Elon Musk Just Unveiled Tesla’s New Model Y Compact SUV

Jeannie Matthews
March 16, 2019

While pricing for neither the Model 3 or Model Y have been set for Australia, one bright spark put together an interactive spreadsheet to allow Australian customers to estimate a price for the Model 3 sedan. Really, this was Musk's thinking.

On Thursday, a relaxed and jovial Musk gave an adoring crowd an "extended history lesson" on Tesla's decade-long trajectory. Musk stood before the usual throng of Tesla fans who squealed like junior high school cheerleaders at a pop concert. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

The exterior of the Tesla Model Y doesn't really have any surprises: That the electric auto would be based on the chassis of the Model 3 is well known.

It's an important launch, maybe Tesla's most important ever. It's noticeably bigger than the Model 3 and can seat seven people. And, Tesla notes on its configurator, "all cars have premium interior and sound". The cool rear doors, as seen on the Model X, were said to be very expensive to develop and hard to produce, and have reportedly been troublesome for consumers.

Given that its shape is dictated primarily by aerodynamics, it has a sloping roof like the Model X instead of a two-box design like most other crossover utility vehicles on the market. The Model Y Performance, with the Long Range and Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive variants to follow. If the Model Y does away with Tesla's trademark consumer-pleasing uniqueness without improving its efficiency with investor capital, the Model Y could signal the beginning of the end of an automaker that will make a fascinating case study for generations. not with a bang, but with a whimper.

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Adding in the dual-motor bumps the price to $51,000 and drops the range to 280 miles. It'll sticker for $52,200. Finally, there's the Model Y Performance ($60,000) that keeps the same 280-mile range, but will hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds. It'll sticker for $40,200 including destination and delivery charges.

Attendee take photographs of the Tesla Inc. Certainly, the well-documented problems that Tesla's hubris brought to the Model X (which ended up sharing just 30% of its parts with the Model S) won't be the issue here. We were shoulder-to-shoulder and crammed in there pretty good. The least expensive of these is the Standard Rear Wheel Drive variant which has a $39,000 price tag. This system has led Musk to claim that the Model-Y, despite its bulky build, will handle just like a sports vehicle. It was quick but it wasn't close to Ludicrous Mode.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I couldn't help but wonder how many early adopters of the Model 3 are going to go out and buy the Model Y as a replacement.

Each of Tesla's vehicles, from the Roadster to the latest Semi, were driven onstage before the blue Model Y appeared.

Musk was even more optimistic about Model Y sales.

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