Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed production of a new vehicle – the Model Y—during the opening of the automaker’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai on Monday.
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The Model Y is expected to share parts with the Model 3 sedan, indicating it too will likely be a crossover vehicle.
High-volume production at the Shanghai factory – which will manufacture only the Model 3 and Model Y, according to Musk – is expected to begin in 2020, serving the greater China region only. Musk said he expects the Model Y to go into production in 2020.
Here’s what else we know about the Model Y:
Musk has suggested the Model Y could have Falcon Wing doors – doors that are hinged at the roof rather than on the side – similar to the Model X. Teaser images also indicate it could have a panoramic windshield.
According to auto website Electrek, battery packs and drive units are expected to line up with the Model 3 – which means range should be around 200 to 300 miles per charge.
There are also rumors the crossover could potentially have a third row of seats.
During a shareholder meeting in June, Musk said the vehicle would not have any leather – and joked it may not even have a steering wheel.
Tesla is expected to roll out a fully autonomous driving system next year, sparking rumors the Model Y could have that, as well.
A spokesperson for Tesla declined to comment on that possibility when contacted by FOX Business.
Musk said that there will be at least two versions of the Model Y—bearing different price points. On Monday, he said the “affordable” version of the Model Y would be built at the Shanghai factory, and a costlier version produced in the United States.
Musk has said the Model Y may go for $5,000 more than the Model 3, though it is unclear exactly what that would mean – if true.
Tesla unveiled a lower-cost version of the Model 3 in October, with a base price of $45,000. However, Musk’s initial vision for the Model 3 carries a starting cost of $35,000 – which some posit could place the Model Y around $40,000.
Unveiled this year?
Musk initially said the Model Y would be unveiled this year – on March 15 – though production challenges related to the Model 3 sedan have caused some to question that timeframe. Musk also added at the time – via Twitter – that he made up the March timeline because he thought the Ides of March “sounded good,” but then told followers Tesla could unveil the Model Y anytime from late-2018 to mid-2019.
The automaker unveiled two concept drawings, which give away very few details.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the March timeline.