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Tesla quietly introduced a new version of its Model Y sport utility vehicle Thursday evening that it part of the company’s effort to produce more affordable cars.
The vehicle’s base price is $42,000, making it Tesla’s lowest-cost midsize SUV yet. The price tag is just $4,000 more than Tesla’s entry level Model 3 sedan, its least expensive offering.
Tesla calls the new car its “standard range” Model Y and the distance it can drive on a single battery charge, its so-called range, is estimated at 244 miles on average. With a top speed of 135 MPH and rear-wheel drive only, the car is less impressive than upper-tier Model Y models in terms of specifications.
Screenshot of Tesla’s website showcasing the new “standard range” Model Y, a more affordable variant of the company’s electric SUV.
At the higher end of the spectrum, Tesla’s “performance” Model Y features an estimated range of 303 miles, a top speed of 155 MPH, and a base price of $60,000. Another option, the “long range” Model Y, has an estimated range of 326 miles, a top speed of 135 MPH, and a base price of $50,000. Both these higher-end models have all-wheel drive, unlike like the more limited standard range vehicle.
The new Model Y announcement may surprise people who follow the memes, musings, and occasional meltdowns of Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive on Twitter—and, as of Thursday, the world’s richest person.
In July, Musk said on Twitter that Tesla had scrapped plans for the standard range Model Y because the estimated range, at under 250 miles, “would be unacceptably low.” According to the new model’s listing, the range is still under that threshold.
Even so, the range beats previous expectations. When Tesla first announced the standard range Model Y in March 2019, the original planned featured an estimated range of 230 miles.
Tesla shares soared more than 8% to $882.50 per share on Friday, eventually settling at around $856 per share. Since the beginning of the year, the company’s stock is up 20% amid a broader tech rally, after rising more than 600% last year.
For Tesla’s standard range Model Y, estimated delivery times range from two to five weeks, the company’s website said.
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