New Tesla Model Y SUV to arrive in 2019

Our exclusive image shows Tesla’s second SUV, the Model Y, which will be based on the existing Model 3 platform.

The introduction of the new Tesla Model 3 fires the starting gun on a new era of more affordable cars from the cult Californian electric car company, and next on the hit list is a small crossover called the Model Y, which will arrive in 2019.

It will be a crucial step in Tesla’s second ‘master plan’, which will see the brand expand beyond its current line-up with an all-electric pick-up truck, a new Roadster and a move towards heavy-duty transport with Tesla trucks and buses.

By doubling its SUV portfolio with the smaller, cheaper offering, Tesla is lining itself up to enter a booming marketplace. Alongside the recently launched Model 3, the Model Y will be an important step on the road towards the firm becoming a true volume vehicle manufacturer.

Details are still being ironed out, but Tesla is more open than most regarding its future product plans. Chief executive Elon Musk is already talking candidly about the new car, and the firm has also hinted at the Model Y’s design through an official teaser image released earlier this year.

Our exclusive image previews how the car could look when it arrives in 2019. If Tesla adopts a ‘Russian doll’ approach to the Model Y’s design, we expect it to mimic the Model X SUV’s form and function in a smaller package – maybe even down to the ‘Falcon wing’-style doors, which Musk has previously promised. Fresh design cues from the Model 3 such as the flat, grille-free front end could also define the new car.

Although the Model Y will sit underneath the Model X in Tesla’s range as its second and smallest SUV, it would make sense for the manufacturer to market the Model Y as a Model 3 crossover rather than a smaller Model X, especially when the latest news from Musk is taken into account.

Tesla has abandoned plans to develop the Model Y around a new dedicated electric platform, and it will now use the same underpinnings as the Model 3, Musk confirmed. This will allow the firm to bring the Model Y to market much sooner than was originally anticipated, and will also slash R&D costs. Musk has hinted at making tweaks to the platform to help further automate the production process.

Given a platform share with the Model 3 has now been confirmed, it’s extremely likely that drivetrains will be the same, too. Tesla has not officially confirmed battery pack sizes for the 220-mile Standard and 310-mile Long Range launch editions of the Model 3, but has already promised all-wheel-drive and performance variants.

However, the firm likes to shuffle its powertrain offerings around often and without warning, so however the Model 3 line-up looks in 2019, it is likely to be replicated by the first Model Ys.

However, the firm likes to shuffle its powertrain offerings around often and without warning, so however the Model 3 line-up looks in 2019, it is likely to be replicated by the first Model Ys.

Tesla electric minibus is also on the cards
Musk also revealed further details on the Tesla electric minibus, first alluded to by Musk at the Master Plan conference. Further Tweets stated that the new “high passenger density urban transport” vehicle is on the drawing board, and will be “built on a Model X chassis. He also claimed “people density potential is surprisingly high”, so its likely we’d see something aiming to offer at least eight seats.

Given that the chassis already exists, its reasonable to assume that would appear by the end of next year at the latest. Expect the same electric drivetrains, including both two and four-wheel drive, a tablet-style portrait touchscreen on the dash and the autopilot autonomous driving system.





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