Tesla officially unveils the Model Y

Daniel Fowler
March 15, 2019

The Tesla Model Y was revealed on Thursday night, marking the company's next step toward becoming a full-line automaker with its first entry in the popular small utility vehicle segment.

The company broke ground on the Shanghai factory in January and its CEO Elon Musk has said the firm aims to finish initial construction this summer and start production of the Model 3 towards the end of the year.

Each of Tesla's vehicles, from the Roadster to the latest Semi, were driven onstage before the blue Model Y appeared. It gains large headlamps and short front overhangs while design elements to the rear are similar to that seen on the Model X with tail lamp units similar to those seen on the Model 3.

Musk at the event tonight, admiring the new Model Y.

A lot is known about the Model Y thanks to the loose lips of CEO Elon Musk talking about it over the past three years.

Musk revealed very few details about the upcoming auto, but a few key figures stuck out: the 300-mile, long-range version of the vehicle will go into production in Fall 2020 with an MSRP of $47,000.

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The Tesla Model Y is here, and it is everything that we wanted it to be, plus a little bit more.

Musk has promised an easier production ramp of the Model Y, since it shares about three-quarters of its parts with the Model 3 and would need only half the capital expenditures of the sedan.

In preview photos the Y had no side mirrors.

The vehicle is created to use a lot of the same parts as the Model 3 (Musk put the number at 75 percent in an earnings call earlier this year) so ramping up production shouldn't be as hard.

The big battery pack on the floor offers a lower center of gravity while functionality is like that of an SUV with performance of a sports auto. The Tesla Model Y is an SUV that seats seven passengers comfortably. But he didn't get into those logistics at the unveiling. Two weeks later it made a decision to keep more stores open than anticipated (and bump up prices), as well as announce the new V3 Supercharger. The increased commonality should make the Model Y easier to integrate into current assembly processes and make it somewhat less expensive to produce. Judging on US SUV sales overall, he might be right.

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