The first preview of the Model Y
Tesla Model Y imagined by Autocar
The Tesla Model Y will have a more striking design than its siblings that negates the use of door mirrors, if a new preview pictures is anything to go by.
Displayed at the brand's Annual Shareholder Meeting in California, it suggests that the small SUV will have a bonnet with strong lines and bulging arches.
There are no mirrors on the car's doors, suggesting it'll use a camera-based system with interior screens displaying the view of the back.
Currently, global laws require the fitment of mirrors, but the Model Y isn't due to go on sale for several more years - CEO Elon Musk hinted that it'd make it to market around late 2019 or early 2020 - meaning the laws could be changed by then to allow this design.
Musk has previously confirmed that the Model Y (imagined by Autocar in the picture below) will be based on the Model 3 saloon's platform. The Model Y will come with a significantly more advanced supercomputer than current Teslas, which is expected to advance Tesla's current Autopilot technology by some margin. Currently, the system can control a car's steering, throttle and brakes in certain motorway scenarios.
Following the Model Y, Tesla will produce an electric cargo van, pick-up truck and minibus, all based on the platform of the Model X SUV.
Tesla's shift from producing only cars to also launching commercial vehicles will come as part of its 'Master Plan, Part Deux', a strategy that also outlines ambitions to take the lead with autonomous technology and transform the public transport sector. It was first published last year, ten years after Tesla's first master plan, which previewed the subsequent launches of the Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3, as well as its solar power products.
Musk also envisions a car-sharing platform to more fully utilise passenger-carrying potential in cars that would otherwise be sat outside owners’ homes for the majority of the time when they're not in use. Once self-driving cars are approved by regulators, they could be summoned from anywhere.
“Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not,” said Musk.