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 automobile, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have spent the previous few years, months, and days main as much as the disclosing sketching out an honest define of what to anticipate.

Broadly talking, the Mannequin Y shall be a vital automobile for Tesla that presents the corporate with an enormous alternative. Merely put, SUVs are promoting like hotcakes today. They at present account for about 49 p.c of the brand new automobile market in america, in keeping with JD Energy, and greater than half of shoppers who purchased a automobile final 12 months within the $30,000 to $50,000 value vary bought an SUV.

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 effectively, demand for a automobile just like the Mannequin Y ought to be sturdy.

We don’t know precisely what’s in retailer for tonight (and each Tesla and Musk appear to like surprises), however listed here 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, model, and general value. We don’t have precise specifics on the Mannequin Y but, however Musk provided ballpark estimates on Twitter just 11 days ago. He stated the Mannequin Y shall be about 10 p.c greater than a Mannequin 3, value about 10 p.c extra, and have “barely much less vary for [the] similar battery.”

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Which means the Mannequin Y ought to finally begin at about $38,500, and run as excessive as about $63,800 (earlier than choices like Autopilot). After all, it’s probably that Tesla will begin by making and promoting the most costly variations of the Mannequin Y when it goes into manufacturing in 2020 since these could have the best margins. One factor to search for tonight is whether or not Musk affords 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 probably be known as the “normal vary Mannequin Y”) will supply rather less than 220 miles on a full cost. The most costly Mannequin Ys shall be able to touring about 300 miles.

The design

Attempt to edit the most recent shadowy teaser picture that Tesla launched for the Mannequin Y with a view 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: “Nice try.”

That stated, the distinction between the brand new teaser picture and the one which Tesla distributed a couple of years in the past is important. The brand new picture actually exhibits off the form of the Mannequin Y in a means that the previous picture didn’t. It’s by no means simple to get a way of what a automobile 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 automobile that’s as massive or cumbersome because the Mannequin X.

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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 challenge has endured quite a few 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 Could 2017 that Tesla as an alternative needed to construct the Mannequin Y on a “utterly totally different” platform. He stated on the time that the corporate might 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 automobiles. It will even have the Mannequin X’s Falcon Wing doorways.

However this was all stated at a time when Musk was nonetheless totally gung-ho on automating a serious 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 working at a gradual tempo. Musk finally did an about-face on the Mannequin Y, telling buyers in August 2017 that it might share a platform with the Mannequin Three in any case.

“Upon the counsel of my government workforce, to reel me again from the cliffs of madness, the Mannequin Y will, in reality, be utilizing substantial carry over from Mannequin Three with a view to convey it to market sooner,” 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.

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Understanding the automobile 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 totally dedicated to the place the Mannequin Y shall be constructed. The corporate’s Fremont, California, manufacturing plant is so packed that Tesla needed to erect a tent with a view to construct the Mannequin Three at scale there final 12 months. Musk stated it’s “probably” the Mannequin Y shall be constructed on the firm’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, and variations of the automobile due for China may even in all probability be made on the manufacturing facility at present being constructed in Shanghai.

It’s potential that the Mannequin Y could have a 3rd row of seats, although it’s not a lock since that rumor was based mostly on inner paperwork {that a} Tesla spokesperson referred to as “outdated.”

Whereas Musk has stated the Mannequin Y will begin manufacturing in 2020, it’s not totally clear what the corporate’s timeline is for the brand new automobile. Tesla and Musk are infamous for lacking deadlines, however any concrete dates introduced tonight would assist followers, followers, and Wall Avenue calibrate expectations for the Mannequin Y over the approaching months.


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