‘We are bringing S3XY back’: Tesla’s Elon Musk introduces Model Y crossover SUV

Tesla CEO Elon Musk finished spelling out an all-electric acronym by lifting the veil on the Model Y, a crossover SUV that’s due to hit the market in the …
Elon Musk with Model Y
Tesla CEO Elon Musk checks out the newly unveiled Model Y. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk finished spelling out an all-electric acronym by lifting the veil on the Model Y, a crossover SUV that’s due to hit the market in the fall of 2020.

“We are bringing ‘sexy’ back, quite literally,” he told hundreds of Tesla fans who gathered for the Hollywood-style unveiling at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif.

Musk didn’t quite literally lift a veil to reveal the new model. Instead, he built up the suspense by giving an “extended history lesson” about Tesla’s decade-long history of vehicle production, starting with the Tesla Roadster and moving on to the Model S, Model X, Model 3, the Semi truck and the remade Roadster.

Along the way, Musk explained the ins and outs of his naming convention, including the fact that he couldn’t use the name “Model E” because Ford had it trademarked.

“Ford killed SEX,” Musk joked.

As he described the vehicles, each model was driven into the spotlight. Finally it was the Model Y’s turn. Cheers and whoops went up from the crowd as a shiny blue car pulled into its place alongside the Model S, 3, X. Y completed the acronym.

The car looks as much like the Model 3 as Tesla’s Model X SUV looks like the Model S sedan. The similarities between the designs are intentional, because that commonality is expected to speed development — thus avoiding the “production hell” that marked the Model 3’s birth.

Basic stats for Model Y
A chart projected on the screen with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an inset image shows the basic statistics for different versions of the Model Y. Click on the image for a larger version. (Tesla via YouTube)

Musk laid out the basic statistics for four variants of the Model Y: The Standard Range model will be the cheapest, carrying a price tag of $39,000 and offering a maximum range of 230 miles and top speed of 120 mph. The $60,000 Performance model will be the most expensive variant, with a 280-mile range and a 150 mph top speed. The $47,000 Long Range model is projected to go 300 miles on a charge, while the Dual Motor AWD version prices out at $51,000.

Tesla says the three more expensive versions will be ready for delivery in the fall of 2020, while the Standard Range model will go on the market in the spring of 2021. Orders are already being taken online.

All four variants will have a panoramic glass roof, 66 cubic feet of interior space and can seat up to seven, Musk said.

“It has the functionality of an SUV but it will ride like a sports car,” he said.

Some analysts wonder whether the promise of the Model Y will hurt sales of the Model 3, as buyers decide to wait for the newer model. Musk insisted that Model 3 sales would rise dramatically over the next year, making the sorts of optimistic projections that got him in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission when he put them in a tweet.

“We’ve made 550,000 vehicles, something like that,” he said. “Twelve months from now, we will have made about a million vehicles.”

Musk was even more optimistic about Model Y sales.

“I’m confident that of any midsize SUV, it’ll be the one you want,” he said. “I think it’ll probably sell … I think we’ll probably do more Model Y’s than S, X and 3 combined, most likely. So there you have the S3XY presentation.”

On other topics:

  • Musk said ramping up production of the Model 3 and dealing with controversies ranging from a securities fraud case to a marijuana brouhaha made for a rough year. “2018 felt like aging five years in one,” he said.
  • He indicated that battery production for the Model 3 has stabilized to the point that Tesla can start ramping up production of electricity-generating solar roof tiles and Powerwall home-battery installations. “This is definitely going to be the year of the solar roof and the Powerwall,” Musk said.
  • Referring to one of his other day jobs as CEO at SpaceX, Musk half-jokingly said “we will be driving a Tesla on Mars” in 10 years. “I think we actually could.”

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Unveils ‘Model Y’ All-Electric SUV

“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” CEO Elon Musk told the crowd. “This thing will be really tight on corners and we …

HAWTHORNE (AP) — Tesla unveiled a new all-electric SUV on Thursday night that the automaker hopes will win over consumers looking for an all-electric alternative in the most popular segment of the auto market.

Cheers from a hangar-packed crowd of Tesla customers, employees and members of the media welcomed a blue Model Y as it rolled out onto a stage next to the automaker’s other models.

“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” CEO Elon Musk told the crowd. “This thing will be really tight on corners and we expect it will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far.”

The Model Y seats seven and has a panoramic glass roof and a 15-inch touchscreen interface for accessing all the car’s controls.

The all-electric, mid-size SUV will start at $39,000 for the standard range version, which the company said can go 230 miles on a single charge. The long-range model, which starts at $47,000, has a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge — less range than the Model 3.

A dual-motor, all-wheel drive version of the Model Y starts at $51,000 while the performance version of the car, which boasts acceleration of 0-60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds and a top speed of up to 150 mph, starts at $60,000.

The Model Y may be Tesla’s most important product yet as it attempts to expand into the mainstream and generate enough cash to repay massive debts that threaten to topple the Palo Alto, California, company.

Tesla got a huge boost toward ensuring its survival with the 2017 debut of its Model 3 sedan, but an SUV could have even more mass appeal, given how popular SUVs have become in the U.S., Europe and Canada.

The U.S. market share for SUVs, crossovers, vans and pickup trucks stood at 69 percent in January, up from just 48.5 percent a decade ago, according to the research firm IHS Markit.

But most SUVs still run on gasoline, leaving Tesla to cater to consumers looking for an all-electric alternative. The Model Y’s main competition in this still-nascent market is likely to be the Mercedes-Benz EQC, and to a lesser extent, the Jaguar I-Pace, according to the research firm LMC Automotive.

“This could be Tesla’s most profitable vehicle, with the giant asterisk that the company doesn’t do some of the dumb things it has in the past,” said Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey.

Many of Tesla’s past follies have been tied to Musk’s penchants for making grandiose promises that the company hasn’t been able to keep in terms of production, delivery and execution.

Production of the Model 3 quickly fell behind schedule as Tesla struggled to come up with adequate manufacturing capacity and it took much longer than anticipated to lower the sedan’s starting price to the $35,000 level that Musk had been promoting. Instead, the lowest priced version of the Model 3 had been selling for $43,000 until a couple weeks ago when Tesla reached the promised price point by laying off thousands of workers and imposing other cost-cutting measures.

Overseeing the ramp-up of Model 3’s production nearly drove Musk to exhaustion last year, a factor that may have contributed to a mystifying pattern of behavior that included tweeting about having lined up the financing for a potential buyout of Tesla. That misleading statement jeopardized his job and resulted in a $40 million settlement with stock market regulators.

Tesla expects to deliver the performance, long range, rear-wheel drive and dual-motor, all-wheel drive versions of the Model Y in the fall of 2020. The standard version of the Model Y is expected to roll out in the spring of 2021.

As with all electric vehicles, the distance that the Model Y can cover on a fully charged battery is likely to be one of its key selling points — or downsides. Tesla pegged the Model Y’s range at up to 300 miles compared to 325 miles for the Model 3.

Tesla is hoping there will pent-up demand for the Model Y, nearly four years after Musk first began touting the company’s plans to make an SUV. Bringing in early down payments for the vehicles would help Tesla generate the cash it needs to repay nearly $1.7 billion in loans that come due within the next 16 months.

The company began the year with about $11 billion in debt and $3.7 billion in cash, but those figures presumably fell recently when it repaid about $920 million in bonds.

Another $566 million in notes are scheduled to be repaid this November followed a $1.1 billion credit line in June 2020.

Consumers who plop down their deposits for the Model Y may have to cross their fingers for their vehicles to be delivered on schedule.

Tesla’s recurring production and delivery problems have resulted in consumers having to wait longer than they were originally told. Musk now says Tesla has worked out those issues.

Ramsey, though, remains skeptical about whether the company will have adequate manufacturing capacity for the Model Y. He expects the Model Y’s journey to the mass market to provide another wild ride for the company, its investors and customers.

“Until Elon is gone, Tesla is going to be a crazy company that occasionally makes breathtaking products,” Ramsey predicted.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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Elon Musk unveils Model Y electric SUV, the much-awaited crossover from Tesla

SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla Inc unveiled its Model Y electric sports utility vehicle on Thursday evening in California, promising a much-awaited crossover …
SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla Inc unveiled its Model Y electric sports utility vehicle on Thursday evening in California, promising a much-awaited crossover that will face competition from European car makers rolling out their own electric rivals.

Chief Executive Elon Musk said the compact SUV, built on the same platform as the Model 3, would first debut in a long-range version with a range of 300 miles priced at about $47,000.

A standard version, to be available sometime in 2021, would cost about $39,000, he said.

Musk unveiled the car at a small event at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, outside Los Angeles, that was streamed online. (https://www.tesla.com/modely)

Small SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in both the United States and China, the world’s largest auto market, where Tesla is building a factory, making the Model Y well positioned to tap demand.

Model Y Thurs 8pm PDT https://t.co/9GmXGxH0HX

— Tesla (@Tesla) 1552587268000

Tesla has enjoyed little competition thus far for its sedans, but competition for electric SUVs is heating up as Tesla tries to master a new set of economics from the luxury line that made its reputation.

On Thursday, ratings company Fitch warned that, despite Tesla’s early lead, “incumbent carmakers have the ability to catch up … thanks to their capacity to invest and their robust record in product management.”

Tesla’s targeted volume production date of late 2020 would put it behind electric SUV offerings from Volkswagen AG’s Audi, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and BMW .

Shares of Tesla are down 24 percent from an August high of $379.57, when Musk tweeted that he was taking Tesla private.


That plan – later scrapped – ushered in a period of turmoil at the company, from Musk’s public battles with regulators, a flurry of securities lawsuits, cost cutting and layoffs.

Tesla, two weeks ago, said it would close most stores and use savings to cut the price of most cars by 6 percent. But last week, Tesla reversed course and said it would leave many stores open and raised prices back by about 3 percent.

Musk has promised an easier production ramp of the Model Y, since it shares about three-quarters of its parts with the Model 3 and would need only half the capital expenditures of the sedan.

The risk is “quite low” Musk told analysts in January. Tesla would “most likely” build the Model Y at Tesla’s battery factory in Nevada, he said.

Still, the Model Y, like all Tesla’s models, has already seen pre-production delays. Suppliers were originally told that production would start in November 2019, sources told Reuters last year.

In October, Musk said “significant progress” had been made on the Model Y and that he had approved the prototype for production in 2020. In January, he said Tesla had ordered the tooling needed to build the car.

Tesla Roadster or CityAirbus: What Will You Ride To Work?

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Play Slideshow

Future Of Personal Transport

21 Nov, 2018

Your ride to the office or even a pleasure trip will be faster, higher and more energy efficient.


21 Nov, 2018

It is a multi-passenger, autonomously piloted electric flying car concept that can takeoff and land vertically (VTOL). CityAirbus is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested megacities to places like airports or train stations in a fast and environment-friendly way. Its integrated drive train includes eight propellers that deliver exceptional torque-to-weight ratio. Its first flight is scheduled for the end of the year.

​Malloy Hoverbike Helicopter

21 Nov, 2018

Hoverbikes are coming to take motorbikes off the roads. You can ride the Malloy Hoverbike or make it fly autonomously, deliver aid, transport people and equipment over buildings, rivers and mountains. It has a payload capacity of 130 kg, can reach an altitude of 9,000 feet and can fly at a speed of more than 100 knots, or about 185 kmph.

Jetman Wing

21 Nov, 2018

Get ready to fly off like a superhero in a new breed of solo flying machines. If the jet-powered carbon fibre wings invented by Swiss aviator Yves Rossy go commercial, you will soon be able to fly through the skies. Powered by four miniature jet engines, this wing unit can hit speeds of up to 300 kmph.

Plimp Airship

21 Nov, 2018

The passenger version of Egan Airships’s Plimp (Model J) can carry up to eight passengers and cruise at a speed of 100 kmph. The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can manoeuvre and move quickly like fixed-wing aircraft, hover and vertically take off and land like a helicopter. It uses partial lift by helium, which is not flammable, and partial lift by its rotational wings. Turn the engines off and the Plimp gently floats back to the ground.

Elon Musk’s Model Y SUV Brings More Tesla to More Masses

The Model Y is here, and Elon Musk has once again shown why Tesla may be the most exciting car company on the planet—seemingly never-ending …

The Model Y is here, and Elon Musk has once again shown why Tesla may be the most exciting car company on the planet—seemingly never-ending crises and controversies notwithstanding.

From the stage at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California, Musk unveiled the baby SUV, which shares about three-quarters of its parts with the Model 3 sedan. But it’s a bit bigger, with three rows and room for seven passengers. You can now preorder the car via Tesla’s website, if you put down $2,500.

Tesla plans to release the Model Y in four flavors. The “Performance” version, due out in fall 2020, will go from 0 to 60 mph in a blistery 3.5 seconds, and offer 280 miles of range for a cool $60,000. The Dual Motor AWD, also slated for fall 2020, should do 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds, hit a 135 mph top speed, and travel up to 280 miles on one charge for $51,000. Tesla promises the “Long Range” version, also due fall 2020, will have 300 miles of range, hit 130 mph, and clock in a 5.5-second 0 to 60 sprint for $47,000. Finally: the $39,000 “Standard Range” version, slated to arrive in spring 2021, should reach 230 miles on a charge and will have a top speed of 120 mph and a 0 to 60 time of 5.9 seconds. An important reminder, with regard to those dates: Tesla rarely hits its own deadlines, and has on multiple occasions delivered cars months or even years behind schedule.

When Musk took the stage Thursday—dressed in all black, with custom Tesla-branded Nike sneakers—he started off talking history. “There was a time when electric cars seemed very stupid,” he said. He brought out Tesla’s past autos, one by one: the two-seat Roadster, the Model S sedan, the Model X SUV, and the Model 3. Plus, some cars-to-be: the new Roadster and the Semi, both of which Tesla says will go into production next year. Musk talked about how Tesla built a factory in Fremont, California, and a battery “Gigafactory” outside Reno, Nevada, and the under-construction factory in Shanghai.

Musk harped on the difficulty of mass manufacturing cars, saying they’ve proved 100 times harder to build than design. “2018 felt like aging five years in one,” he told the audience. “Honestly, it was really intense.” It’s not the first time he’s acknowledged the how arduous the process is. He warned that building the Model 3 would be “production hell.” Reports from inside Tesla suggest he was right. But Musk also noted that in about a year’s time, Tesla will have produced a million vehicles.

The Model Y comes at an interesting moment for Tesla. After a year of upheaval, Muskian Twitter flame wars, and lawsuits, Model 3 production is finally going smoothly, and the automaker posted profits in the third and fourth quarters of 2018—its first such repeat performance. Last month, Musk announced Tesla would finally start selling a $35,000 version of the Model 3, a milestone price point he had promised for years.

But along with the rest of the industry, Tesla is facing a tightening market now, and Musk has said he doesn’t expect the company to be profitable in the first quarter of this year. To offer that $35,000 Model 3, Tesla had to cut costs, and announced it would close most of its stores and move its sales model entirely online. Then, earlier this week, it walked that back, saying it would keep more stores open, but raise prices on all its cars by about 3 percent on average (but still offer that baseline $35,000 Model 3).

What’s exciting about the Model Y, from Tesla’s perspective, is that it’s positioned to push the automaker much further into the mass market. SUVs, you see, are mega-popular—the fastest growing vehicle segment in the US. So much so that Ford and General Motors have given up on the idea of selling regular cars to Americans. “We’ll probably do more Y than S, X, and 3 [sales] combined,” Musk said.

And because the Model Y is relatively inexpensive, it could reach the vast swaths of the market that can’t afford a luxury car, are interested in electric, and want something roomier than a sedan. “The Model Y represents Tesla’s biggest opportunity yet. Its price and body style should resonate with the majority of today’s car buyers,” says Karl Brauer, an industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book. “This also makes the Model Y the most important vehicle in Tesla’s history.”

Meanwhile, though, prodded by regulators around the world, the rest of the auto industry has started to buy into this whole electric power thing. And they’re coming with SUVs: Audi’s E-tron and Jaguar’s i-Pace are already on the market. Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Mercedes are preparing similar offerings. Newcomers like Rivian and Byton are jumping in. Tesla has been selling those million cars at a time when there were few other compelling electric options. Now it’s got to win buyers not just to battery power, but to Tesla specifically.

Referring to his not quite subtle naming of his cars the Model S, 3, X, and Y, Musk said, “We are bringing sexy back, quite literally.” But like anyone inching toward full adulthood, Tesla is starting to rely less on sex appeal, and more on wisdom and experience.

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Tesla Model Y: Elon Musk unveils long-awaited £30000 electric SUV

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has unveiled the Model Y, the company’s attempt to crack the growing SUV market, at a launch event at Tesla’s …

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has unveiled the Model Y, the company’s attempt to crack the growing SUV market, at a launch event at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles.

Prices for the model will start at $39,000 (£30,000) and going up to $60,000, making the car slightly more expensive than its mass market Model 3, but significantly cheaper than the Model X, Tesla’s previous family-sized car.

The mid-sized SUV comes with a glass roof and seven seats, a capacity of 66 cubic feet, and goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, Mr Musk said. The car will be able to travel between 230 miles and 300 miles depending on the model.

Tesla plans to start delivering higher-performance models of the car in the autumn…

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