove pivotal to Tesla, as the worldwide demand for SUVs is significantly higher than it is for saloons. Musk predicted Tesla would sell more Model Ys than Model S, X and 3 combined.

The company also faces new challenges from European car makers including Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, which are gearing up to launch their own premium SUVs. Similarly-priced rivals like the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric offer less range.

The announcement of the Model Y arrived soon after Tesla’s entry-level Standard Model 3 went on sale in the US at $35,000 (£26,000), and the first left-hand drive versions of the more expensive Model 3 Performance arrived in Europe.

The company will be hoping to avoid the manufacturing issues that plagued the Model 3, which bottlenecked production for months following the car’s North American launch. Tesla has since recovered from these early setbacks and is on course to achieve its 10,000 Model 3 cars per week factory target. It is now the world’s top-selling electric car, having sold more than 120,000 examples in the last year. Tesla aims to produce 2000 Model Y cars per week by September 2020.

With the Model Y now revealed, Tesla’s remaining projects include a Semi lorry, pick-up truck and a new Roadster, which is due to arrive on roads in 2020.

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