The model that will complete the S3XY line up

Tesla hasn’t even put the model 3 into production quite yet, and it’s already working to generate hype around the Model Y – the car that will complete the S3XY lineup. So far there have been very few details revolving around the mysterious model, but recently more has come to light, including the teaser image that was just released at Tesla’s 2017 annual shareholder meeting. Originally slated to be underpinned by the same platform used for the upcoming Model 3, it is now being said that the Model Y will get its own brand-new platform that should be ready for production by the end of the decade. Much like the Model 3 is to the Model S, the Model Y should be a smaller and more basic alternative the Model X, offering up Tesla’s famed AutoPilot, but without all of the other niceties found in the brand’s more expensive models.

So, the plan is for the Model Y to go on sale for the 2019 model year, but as the story usually goes over at Tesla, 2019 will likely be the pre-order period with deliveries taking place by 2020 at the earliest. The Model Y would tackle models like the BMW i3 and Mercedes B-Class, among others. We should hear more about the Model Y when the Tesla Semi-Truck debuts in September. So, with that said, let’s take a better look at the rendering we created and speculate a little on what we can expect from the Model Y.

Updated 3/15/2019: The 2020 Tesla Model Y has officially debuted. We’re busy updating this review now, but until we’re done, we’ve added a special section below with fresh images and the first available specifications.

2020 Tesla Model Y Images and Specifications

2020 Tesla Model Y
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2020 Tesla Model Y
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Standard Range Long Range Dual Motor AWD Performance
Range 230 Miles 300 Miles 280 Miles 280 Miles
Top Speed 120 MPH 130 MPH 140 MPH 150 MPH
0-60 MPH 5.9 Sec 5.5 Sec 4.8 Sec 3.5 Sec
Price $39,000 $47,000 $51,000 $60,000
Initial Customer Deliver Spring 2021 Fall 2020 Fall 2020 Fall 2020

To learn more about the 2020 Model Y in the meantime, you can check out our live debut article for coverage as it happened!


2020 Tesla Model Y Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior Exclusive Renderings
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Naturally, we’ve taken all of the details above and created a rendering of the Model Y. Not surprisingly, the end result is a smaller Model X, but that’s not to say it’s a shrunken version of the current crossover. You can notice the revised front end, which is also shorter, a shorter rear overhang, and a new roofline with a more prominent arch that will result in impressive headroom. More importantly, our artist ditched the "Falcon" doors, which proved too complicated and costly for the Model X. Even Elon Musk admitted that the Model X was over-engineered, mostly because of the doors, so it’s safe to assume that Tesla will take the conventional route for this crossover, which is supposed to be significantly more affordable and much simpler.


2020 Tesla Model Y High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Tesla Model Y teaser Tesla Model X
It does sit nice and tall as an SUV or crossover should, and that front windshield looks to have about the same grade as that of the Model X.

As is the usual case with teaser photos, there’s really not a lot to go by, but as you can see it does sit nice and tall as an SUV or crossover should, and that front windshield looks to have about the same grade as that of the Model X. The hood is relatively smooth but offers a pair of muscular lines that really complement what could only be described as beefy or muscular front wheel arches. This indicates that the Model Y could have a wider presence, or at least appear wider, as there’s definitely some girth below the waistline.

Being built on a new platform pretty much opens the door for options as far as design goes, so it’s quite likely that we’ll get to see a new fascia design and new exterior lighting styles. Word has it that it will have the same Falcon doors like those found in the Model X and, if this teaser is any indication, Musk is hoping that side view cameras will be approved by the time this thing goes into production. That’s right; this thing is void of any side view mirrors. It’s already happening in some markets, so it’s not exactly out of the question when this thing makes its debut in the next couple of years.


2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Interior
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Interior From Model 3 shown here
In the past, we speculated that the Model Y would be based on the Model X as far as interior design goes, but this is a compact model and will likely be on the more affordable side like the Model 3.

At this point, the interior is a mystery. In the past, we speculated that the Model Y would be based on the Model X as far as interior design goes, but this is a compact model and will likely be on the more affordable side like the Model 3. As such, it will likely lack the bells and whistles found in cars like the Model S and Model X. The interior will likely be quite bare as we’ve seen in Model 3 spy shots and prototypes, with the main, tablet-like display, being used as not only the control center for everything but the instrument cluster as well. This also means the Model Y will also have a lackluster interior, to an extent with lots of flat spaces and plastic trim. Of course, if it has a 250-mile range, and is within the realm of being an “affordable” vehicle, that’s a pretty fair tradeoff. Obviously, the interior will get the same two-tone design to add a bit of flavor to the interior, but chances are you probably won’t be able to make any customizations (the Model 3 can only be configured by exterior color and wheel choice at of the time of this writing)

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Interior
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Interior From Model 3 shown here

Expect the front seats to be similar to those in the Model 3 while the rear seats should offer room for three and should lay flat to offer more storage room. We’re talking about a compact vehicle, however, so don’t expect there to be a ton of space. Standard features will likely include a Wi-Fi hotspot, AutoPilot, and powered windows and seats. If the DOT happens to approve side view cameras as opposed to side view mirrors, a small display screen could be integrated into the corners of the dash. For now, however, this is all speculation, so take it with a grain of salt and a shot of whiskey.


2017 Tesla Model S
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Drivetrain From Model 3 shown here.

Musk claims that he’s looking to get rid of the 12-volt architecture, so that means no lead-acid battery powering the onboard electronics as found in the Model S and Model X.

Naturally, the Model Y will be motivated by electric current, but it’ll be different from the other models in the lineup. Musk claims that he’s looking to get rid of the 12-volt architecture, so that means no lead-acid battery powering the onboard electronics as found in the Model S and Model X. This will help reduce the amount of wiring significantly and simplify the production process – ultimately meaning a lighter car and shorter wait times for delivery (with any luck.) Word has it that Gigafactory 1 will be tasked with producing the batteries for the Model Y, but it’s still a long way from production so a lot can change between now and then.

As far as performance is concerned, it’s quite likely that the base model will come standard with rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive will be an option. As far as the battery itself goes, Tesla has slowly phased out its smaller batteries, leaving its current lineup available with a 75 kWh, 90 kWh, or 100 kWh battery pack. This is slated to be a more affordable model, so the 75 kWh battery pack seems to be what the doctor will order when the time comes, but given the fact that the Model Y will feature an all-new platform, that’s really up in the air as well. We expect it to have roughly the same range as the Model 3 in its standard form at 215 miles, but after launch, larger batteries offering more range could be made available if it doesn’t make it too expensive to be competitive. Expect a 0-to-60 mph time around six seconds or so, while top speed will be somewhere around 130 mph.


2020 Tesla Model Y High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for this model is a really big deal, as it should fall into the affordable category just like the Model 3. With the Model 3 priced at $35,000, and this being an SUV, expect it to start out around $40,000 or so. With the option of larger battery packs in the future or possible technology options, pricing could even go as high as $55,000 for a fully-specced model with more than 215 miles worth of range.


At this point in time, the Model Y doesn’t really have any competitors, but there are a number of concepts that will turn into production models by that time that promise to bring strong competition. So, let’s look at a few concepts that will come to fruition about the same time.

Mercedes EQ

A Preliminary Tale Of The Tape Between The Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept And The Tesla Model X
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2020 Mercedes-Benz All-Electric SUV Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Mercedes EQ Concept Our Rendering of EQ Production Model

It didn’t take us more than a couple of weeks to put together a rendering of what the first production version of the EQ will look like. It didn’t help that the EQ concept wasn’t very production-friendly, but it did give us a good general idea. Ideally, it’ll sit in the compact segment, and according to Mercedes, it should offer around 310 miles of range from a battery that’s “larger than 70 kWh.” It will offer AWD as standard equipment from two electric motors that will produce as much as 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. These are maximum values, however, so expect the entry-level model to come with less power and maybe even less range, which would put it right in line with the Model Y when it initially launches as well. 60 mph should come in as quick as 5.6 seconds or so, and pricing should be right around $40,000.

Find out more about the Mercedes EQ here.

BMW i5

BMW i3 And i8 CrossFade Concepts Get Trippy Body Paints High Resolution Exterior
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BMW i3 And i8 CrossFade Concepts Get Trippy Body Paints High Resolution Exterior
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The car you see above is the BMW i3 Crossfade Concept, but you can expect the i5 to look quite a bit lie the i3, but a little larger. It’s got the same traditional BMW i-styling that we’re used to. Rumor has it that the car will hit the market by 2021 as BMW’s first all-electric SUV. Some self-driving capabilities will come at launch, but by 2025 the model should be fully autonomous. There’s no word on range or power output, but 250 miles per charge and 350 horsepower from a pair of motors that provide AWD functionality certainly aren’t out of the question. Pricing will likely be a bit higher that we expect the Model Y to be at $50,000-ish, but it should still be a prime competitor.

Read our speculative review on the BMW i5 here.

Volkswagen ID

2016 Volkswagen I.D. Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Volkswagen I.D. Concept High Resolution Exterior
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While it looks pretty wild and far from production friendly, VW swears that a production version will be on the market by 2020. It won’t sit quite as high as the Model Y, but it should offer similar space inside and technology that’s on point with all of the other models that we’ve discussed here today. The concept you see above offered up a mundane power output of 167 horsepower, which puts this thing as the low man on the pole, but that is enough to offer a range of 248 to 372 miles depending on configuration. A production model could offer more power and will likely use a battery that ranges from 70 kWh to 90 kWh. Pricing is up in the air as well, but knowing VW, it’ll probably come closer to $50,000 than $40,000.

Learn more about the Volkswagen ID here.


2020 Tesla Model Y High Resolution Exterior
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The next five years are going to be major for the electric car market, and by the time the Model Y finally sees the light of day, there’s going to be a number of competitors ready to oppose the newest model with a Tesla badge. But, that’s also where things get a little dicey, as Manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW, and even VW have enough money and larger enough operations that they can afford to fill their cars to the brim with all of the amenities you expect from a luxury brand while staying in the $40,000 to $50,000 price range. That’s something that Tesla can’t do at this point, as it already operates at a loss, and there’s proof in the simplistic nature of the Model 3. On top of that, the mainstream automakers have the ability to pump these things out like hot cakes once everything is in place, and you can bet there won’t be any outrageously long waiting periods like those commonly associated with Tesla.

So, with that in mind, Tesla is going to be fighting an uphill battle and could find itself in trouble once mainstream automakers are all up in the kiddie pool that is the electric car market. And that raises a big question about the future: If Tesla isn’t the only option for an affordable, electric vehicle with decent range, will customers still gravitate to it and offer up their money long before they ever take possession of the car, or will they just drive to the nearest BMW, Mercedes, or Volkswagen dealer and come home with a new ride? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Won’t be as well equipped as the competition
    • Not sure it will actually happen by 2020
    • Price could be a big factor

Update History

Updated 07/03/2017: Based on the recent details we got from Elon Muck we decided to create a rendering for the upcoming Tesla Model Y. Let us know what do you think about it in the comments section below.

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