But as recognisable as the shape may seem, the format is completely new. At 4,750mm, the Model Y is 60mm longer than the Model 3, 70mm wider and, above all, 180mm higher. As a result the Model Y offers noticeably more space for rear seat passengers and luggage, even though it is not as chunky-looking as most other SUVs. Thanks to the few centimetres more ground clearance and the correspondingly higher seat position, it is easier to get in and out of the car too.
While passengers will notice the change from 3 to Y, the driver won’t. And this is a good thing - it’s not quite as fast as the saloon, but it will casually leave behind all electric rivals in this price bracket and most petrol cars too.
The Model Y isn’t a sportscar of course, and a few bends will soon see the Tesla trail behind a well-driven supercar. But it doesn’t mean the Model Y isn’t rewarding to drive. It’s certainly more sporty feeling than an Audi e-Tron or a Mercedes EQC, which are tuned to be relaxing. The Tesla wants to be driven with more commitment and has a road-holding that, despite its high centre of gravity, does not lose its composure even in tight corners. In this respect it is much closer to the Model 3 than the Model X.
If Ferrari-trouncing speed isn’t needed, the Long Range version will be £8,000 cheaper than the Performance but is slightly slower. A ‘Standard’ version should also be available a year after launch and will be another £8,000 cheaper. It has to make do with just one motor though, powering the rear wheels rather than two motors and four-wheel-drive.
With the Model Y, Tesla undoubtedly has a car which is hugely desirable. Our only concern is that it is still a year (at least) away from reaching the UK and the cheaper versions might not be here until late 2022. The past few months have proved that a lot can happen in a short space of time and the Model Y could seem like old news by the time British buyers finally get hold of it.