The Tesla Model Y is the electric carmaker’s new compact SUV, it is due out in 2020. Elon Musk took to the limelight at Tesla’s design studio outside Los Angeles Thursday nigh. He was met with the usual cheering from the automaker’s loyal fanbase.
When he finally unveiled the car, the reaction was slightly less enthusiastic than it was three years prior when the Model 3 sedan was revealed. The Model Y is almost exactly like the Model 3, just a little bigger.
It’s Musk’s fifth car ever to hit the road, and it’s the company’s second attempt at a mass-market electric vehicle.
“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” Musk said. “So this thing will be really tight on corners.”
The $47,000 long-range Model Y will come first in the fall of 2020, and it will have a range of 300 miles, Musk said.
The Model Y will be a huge step towards Tesla’s goal of delivering one million cars by 2020. Compact SUVs are among the most popular vehicle class in the world. They currently account for about 49 percent of the new car market in the United States, according to JD Power. More than half of customers who bought a vehicle last year in the $30,000 to $50,000 price range purchased an SUV.
“The cool thing is it’s ‘feature complete,’” Musk said, after ticking through some of the Model Y’s future self-driving features. The car will eventually be capable of “full self-driving, he claimed. “It will be able to do basically anything just with software upgrades.”
Tesla will have to execute well in order to take advantage of that opportunity, according to. Competition in the SUV space is fierce, and, essentially, all of the German automakers are already shipping (or about to ship) their own electric SUVs.
“If Tesla truly wants to be a mainstream brand, it’s going to have to figure out how to sell cars to people besides young men in California,” Jessica Caldwell, the executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds, said in a statement. “Tesla has the right foundation for the Model Y to be a turning point: Tesla has the youngest buyer base of any luxury brand, and the Model X has more female buyers than any other vehicle in the brand’s lineup. If the Model Y is priced right, offers a roomy interior, and delivers flawless safety and quality, it has the potential to be the ‘it’ vehicle for young families.”