Tesla Model Y drops to lowest-ever price, but how long will you have to wait?

Tesla Model Y
(Image credit: Tesla)

Despite reports that Tesla experienced a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter deliveries, causing its share price to fall slightly, the company has hit back with the cheapest Model Y to date.

The introduction of the Model Y RWD (rear-wheel-drive) arrived with little fanfare (a meagre update to the online configurator), but it sees the popular SUV drop to $43,990, $3,750 less than the retired Tesla Model Y AWD (all-wheel-drive), yet this RWD still comes with an estimated 260-mile range.

This predicted range is based on optioning the 19-inch wheels, but customers wanting add a little more bling with the 20-inch rims will get an expected 242-miles on a single charge. Relying on a single motor to power the rear wheels is a clear indicator of where savings have been made, but this has impacted performance.

According to the Tesla website, the newest model will accelerate from 0-60mph in 6.6 seconds, compared to 5.0 seconds in the case of the retired Model Y AWD. A top speed is still slated at 135mph, which is the same across the Tesla line-up unless you plump for a 155mph Performance iteration.

It will surely please the general public, as uptake of the Model has been strong - it was crowned best-selling car overall in Europe for the first half of 2023, according to figures market researcher Dataforce and Automotive News.


(Image credit: Tesla)

Can Musk deliver?

The key question on many buyer’s lips is "but when will I receive mine?". As we previously mentioned, Tesla may miss estimates for third-quarter deliveries due to planned factory shutdowns, according to Reuters.

In addition to this, there has been some suggestion that Tesla may also be facing a battery shortage, which could have also been a key driver behind the decision to drop the Model Y AWD.

Inside EVs pointed out that the outgoing AWD model used 4680-type cylindrical cells, the same that are due in production versions of the delayed Tesla Cybertruck, which could point towards a lack of resources to sustain both models. 

After all, Elon Musk said himself in a Tweet that a Tesla with a sub-250 mile EPA range wouldn’t be produced due to that figure being "unacceptably low". 

The launch of the Model Y (with 20-inch wheels, at least) seems to directly contradict this standpoint. Although this wouldn’t be the first time Musk has pulled a U-turn.

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.