Tesla Model Y Expectations

Tesla is still working hard on it’s first mass market car, namely the Tesla Model 3. For a long time though, we have known that Tesla has also planned a Tesla Model Y. This will be a compact SUV, in other words, a smaller Model X.

The Model Y will be to the Model X, what the Model 3 is to the Model S. With the image above, a teaser that Tesla gave us in 2017, we know it will be a mix of the Model 3 and the Model X. But, what can we expect from this car?

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When will the Model Y be released?

According to what Elon has communicated, during earnings calls and his twitter sessions, we are likely to our first glimpses of the car in the first half of 2018. Production looks to start between the end of 2019 and mid 2020.

The amount of cars hitting the roads in 2019 would anyway be extremely minimal as production ramps up though. 2020 therefore will be the more realistic year. Just like with the Model 3, the initial phase will likely be limited to fully loaded orders.

Tesla Model 3 announcement
Elon Musk at the Tesla Model 3 reveal event

Will the Model Y have falcon wing doors?

From what we know, the answer is a definitive yes. It also makes sense. Since Tesla has already put in the ridiculous amount of work that these doors took, they might as well use them for what they are worth. As mentioned in my Model S vs. Model X post, I am happy they did!

Even though many have been sceptical to the unique doors, it has also been heavily praised. Especially by families with small children. Placing children in child seats is really easy going with these doors.

Tesla Model X
Falcon wing doors make the Model X easy to spot

Will the Model Y have the Model X windshield?

The Tesla Model X has a huge windshield, and it is something to behold! This is easily one of my favorite features of the Tesla Model X and actually one of the points that can get me to switch my Model 3 reservation over to the Model Y.

The glass roof found in the Tesla Model 3 actually bears resemblance to this window, but it is placed in the back of the vehicle instead. Doing this resulted in loads of headroom back passengers in the back seat. Falcon wing doors won’t be compatible with a solution like this.

The massive windscreen makes the car feel extremely spacious 

Will it be a hatchback?

This is actually my biggest gripe with the Model 3. All my cars so far have been hatchbacks, including the Model S and Model X. The reason Tesla went with the more traditional trunk in the Model 3 was mainly a result of the uninterrupted glass roof. There is no doubt that the Model 3 trunk has a decent size to it, but access to the trunk is just a lot more limited. Since the Model Y most likely won’t have this, I’d wager it will be a hatchback like it’s larger sibling.

The hatchback makes for great access to the trunk

As such I also expect the Model Y will have a power liftgate, which the Model 3 is currently lacking. Due to it’s design, I’m not sure we will ever se it in the Model 3.

Lessons learned

When the Model X was made, Elon Musk and Tesla as a whole learned some important things the hard way. Trying to reinvent the wheel and offering to many options created a production hell that made the production ramp of Model X particularly slow – not to mention the massive delay before they actually got it to market.

Early on Elon talked about a whole new platform for the Model Y and ditching the 12V battery system – it would be able to dramatically reduce the amount of wiring used. However, as many started to fear a repeat of the Model X over-complication, Elon Musk went back on his statement. They weren’t going to make the same mistake again. Instead, it will be heavily based on the Model 3.

With the Model 3 we have also seen that they have dramatically reduced the amount of options as production is ramped up. The Model S and X options have also gotten their options bundled. We will likely see the same for the Model Y.

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