• The new small electric crossover bowed at Tesla's design studio in Los Angeles last night. It's the brand's fifth model in ten years and capitalizes on the current crossover craze.
  • Based on the Model 3, the Model Y exhibits much of the styling from its sedan brother. Eventually, the Model Y will also get a three-row version.
tesla model y blue
It combines the Model 3 and the Model X in its styling. It's very Tesla but not very exciting.

The time is right for Tesla to bring a small crossover into their lineup, and frankly we're surprised they didn't do it sooner given the state of the car market and its love of crossovers. The new Model Y takes the styling cues of the Model 3 and blends them with the shape of the Model X (albeit in a less bulbous fashion). The same solid front end is there, along with the J-shaped flush door handles (damn, we hope they work the way they're supposed to in an accident) and the same taillights as the sedan.

tesla model y profile

The first trim level that will go up for sale is the Long Range version, which will get 300 miles of electric-only range, do 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and top out at 130 mph. It should cost about $47,000. Later on, in 2021, the cheaper Standard ($39,000) and slower version will be available.

You can add Dual motor, all-wheel-drive capability on the Long Range for a base price of $51,000 and on the Performance model for $60,000. In this configuration, the Long Range will get 280 miles of range, 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, and a top speed of 135 mph. AWD Performance models will get the same 280-mile range, 0-60 in a very quick 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 150 mph. It will also benefit from beefier brakes, a lowered suspension, and track mode, to name a few. 

tesla model y driving
Wow, we don't like this angle at all. The view at the back looks like a Prius. 

Sales will start for the Long Range and Performance models starting in 2020, or at least that's what they tell us. The Model 3 had its own production delays, so things are uncertain. But they've been able to hit their high volume numbers since last year, so the date of the Model Y's release could be accurate. The $39,000 Model Y Standard Range, with 230 miles of range, will go on sale in the Spring of 2021. 

tesla model y cabin
Just like the Model 3, the Y's interior is as minimalist as we've seen. 

Step inside the Model Y, and you'll find that it looks a lot like the Model 3 in that there's not much to look at except for a wide dash and a big center-mounted touchscreen that basically controls everything and displays all relevant vehicle info. It's a huge 15 inches, mounted horizontally and handles audio, navigation, HVAC, as well as vehicle settings. The Model Y connects to the Tesla app for remote functions including locking/unlocking, the cool Summon feature, as well as location. It should have the Autopilot hardware built in, and the self-driving functions may go live via software upgrades later in the year. 

Musk expects the Model Y to sell in even bigger numbers than the very popular Model 3 sedan. In fact, he thinks it will outsell all other models combined, which is significant. Too bad the new EV crossover doesn't look better.