The Tesla Model Y Will Make its Debut Much Sooner Than Expected
Sometimes an ambitious man has to listen to those around him...by Robert Moore, on
Now that the Tesla Model 3 is officially rolling off of the line and the first 30 owners have taken delivery, it’s time to turn our attention to something else – the Tesla Model Y. It’s not only the model that will complete the S3XY lineup that Elon Musk has boasted about for so long, but also promises to be an affordable all-electric crossover for those who can’t necessarily afford the larger Model X. Up until now, the plan was for the Model Y to be built on an entirely new platform that would make it different from every other vehicle in Tesla’s lineup and it would also ditch the 12-volt battery architecture in an attempt to simplify the production process (no 12-volt system means less wiring to install by hand.) But, as it usually goes with the automotive industry, things can change overnight, and during Musk’s August 2nd earnings call, he admitted that he was being overly ambitious and would, indeed, bring the Model Y to market faster by using the same architecture as that of the Model 3.
Obviously, by deciding to use the same underpinnings as the Model 3, Tesla will cut back on its research and development costs and time spent considerably. And, that smaller crossover that was originally slated for production in late 2019 or early 2020 could, potentially, go into production by mid-to-late 2018 if things go well. It’s still quite possible that the Model Y will ditch that 12-volt system, which would make it the first Tesla model to do so, and rumor even has it that it might get those falcon-wing doors from the Model X. In the first half of 2017, Tesla managed to ship 47,000 vehicles, which isn’t bad but is still a far cry from meeting Musk’s goal of delivering 1 million cars by 2020. As such, the Model Y – and the Model 3, for that matter – are absolutely paramount to hitting that goal. If the Model Y can make it into production faster by borrowing DNA from the new Model 3, it will give Tesla a much better position to meet that extremely ambitious goal.
Keep reading to learn more.
Sometimes, You Have to Listen
A project that was going to take the next few years could be completed in as little as a year, with initial prototypes making their debut by the start of 2018
It takes a strong and confident man to set the kind of ambitious goals that Elon Musk sets for his empire of companies. But, it takes an even bigger man to admit when he’s wrong: "I think in a prior call, we publicly had said that Model Y, or our compact SUV... would be a totally new architecture," Musk said. "Upon the counsel of my executive team... who reeled me back from the cliffs of insanity – much appreciated – the Model Y will, in fact, be using a substantial carryover from Model 3 in order to bring its market faster. I’d like to thank my executive team for stopping me from being a fool."
In other words, despite his ambitious goal of reinventing the manufacturing process, an all-new platform at this point in time – for a company with extremely thin margins – could, in fact, be so costly that it becomes disastrous to the company. So, with a new plan of attack in mind, and a platform that’s ready to go, Tesla has cut its work in half when it comes to research and development. Sure, there’s still a lot of work to do, but a project that was going to take the next few years could be completed in as little as a year, with initial prototypes making their debut by the start of 2018. But, what do we know about the Model Y so far?
Pipe Dreams Become Reality
|Our rendering of the 2019 Tesla Model Y|
Truth be told, here at TopSpeed, we’re anxiously awaiting Tesla’s fourth model (technically fifth, if you count the Roadster,) so we’ve already gone so far as to make a rendering of what the Model Y might look like. Of course, we didn’t have much to go on aside from some of Elon Musk’s tweets, a single teaser image, and our imagination, but our rendering does hold a bit of water when you compare it to Tesla’s current design philosophy. And, of course, the teaser shows off a vehicle with the proper crossover silhouette and some pretty beefy front fenders too:
|Teaser of 2019 Tesla Model Y|
We expect the interior to mirror that of the Model 3, just with a little more headroom and a slightly bigger rear passenger area that will also contribute to more cargo room. The interior should be dramatically toned down compared to the larger Model X, so it should be quite basic inside. Expect a large tablet display to reside in front of the dash. It will display all pertinent information as the Model Y should lack the traditional instrument cluster and HUD.
Our rendering featured basic rear doors, but rumors are now speculating that it could end up with those falcon doors anyway, which would be a nice edition or a much cheaper alternative to the Model X.
Drivetrain options will likely mirror that of the Model 3. The base model should get a smaller battery that’s good for a range of around 220 miles, with power sent directly to the rear wheels. Model 3 performance in this configuration is pegged at 5.6 seconds to 60 mph and a top speed of 130 mph.
Whether or not the Model 3 will get AWD in the future remains to be seen, but since the Model Y will be a cross over, you can bet that AWD will be in the cards
The long-range model obviously has a bigger battery and is good for 310 miles. It’s also rear-wheel drive but can hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 140 mph. Whether or not the Model 3 will get AWD in the future remains to be seen, but since the Model Y will be a cross over, you can bet that AWD will be in the cards. We may not get it at the initial launch, but after production has ramped up, there’s no doubt that we’ll see the option for AWD in at least the higher-end models if not the entry-level model as well.
As a model that will compete with the future Mercedes EQ all-electric crossover and the upcoming BMW i5, you can bet the Model Y will carry a similar price tag, too, so expect the entry-level model to come in around $37,000 or so, with the long-range model starting out closer to the $45,000 range. And, it’s a Tesla, so it will be a tough competitor to beat, especially if it establishes market dominance first.
So, will the Model Y be the next best thing even though it will roll on the same underpinnings as the Model 3? Will it get those Falcon doors in the rear? Was Musk smart for double thinking his decision to build the Model Y on a new architecture? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model Y.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3.
Source: The Verge