Tesla Model Y debuts in California with $39,000 base price

Andrew Cummings
March 15, 2019

As a point of interest, Tesla CEO Elon Musk a few weeks back said that the Model Y would be about 10% bigger than the Model 3.

The Y will be what the Tesla Model 3 was to the Tesla Model S: a more affordable, accessible version of a luxury vehicle.

One question has been, would Tesla introduce a base version Model Y to match its recently released $US35,000 Model 3 ($A49,800 at today's rates) from the get go, rather than starting the premium Long Range and Performance versions as has been its modus operandi for the Model 3.

Tesla Model Y debuts in California with $39,000 base price

The night started with Elon Musk walking us through the history of the vehicles that Tesla has delivered (first generation Roadster, Model S, Model X, and Model 3), the vehicles that Tesla intends to bring to market soon (the new Roadster and Tesla Semi), and how Tesla built the Gigafactories for those cars.

The Model Y was unveiled on a livestream event held by the pioneering EV maker, in the most anticipated unveilings of a vehicle since, well, the "mass-market" Model 3 that was unveiled three years ago and has sold almost 150,000 models since.

The Model Y is unveiled at last.

The Model Y is built to be fully compatible with the Supercharger V3 network, which supports charging at 250 kW.

Tesla is teasing the Model Y with an image of its blacked out silhouette to promote Thursday's reveal. The heavier Model Y, however, will have less range because of its increased weight and size. The Model Y will enter the fray at a time when crossovers are an incredibly hot segment of the entire global automotive market, and US demand for the Model 3 compact sedan is starting to taper off. The original Tesla SUV, 2015's Model X, starts at $88,000.

"It feels like the Model 3", Musk said, noting the similar panoramic glass roof and dashboard design.

The entry-level Model Y Standard Range steps down to a 5.9-second zero-to-60 time, 120 mph top speed, 230 miles of range and a $39,000 price tag.

At the end of his presentation, Musk claimed that the Model Y would probably sell more "than X and 3 combined".

Musk announced that pre-orders for the vehicle are open right now.

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