It completes Tesla’s core line-up of S, 3, X, Y models (Ford wouldn’t release the Model E name it owns...) and is effectively a crossover version of the Model 3 junior saloon. It will understandably cost a few grand more, with UK prices starting at £54,990, and deliveries are due to commence early next year.
It’s bigger than the Model 3 – only by 50mm in length (so it’s 4.75m long) but a full 181mm in height. Just 27mm of that goes into increasing the ground clearance to 167mm, so the body height is stretched by more than 150mm, which should do head room a favour.
How to describe the looks? I won’t dwell too long, because you can make your own mind up, but a videographer colleague described it as looking like a generic car you would nick in the Grand Theft Auto video game that’s sort of meant to look like something else but doesn’t quite do so; or maybe one from an insurance advert where they take a real car and digitally remove its most distinguishable features. Maybe we’re still getting used to a grille-less future. Among Tesla owners, it turns a few heads, mind.
At launch, there will be two versions, both with two motors and thus four-wheel drive. The slower model is the Long Range tested here. It has a motor on the rear axle and a less powerful motor at the front giving a combined 434bhp, which is good for a 0-62mph time of 5.0sec and a top speed of 133mph. Then there’s the Performance version with a 483bhp total and an exceptionally whizzy 3.7sec 0-62mph time.