Upcoming Tesla compact SUV to share Model 3's tech

To bring it to the market faster
by Vijay Pattni | Aug 8, 2017


Tesla boss Elon Musk has told investors that the company’s upcoming compact SUV will share a lot of architecture with the new Model 3.

Speaking on the company’s second quarter financial results conference call, Musk confirmed sharing architecture would bring the ‘Model Y’ to the market much quicker.

“One thing I wanted to correct: In a prior call, it said that Model Y or our compact SUV, would be a totally new architecture,” Musk said. “Upon the counsel of my executive team, who reeled me back from the cliffs of insanity, the Model Y will in fact be using substantial carryover from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster.”

Though he wouldn’t specify exactly what architecture they’d share, expect a common platform as a starting point.

“That [sharing architecture] will really accelerate our ability to get Model Y to market faster,” he noted. This will allow the small SUV to have “relatively low technical and production risk as a result.

“I still think we want to do the crazy thing in the future, but we’ll punt that to after the compact SUV,” he added.

Though it goes against what Musk originally envisioned for the Model Y—a separate, new platform as opposed to what Tesla did with the X and S (using the S’s platform to build the X)—it chimes with the company’s recent feelings about engineering too much complexity into models at the start of their life spans.

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On the call, he noted again how the Tesla Model X had far too much complexity from the beginning. It’s also the reason early Model 3s are only rear-drive, with limited options and just one long-range pack available.

Expect to see it in 2019, if all goes to plan. And there’s a pretty big plan in place at Tesla at the moment: Delivering the hundreds of thousands of Model 3s, designing and building the Y, and a Tesla truck.

“This is maybe the best I’ve ever felt about Tesla, to be frank,” Musk said on the call. “Last week stressed the hell out of me, but I really think that this is probably the best I’ve ever felt about the company.”

Should it be called the Model Y, you’ll note that in 2019, Tesla’s model structure reads S, 3, X, Y.

Read Top Gear’s first drive of the new Tesla Model 3 by clicking these blue words.

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made. 

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