The Tesla Model Y is the result of nearly 17 years of automotive innovation. This practical crossover is the most technologically advanced vehicle ever built by Tesla Motors, and is arguably the most sophisticated vehicle in its price range in the entire world. The perfect choice for those who want to drive a spacious, impressively intelligent, extremely safe electric car but want a bit more room than the model 3 sedan.
The Tesla Model Y performance model, equipped with all wheel drive dual independent motors has a range of 315 miles, a top speed of 145 MPH, and accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds, but you probably knew all that.
We performed a deep dive into the specifications and story of the Model Y and pulled out some interesting facts you might not have known. If you’re a huge Tesla enthusiast you’ll probably know some of them, but it will still be an entertaining video we hope.
It uses 70% of the same parts as the Model 3
7.1 inches taller than the universally acclaimed and best selling Model 3, the model Y is built on the same platform and contains approximately 70% of the parts you can find on its smaller, yet older, brother. Only a couple of inches longer and almost 3 inches wider, Tesla’s new poster child is a compact crossover utility vehicle that looks very similar to the Model 3. A bad parent might even have trouble telling these two darling siblings apart, but the Model Y’s hatchback design is the main differentiator from the traditional trunked sedan of the model 3 . If we were to dive into the more technical details (and we will in the following segments), we’d find out that the new Model Y is a monument of intelligent engineering and innovation and has many other unique features.
It has an improved Electric Motor Assembly
Even though the front induction motor of the model Y looks identical to the one in the Model 3 because the external housing has the same exact design, what’s inside is different. And, as the famed auto engineer Sandy Munro found out, there have been some manufacturing efficiencies added. The expensive copper rotor has been replaced by a cast-in-place aluminum assembly that reduces the overall cost of production, but maintains the functionality of the motor. We know that the performance version of the model Y uses the same motor configuration as the Model 3, with a more efficient permanent magnet motor in the back, and an induction unit up front.
Initially it had Falcon Wings Doors
The falcon wing door design was patented by the Mercedes-Benz in 1952 for the 300SL race car but in the EV universe we now associate it with the luxurious Tesla Model X SUV. We can’t deny that as cool as they look, these doors have been mired in controversy, with people getting stuck inside their cars, to complaints of waiting too long for the doors to open if you’re in a rush. Probably not many people know that the recent Model Y was initially intended to feature falcon wings doors too, as hinted by Elon Musk in 2015, but ultimately the Tesla engineers decided to go for the regular outwards opening doors instead. The controversies that we mentioned before probably influenced that final decision a bit.
The Tesla Model Y is the first Tesla vehicle to use a heat pump for interior cabin heating and cooling, which can improve vehicle efficiency compared to Tesla’s previous models that use electrical resistance to keep the car’s interior warm and toasty. A Heat Pump is a device that transfers thermal energy, and can be used for heating, or in reverse for air conditioning.
Potentially one of thee most advanced pieces of new engineering in the vehicle, the Model Y’s heat pump contains a motorized “octovalve” that distributes coolant to all of the vehicles components need of thermal regulation including motors, batteries, or sweaty passengers.
When thinking about electric cars, the heating and cooling system might not be the first thing to come to mind, but this seemingly insignificant detail has a big effect on the vehicles range, because electric cars can lose up to 40% of their range in cold weather if you turn the heat on full blast.
Automotive engineering expert Sandy Munro, said this new addition to the cars thermal management system is said said to be one of the most significant changes to the vehicle and looks like something you’d find on a jet engine, not a car.
It has generous under-seat Storage Space
With the rear seats completely folded down flat, the model Y offers 68 cubic feet of space, a whooping jump from the 15 cubic feet of the Model 3. But this is due to the fact that this compact yet spacious CUV also features a generous under-seat storage space, in fact the driver and passenger’s seats both have a 5″ tall by 14″ wide by 7″ long space beneath them that could accommodate everything from books to games and even a homemade drawer to store hot dogs and oranges if you’re the DIY project type. It seems that Tesla’s designers and engineers created the Model Y with the goal of efficiency and practicality for everyday use.
Its underbody has a revolutionary two-piece casting
The first time you lay your eyes on the underbody of an electric car you are overwhelmed by the lack of, well… stuff, there’s no exhaust pipe, no moving parts, nothing, only simplicity and a few plates that cleanly merge together. As if this already clean design wasn’t enough, the Model Y’s underbody has a revolutionary two-piece casting and by the end of the year, Musk said that they intend to make the entire underbody out of one single part. This ambitious project is the only one of its kind because “There is no casting of the size and complexity that has ever been done before.”, as Elon stated. To put it into context, the Model 3’s underbody is made out of 70 different metal parts welded together.
It has a Single Pane Glass Roof
To compliment the intelligent functions and immense power of its electric powertrain, the Model Y has a beautifully aesthetic single pane glass roof that ties together seamlessly with its minimalist interior. On the Model 3 we experienced a view partially obstructed by a center brace, but the Model Y inherited the continuous glass roof design from the more expensive Model S. Seeing the sky right through the roof of your fast, smart and incredibly safe electric car on a beautiful sunny day, I think they call that a good user experience.
It gets “Chrome Delete”
Seeing the popularity of aftermarket companies that have created dedicated kits to cover the chrome accents on other Teslas, namely the Model 3, Model S and Model X, the designers thought it would be a cool look to include the “chrome delete” as a standard feature of the Model Y. Therefore, everything from the pillar trim, side mirrors, door handles, blinkers and a few other accents are painted in matte black for a sleek, minimalist appearance.
It has a “tusk”
As Sandy Munro discovered in some of his legendary “car dismembering” videos, the frame of the Model Y is much more solid than the one present in the Model 3 that, if you were paying attention, already scored “perfect” on the IIHS’s safety tests. The main feature that stood out (literally) was a so called “tusk” that is intended to absorb all the shock from a possible front crash and distribute it evenly throughout the body of the vehicle. This “tusk” would make the Model Y an extremely safe electric vehicle and it would probably score even higher than the unrivaled Model 3, if that’s even possible.
It will be the best-selling Tesla of all time
CEO Elon Musk’s who is notoriously…optimistic predicts that the new Model Y will become the best-selling product ever, and he might be right. On a 2019 Tesla earnings conference call, Elon proclaimed “ I’ve actually recently driven the Model Y release candidate, and I think it’s going to be an amazing product and be very well received,” I think it’s quite likely to — this is just my opinion, but I think it will outsell S, X, and 3, combined.”
Automotive intelligence firm JATO Dynamics reported the SUV share of the global market has increased from 22% to more than 33% since 2014 so a crossover utility vehicle with the right mix of size and storage capacity might just be the perfect offering the market has been waiting for.
There are four powertrains for the Model Y: Standard Range, Long Range, Long Range with Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive, and Performance. The Model Y will offer optional third-row seats for a seven-passenger seating capacity, and this middle child between the model 3 and model x might just be the perfect addition for a growing family, with parents who like to go fast, in style, or really just for anyone who likes awesome high performance vehicles with tons of storage space .