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2021 Model Y: Tesla Unveils its Affordable Crossover EV, Set to Debut in Fall 2020

Tesla has unveiled its Model Y all-electric crossover during a presentation at the company’s design studio in Los Angeles, California. The model comes with big sales expectations as it represents the maverick automaker’s first foray into the affordable SUV segment. At the unveiling, Elon Musk said he expects to sell more of the Model Y than of the Model 3 and Model X combined.

“Affordable” is relative, of course. The starting price for the entry-level Standard Range version of the Model Y is set at $52,000 CAD ($39,000 USD); the Long Range edition will be slightly under $63,000 CAD ($47,000 USD). From there, the price rises to $68,000 CAD ($51,000 USD) for the dual-motor AWD version, and tops out at $80,000 CAD ($60,000 USD) for the Performance trim.

Take note that initially only the top two trims, the Performance edition and the dual-motor AWD version, will be available.

Consult our list of the Top 12 All-Electric Cars in Canada

Photo: Tesla

Standard Range edition - $52,000 CAD
The entry-level Model Y gets 370 km (230 miles) of range on a single full charge. It will be capable of a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration time of 5.9 seconds. Production of this most affordable of the Model Y editions is only expected to start in the spring of 2021.

Long Range edition - $63,000 CAD
The next-most affordable trim of the 2021 Model Y will actually have the longest range of the four versions, with Tesla pegging it at around 482 km (300 miles). 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration time is slightly lower at 5.5 seconds. It also won’t be available before the spring of 2021.

Dual-motor AWD edition - $68,000 CAD
The presence of those three letters in its name may well be what makes this version the most attractive for Canadian consumers. It is expected to have a full-charge range of about 450 km (280 miles). 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration time is down to 4.8 seconds for this version, and it will have a top speed of 217 km/h (135 mph). Tesla plans to have it on the market by fall 2020.

Performance edition - $80,000 CAD
This is the other version that will be available when the Model Y first launches in the fall of 2020. Its name is fairly self-explanatory, thus this version gets the quickest 0-60 mph acceleration time: 3.5 seconds. Top speed is set at 241 km/h (150 mph). Its battery pack will deliver the same range - 450 km (280 miles) - as the AWD version.

Photo: Tesla

The design of the new Model Y is a reflection of the fact it borrows about 75% of its components from the Model 3 sedan. It has visual elements taken from the Model X SUV as well, though unsurprisingly it makes do without that model’s falcon–wing doors.

Tesla cites the Model Y’s low drag of coefficient, which at 0.23 makes it more aerodynamic than both the Model S and Model X and about equal with the Model 3. At almost 1,870 litres, trunk space is significantly bigger than the Model 3, which makes do with a measly 425 litres.

The interior is fairly minimalist and most of its elements and design comes straight from the Model 3. Dominant in the space is a massive 15-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. This accesses the infotainment system equipped with navigation as a standard feature, and it obviates the need for any number of buttons, dials and knobs. Want to adjust the side mirrors? That’s done through the screen. A panoramic sunroof comes as standard equipment.

Photo: Tesla

The Model Y comes by default with five seats, but there’s an option for a seven-seat configuration that will cost an extra $4,000 CAD ($3,000 USD). If you do want that, however, you’ll have to be patient – it won’t be available before 2021.

A variety of other options are available, from 19-inch alloy wheels, different colour choices (standard is black), a black-and-white interior, the Autopilot system and what Tesla pitches as full self-driving capability.

Tesla is starting to take reservations effective immediately; these will require a $2,500 deposit. Sales will be made exclusively online.

At the unveiling Tesla did not specify where the new Model Y will be built. It could be at the company’s Gigfactory in Nevada or at the plant in Fremont, California where the Model S, Model X and Model 3 are assembled.

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2021 Tesla Model Y pictures