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.
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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