Tesla Model Y announced: release set for 2020, price starts at $ 39,000

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This is the Tesla Model Y, the new compact SUV from the electric car manufacturer from 2020. The long-distance version will cover 300 miles on a single charge and will sell for $ 47,000, while the performance version of $ 60,000 will be able to move from 0 to 60 to sprint. mph in 3.5 seconds. It is the fifth car from Elon Musk that ever set off and the company's second attempt to build an electric vehicle in the mass market.

"It has the functionality of an SUV, but it drives like a sports car," said Musk. "So this thing will be really tight on the corners."

The long-distance model Y of model 47,000 comes first in the fall of 2020 and has a range of 300 miles, Musk said. Tesla will also sell a dual-engine version with four-wheel drive for $ 51,000 and a performance version for $ 60,000, both of which will also be available in the fall of 2020. The cheaper standard version with a range of 230 miles will not be available until 2021, Musk said, and will sell for $ 39,000.

More spacious than a Model 3, but not as imposing as a Model X, the Model Y can seat seven, as demonstrated during the Thursday night event at the Tesla design studio outside of Los Angeles.

Model Y was revealed at a crucial time for Tesla

Musk said he anticipates five-star ratings and high safety signs across the board. "This will be by far the safest medium-sized SUV," he boasted. (Model 3 recently lost its coveted "recommended" rating from Consumer reports for reliability issues.)

The interior of the vehicle will look like the Model 3, only more. A brief glance at the interior design revealed the same sleek look, with a 15-inch touchscreen on an otherwise blank dashboard. Model Y has a panoramic sliding roof and 66 cubic feet of loading space. However, a third row of seats for a total of seven passengers will not be available until 2021.

"The great thing is, it is & # 39; feature complete & # 39; & # 39;" said Musk, after going through some of the future self-driving functions of Model Y. "It will basically be able to do anything, only with software upgrades. "

Model Y was revealed at a crucial time for Tesla. In the first full production year, the Model 3 sedan became the best-selling EV in the world in 2018 – just like in North America. But Tesla & # 39; s drive to make so many Model 3 & # 39; s nearly killed the company, Musk said. And it has been speculated that Tesla may have exhausted the demand for the car in the US, so the company is focusing its attention on Europe and China. Even there the early sale of Model 3 was slow.

Tesla recently introduced the long-promised $ 35,000 "standard range" Model 3 as a way to reach more customers, but the release was overshadowed by the company's decision to close most stores and switch to online sales to reduce operating costs. to lower. The move also allowed Tesla to lower prices for its other cars, but after setbacks from customers, employees, and even landlords, Tesla decided to stop store closures (which in turn forced the company to raise prices).

Because Model Y has so much in common with Model 3, it should theoretically be less of a drain on the company's resources. It also represents a huge growth opportunity, because SUV sales are through the roof in the US.

SUV sales are strong, but it is a really competitive market

Tesla will have to do well to take advantage of that opportunity, according to Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. Competition in the SUV area is fierce and in fact all German car manufacturers are already shipping their own electric SUVs (or are about to ship).

"If Tesla really wants to become a mainstream brand, it will have to figure out how to sell cars to people alongside young men in California," Caldwell said in a statement. "Tesla has the right foundation for Model Y to be a turning point: Tesla has the youngest buyer base of any luxury brand, and Model X has more female buyers than any other vehicle in the brand's line-up. If the Y model is well priced, offers a spacious interior, and offers impeccable safety and quality, it has the potential to be the & # 39; the & # 39; vehicle for young families. & # 39;