Tesla Model Y: 10 Facts You Probably Didn't Know
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.
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Thanks to Sandy Munro for the Tesla Model Y vehicle teardown:
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.
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. The Model Y’s hatchback design is the main differentiator from the traditional trunked sedan of the model 3 .
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 The expensive copper rotor has been replaced by a cast-in-place aluminum assembly that reduces the overall cost of production, but maintains the functionality of the motor.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.
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 Tesla Model X SUV. Tesla engineers decided to go for the regular outwards opening doors on the Tesla Model Y.
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.
With the rear seats completely folded down flat, the model Y offers 68 cubic feet of storage space, a whooping jump from the 15 cubic feet of the Model 3.
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.
On the Model Y interior, there is 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.
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 delivery. 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.
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.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts that the new Model Y will become the best-selling product ever, and he might be right. Jay Leno likes it too!
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.