Update 3/15/19 12:11 AM ET: The Tesla Model Y has officially been revealed. You can read all about it right here. The article you're currently reading was published before the vehicle's debut.
The Tesla Model Y is the crossover counterpart to the entry-level Model 3 sedan, or rather, a baby Model X. Either way, it's an incredibly important vehicle for Tesla, and it's possibly coming soon.
Outside of Tesla, no one has seen the Model Y, but the automaker's unusually outspoken CEO, Elon Musk, has shared a lot of info on the crossover throughout its genesis. Musk's many comments a variety of credible rumors floating around the web give us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Model Y. Here's what we know, and what we're pretty sure about.
We Will See It Soon
Last May, that Tesla might show off the Model Y on March 15th, 2019. He tweeted that date out because "the Ides of March sounded good," but he also said to "consider it real."
With the Ides of March imminent, Musk decided to reveal the Model Y a day earlier, March 14th, when it'll be revealed at Tesla's LA design studio. In a further tweet, Musk promised that "detailed specs and pricing will be provided, as well as test rides."
It'll Possibly Be In Production in 2020
While we might see the Model Y this year, it won't be until next year that it goes into production. Based on leaked documents, that Tesla is aiming to start Model Y production in August 2020 after a two-month pilot run. By September 2020, it's hoping to build 2000 Model Ys per week.
In its 2018 Q4 investor update, Tesla said that " this year we will start tooling for Model Y to achieve volume production by the end of 2020." It's an aggressive target, but doable since...
It's Based on the Model 3
Early in the Model Y's gestation, Musk wanted to create an entirely new platform for the Model Y, but he was convinced otherwise. Creating a new platform for the Model Y would be bucking the auto-industry trend of using the same underpinnings for sedans and crossovers for no good reason.
Roadshow reported last month that Musk said the Model Y will share around 75 percent of its components with the Model 3 sedan. That should help the crossover make it into production quicker and cost less money to develop.
For this reason, we expect the Model Y to be similar to a Model 3 in width, length, and wheelbase, though, of course, taller. That's pretty much the case with the Model X and the Model S.
It'll Cost Around 10 Percent More Than a Model 3
When confirming that the Model Y will be revealed on March 14th, Musk said that it "will cost about 10 percent more, and have slightly less range for same battery." That's because the Model Y is around 10 percent bigger than the 3.
While the Model 3 does start at $35,000, that's for a single-motor, rear-wheel drive car. We'd be surprised to see a rear-drive Model Y, so perhaps it's safer to assume it'll be priced about 10 percent higher than the $47,000 Model 3 dual-motor. Tesla likes to surprise though, so expect anything.
It'll Look Like a Baby Model X
The only look at the Model Y we've gotten comes from two black-and-white teaser sketches released by Tesla. The one above indicates that the Model Y will have design cues from the Model X and the Model 3. Tesla has hit on a winning formula for design, so don't expect them to rock the boat too much with this crossover.
It'll Be Built in Nevada and China
In its 2018 Q4 investor update, Tesla said the Model Y would "most likely" be built at the company's "Gigafactory" outside Reno. Between the Model S, X and 3, Tesla's Fremont, California factory is operating at full steam, so the company has to look elsewhere for places to build the Model Y. The Nevada Gigafactory is the most logical choice, though it hasn't been confirmed yet.
Tesla is building another Gigafactory outside Shanghai, and it's expected to build entry-level versions of the Model Y there, too. Those China-built Model Ys won't come to the US, though—they're only for the Chinese market.
This post will be consistently updated as we learn more about Tesla's next crossover.