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Tesla Mannequin Y occasion: what to anticipate

After nearly 4 years within the making, Tesla will lastly reveal the Mannequin Y compact SUV tonight at an occasion in Los Angeles. Whereas we nonetheless haven’t seen a full image of the brand new electrical automotive, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have spent the previous couple of years, months, and days main as much as the disclosing sketching out a good define of what to anticipate.

Broadly talking, the Mannequin Y might be an important automotive for Tesla that presents the corporate with an enormous alternative. Merely put, SUVs are promoting like hotcakes nowadays. They at the moment account for about 49 p.c of the brand new automotive market in america, based on JD Energy, and greater than half of consumers who purchased a car final yr within the $30,000 to $50,000 worth vary bought an SUV.
SUVs are promoting like hotcakes
In different phrases, you possibly can construct an SUV out of Lego and promote it for 5 figures within the US proper now. So if all goes nicely, demand for a automotive just like the Mannequin Y needs to be robust.
We don’t know precisely what’s in retailer for tonight (and each Tesla and Musk appear to like surprises), however listed below are our greatest guesses.
The specs
The Mannequin Y will share about 75 p.c of the components that make up the Mannequin 3, so we will count on it to supply comparable efficiency, fashion, and general price. We don’t have actual specifics on the Mannequin Y but, however Musk supplied ballpark estimates on Twitter simply 11 days in the past. He stated the Mannequin Y might be about 10 p.c greater than a Mannequin 3, price about 10 p.c extra, and have “barely much less vary for [the] similar battery.”
Meaning the Mannequin Y ought to ultimately begin at about $38,500, and run as excessive as about $63,800 (earlier than choices like Autopilot). After all, it’s possible that Tesla will begin by making and promoting the costliest variations of the Mannequin Y when it goes into manufacturing in 2020 since these can have the best margins. One factor to search for tonight is whether or not Musk gives a timeline for the bottom model of the Mannequin Y.
If the Mannequin Y has “barely much less vary” with the identical battery, which means the bottom model (which can possible be known as the “customary vary Mannequin Y”) will supply rather less than 220 miles on a full cost. The most costly Mannequin Ys might be able to touring about 300 miles.
The design
Attempt to edit the latest shadowy teaser picture that Tesla launched for the Mannequin Y in an effort to get a glimpse of what it appears like. I dare you. All you’ll actually find yourself with is a barely extra washed-out picture with a hidden message: “Good attempt.”
That stated, the distinction between the brand new teaser picture and the one which Tesla distributed a couple of years in the past is critical. The brand new picture actually exhibits off the form of the Mannequin Y in a manner that the outdated picture didn’t. It’s by no means simple to get a way of what a automotive will appear to be till you see it in full (which, duh), however Tesla’s latest teaser does give the impression that the Mannequin Y will resemble a taller, extra sharply angled Mannequin 3. What it definitely gained’t be is a automotive that’s as large or cumbersome because the Mannequin X.

The lengthy street to get right here
Musk first teased the Mannequin Y in an October 2015 tweet, which he nearly instantly deleted. Since then, the crossover SUV undertaking has endured numerous shifts in scope. Whereas it was initially thought that Tesla would construct the Mannequin Y on the identical technological base because the Mannequin 3, Musk stated in Might 2017 that Tesla as an alternative wished to construct the Mannequin Y on a “utterly totally different” platform. He stated on the time that the corporate may simplify the manufacturing course of and dramatically scale back the size of electrical wiring wanted if it ditched the 12-volt battery structure utilized in Tesla’s different autos. It will even have the Mannequin X’s Falcon Wing doorways.
However this was all stated at a time when Musk was nonetheless absolutely gung-ho on automating a significant quantity of the manufacturing course of. That has modified. Musk now says Tesla relied too closely on automation, which was one of many causes it took the corporate longer than it deliberate to get Mannequin Three manufacturing operating at a gentle tempo. Musk ultimately did an about-face on the Mannequin Y, telling traders in August 2017 that it might share a platform with the Mannequin Three in any case.
At one level, the Mannequin Y wasn’t going to share something with the Mannequin 3
“Upon the counsel of my govt crew, to reel me again from the cliffs of madness, the Mannequin Y will, in truth, be utilizing substantial carry over from Mannequin Three in an effort to carry it to market quicker,” Musk stated on that decision. That’s remained the plan ever since, although Musk did admit this month that the Mannequin Y now gained’t have the Mannequin X’s Falcon Wing doorways.
Understanding the automotive has been in improvement for that lengthy, one thing to look at for throughout the occasion is whether or not Tesla has provide you with different methods to differentiate the Mannequin Y from the Mannequin 3. Will the inside be precisely the identical? Or will Tesla combine issues up by including a couple of extra bodily buttons, a heads-up show, or one thing completely totally different? One factor’s for certain: count on an enormous touchscreen to dominate the Mannequin Y’s dashboard.
What we don’t know
The place to start? For one factor, Tesla and Musk haven’t absolutely dedicated to the place the Mannequin Y might be constructed. The corporate’s Fremont, California, manufacturing plant is so packed that Tesla needed to erect a tent in an effort to construct the Mannequin Three at scale there final yr. Musk stated it’s “possible” the Mannequin Y might be constructed on the firm’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, and variations of the automotive due for China can even in all probability be made on the manufacturing facility at the moment being constructed in Shanghai.
It’s attainable that the Mannequin Y can have a 3rd row of seats, although it’s not a lock since that rumor was primarily based on inner paperwork {that a} Tesla spokesperson known as “outdated.”
Whereas Musk has stated the Mannequin Y will begin manufacturing in 2020, it’s not absolutely clear what the corporate’s timeline is for the brand new automotive. Tesla and Musk are infamous for lacking deadlines, however any concrete dates introduced tonight would assist followers, followers, and Wall Road calibrate expectations for the Mannequin Y over the approaching months.