This is the Tesla Model Y. Sort of. | Top Gear
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Friday 8th December

This is the Tesla Model Y. Sort of.

New compact crossover to sit under the Model X teased. Plus: a Tesla TRUCK

Published: 07 Jun 2017

The new Tesla Model Y is coming, and this is it. Sort of. At a Tesla shareholder’s meeting, company boss Elon Musk confirmed that the new compact crossover will be ready to hit the roads in 2019.

So we’ve still got a long way to go before the full car is here. And the first thing you’ll spot is that you can’t spot very much. It hasn’t got any mirrors, the eagle-eyed amongst you will immediately notice, but other than that, nothing concrete.

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What we do know, and what Musk confirmed, is that the Model Y won’t be derived from the Model 3 platform, but instead get its own unique architecture. “I think actually, we made a mistake in trying to derive the Model X from the Model S platform,” Musk said. “It would have been better to design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed.

“Design a sedan the way a sedan should be designed. Otherwise you’re just trying to shoehorn in something that doesn’t make sense,” he added. 

He also points to major manufacturing improvements that can be done, “that allow us to build a car in a way that’s never been built before”. He reckons he can drop the capital expenditure on the Model Y by a factor of two compared to the Model 3, “which I think is a really big deal, and accelerate its readiness despite new technologies”. It means it can be built cheaper. Which is probably a good thing, because Musk also reckons demand for the new Model Y will far outstrip demand for the Model 3...

The new Model Y will also get its very own Gigafactory too, because “there’s just no room at Freemont – we’re bursting at the seams”, he noted. Though the existing Gigafactory there will supply the battery pack and drivetrains for the Model Y, the vehicle plant will be a new one, and some production processes will eventually be offloaded into the new plant, to accommodate Model 3’s expansion.

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There’s more, too: not only will a Model Y appear in 2019, but long before that - end of September 2017, actually – we’ll see a Tesla semi-truck. Yep, a Tesla truck. “That’s very exciting,” Musk said. “A lot of people don’t think you can do a heavy duty long range truck that’s electric, but we’re confident this can be done.”

Apparently it’s being designed and built in conjunction with the very parties who are interested in snapping them up, and will therefore be fit for their needs, because they helped design it.

More as we have it...

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