Elon Musk playfully declared on Thursday night that he’s “bringing sexy back” in reference to Tesla’s model line-up – S 3 X and, now, Y. Following the Model Y reveal at the company’s Los Angeles design studio Auto Express had the opportunity to take a ride around Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in LA.
The styling is largely borrowed from the Model 3 inside and out, just like its platform, but the higher proportions suit it well especially from the rear three-quarter view. The interior is a masterpiece of minimalism with the Model Y getting a 15-inch rectangular infotainment touchscreen perched upon a simple dash with strip of unvarnished wood breaking up the swathes of grey plastic. The panoramic glass roof adds to the natural ambiance, and the seats, made from vegan materials, are a nod to the brand’s sustainable purpose.
It’s also Tardis-like; the front boot and rear, with the split seats down, enabling 1,900 litres of cargo space, according to Tesla, and the option of seating for seven. The car doesn’t require a key; instead, it connects to your smartphone for seamless entry and exit. It also talks to the Tesla Mobile app so you can autonomously summon the car, fix the temperature, track the car remotely.
Our brief ride around the SpaceX facility was in a Dual-Motor AWD version of the Model Y, which can hit 0-60mpg in a claimed 4.8 seconds. In the US that version will cost from $51,000. Thanks to the majority of mass being below the floor, where the batteries are lined, the handling appears class-leading for a mid-size SUV and the performance will satisfy point-and-squirt addicts. Slaloming past prototype versions of Musk’s Hyperloop and Falcon 9 booster rocket making for interesting if slightly unusual scenery.
Musk says fun, space and safety are at the heart of the Model Y. “It has the functionality of an SUV, but it rides like a sports car. It’s really tight in the corners. It’s also going to be the safest car in its class.”
It’s expected that the Model Y will be built at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada and, once it’s completed, the company’s new plant in Shanghai, China. Tesla has built 550,000 cars in 11 years, but Musk’s mission is to produce a million total in just 12 months’ time. The Model Y is set to take that eye-popping ambition further still and cement Tesla as a major mass-market manufacturer in the next few years.
Read the full story on the Tesla Model Y here…