At first glance, a new video released by Tesla looks to be nothing more than a self-indulgent promo film recapping the company’s story to date.
But a closer look at a few seconds of the footage appears to be a somewhat stealthy teaser of the upcoming Model Y compact crossover.
As the video gets to the 15-second point, it appears to show a half-built Tesla half-covered by a sheet, which it’s not out of order to assume is the new Model Y. Before and after this, there are lots of quick-edited shots of Tesla electric SUVs and coupes going very fast, sometimes without the drivers’ hands being on the steering wheel to illustrate Tesla autonomous technology, as well as batteries, a Gigafactory, active workers and even a couple of electric trucks.
Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing segment of the 105-second video comes at around the 1:05 mark where we see a few seconds of the cockpit of the upcoming Tesla Roadster looking like something from a sci-fi movie.
The Model Y is to be based on the affordable Model 3 saloon and the sill and door profiles of the vehicle under the sheet look very similar to those of the Model 3, so there’s every chance the part-hidden vehicle is the new compact crossover. Also, the way the rear door shut line pairs with the rear wheel arch looks absolutely identical to the Model 3, so unless Elon Musk has yet another unfinished project on the drawing board this has to be the Model Y.
Reports surfaced last month that the Model Y was due to go into production in November of next year, but Musk has now rubbished those reports saying, “The report is based on nothing. We will not be starting production of Model Y next year. I would say it’s probably closer to 24 months from now… [early] 2020 is a more likely prospect.”
Musk also indicated the Model Y won’t be built at the company’s Fremont, California production facility as that plant is said to be “jammed to the gills” and “crazy packed.” The production lines could therefore materialize at Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plants, including one in China.