The first versions to arrive will be the Long Range, Dual Motor and Performance models, due in the autumn of 2020. The car is likely to arrive in the UK by 2022, based on previous Tesla model roll-outs globally.
The Long Range model will get 300 miles of range, a 130mph top speed and 5.5sec 0-60mph time, and it will be priced from $47,000 (around £35,500). The Dual Motor will start from $51,000 (£38,500) and have a slightly lower range of 280 miles, a higher top speed, of 135mph, and a 4.8sec 0-60mph time.
The Performance model also gets 280 miles of range but increases top speed to 150mph and drops the 0-60mph sprint time to 3.5sec. It will go on sale for $60,000 around (£45,000).
A Standard Range version will follow later in Spring 2021 for $39,000 (roughly £26,000) with a 230-mile range, a 120mph top speed and a 5.9sec 0-60mph time.
The Model Y is compatible with Tesla’s third-generation Superchargers, which are capable of 250kW charging. Cars will be able to recover 75 miles of range in five minutes and charge at rates of up to 1000mph. Tesla now has more than 12,000 Superchargers globally across 36 countries.
Inside, the Model Y has a similar interior layout to the Model 3, with a single 15.0in touchscreen interface containing all of the car’s controls and no traditional instrument cluster. It also includes the same self-driving hardware, including Autopilot, which can be unlocked for a fee and upgraded wirelessly as new features get approval from regulatory bodies.
Split-folding second-row seats and a front boot provide a maximum storage space of 1869 litres. A rear hatchback should prove more convenient for loading than the Model 3's tailgate.
Tesla has yet to confirm where the Model Y will be produced, with latest reports suggesting it could be built at the company’s Gigafactory facility in Reno, Nevada, US. Model 3 production is understood to remain at the company’s Fremont, California manufacturing plant. Chinese cars are expected to be built in Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which is under construction and projected to be completed by the end of 2019.
The Model Y will likely prove pivotal to Tesla, because the worldwide demand for SUVs is significantly higher than it is for saloons. Musk predicted Tesla would go on to sell more Model Ys than its other three models combined. The company opened pre-orders after revealing the car, with customers asked for a $2500 deposit. Model Ys with seven seats won't be available until 2021.
The company also faces new challenges from European car makers including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which are gearing up to launch their own premium SUVs. Similarly priced rivals such as the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric offer less range. It recently announced a move to online-only sales and plans to close all its physical stores but changed its decision following customer and employee backlash.