Tesla unveils Model Y crossover with late 2020 release slated

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Tesla Motors, and its mercurial CEO Elon Musk unveiled the latest in their lineup of electric vehicles (EVs) – the Model Y.

This new crossover, as the company is terming it, now completes one of Musk’s more weirder ambitions. Namely being able to write the word sexy with the different model monikers of Tesla EV.

More importantly, however, the Model Y presumably opens up a new segment of potential consumer for the carmaker, sitting between the Model 3 sedan and Model X SUV offerings.

Whether it does indeed achieve that goal remains to be seen, with the Model Y expected to retail for a recommended $39 000 depending on the specification and slated to hit roads in late 2020 (Fall/Autumn Stateside).

If you’re thinking the Model Y just looks like a slightly bigger version of the Model 3, you’re spot on, as the former uses many of the same parts as Tesla’s flagship EV. It also has the same interior as the Model 3, along with the same door handles and 15″ dashboard mounted touchscreen among other things.

The Model Y will also come in three different engine options – standard, long range and dual motor. The standard engine yields an approximate driving range of 370 kilometres from a fully charged battery, with the long range said to be 482 kilometres.

Like its electric predecessors, the Model Y is not slow either, with Tesla claiming a 0-60mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 241km/h. What effect driving at higher speeds has on the driving range though, is unclear.

As far as how Tesla sees the Model Y performing, Musk did not hold back with his expectations, stating during his presentation yesterday that the EV will ship more than the Model S and Model X combined. By TechCrunch‘s calculations, that would put in the 400 000 to 500 000 range, but Musk did not note when it aims to achieve that milestone.

With several manufacturing kinks resulting in Tesla failing to hit its early Model 3 shipping estimates, it should be interesting to see if the company has ironed things out for the Model Y.

As with all other Tesla EVs, it still remains to be seen when the Model Y will be coming to South Africa.

You can watch the full 35 minute presentation, should you have the time and data, here.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.