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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

Anyone vaguely familiar with the Tesla Model 3 saloon won’t be surprised at any of the Model Y’s technical make-up or design. Like it or loathe it, Tesla’s design language is consistent and thus makes any of its cars clearly recognisable as a Tesla. It’s extremely clean, with no fake grilles or spoilers, and the fish-like shape and flush door handles are very aerodynamic (even if Tesla’s drag coefficient of 0.23 sounds optimistic) but it’s not exactly elegant.

The Model Y is very much like a bigger Model 3 – Tesla actually claims 75% of components are shared. It is only 50mm longer, at 4751mm, but a considerable 181mm taller. Of that, 27mm goes into increasing the ground clearance to 167mm, so the body height is stretched by more than 150mm, which benefits not just head room but also the rear passengers’ seating position. Potentially the most significant improvement over the Model 3 is that the Model Y is a hatchback, which means it is not at a practicality disadvantage compared with the Volkswagen MEB cars, and the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The mechanical make-up is also the same as the Model 3. That means there is a sizeable skateboard battery in the floor. Tesla is notoriously coy about battery capacity (ironic, given that it used to be the basis for its model naming structure) and power output, but the pack is estimated to have a 75kWh usable capacity.

In 434bhp Long Range dual-motor form, the Model Y is good for 331 miles on the WLTP cycle. For the 483bhp Performance model, range drops to a still-impressive 319 miles. When the Model Y was revealed, it was announced that there would be cheaper Standard Range and single-motor Long Range models, but those have since been cancelled.

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The Model Y’s body is mostly steel but with a lot of aluminium too, including a huge single-piece casting for the rear understructure. And it appears to be effective: 1979kg doesn’t sound particularly light, but it actually is a decent result for an EV of this size.