Tesla Inc — newly renamed after nearly 13 years as Tesla Motors Inc — is on the verge of what it says will be a massive expansion of production, with two new models due to arrive in the next two years.
As well as the much-hyped compact Model 3, Tesla is also expected to launch a compact crossover based on the same platform. The rumoured Model Y will, like the Model 3, be far more affordable than Tesla’s current offerings.
The starting price of the Model 3 is likely to be around $37,000 (£30,000), with the Model Y expected to be slightly more expensive. However, Tesla founder Elon Musk thinks the transaction prices of the new compact Teslas will be rather higher, at around £34,000 for the Model 3 and perhaps £37,000 for the Model Y, because buyers will be keen to add cost options to their vehicles.
While the compact Model Y could turn out to be Tesla’s best seller – some seven million crossovers of all types were sold in the US last year – Musk recently tweeted that the Model 3 remained the biggest priority for the company.
The Model Y is unlikely to be unveiled until some time next year, with production set to follow late in the year. Little in the way of specification has been released, but it’s likely to have the same tophinged ‘falcon wing’ rear doors as the bigger Model X SUV.
The Model Y is also set to have the promised updated electrical architecture that will allow Tesla to offer full autonomous driving capability. Future Tesla cars will be equipped with as many as eight cameras, giving a 360deg view of the surrounding roadscape, as well as 12 ultrasonic sensors and an unspecified ‘new’ forward-facing radar that works in the worst conditions. Existing radar systems can be fooled by heavy rain and fog.