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We Know Y You're Excited! Tesla Model Y Drops Tonight

Tonight, Tesla will unveil its latest car, the Model Y. In what's widely expected to be a smaller, less expensive SUV than the Model X, the Model Y has already been teased — first with a shadowy rendering in mid-2018, then more recently with an outline of its upper half. The livestream kicks off at 8 p.m. Pacific time, and if the Model 3's unveiling was any indication (Tesla unveiled the car itself some 19 minutes in), we should see the Model Y in short order.

Related: Tesla Tuesday: Model Y Reveal, Autopilot Upgrade and More

The Model Y is crucial for Tesla. A Cars.com analysis in late 2018 found SUVs outsold cars by a staggering 43.1 percent, yet Tesla has just one example in the pricey Model X. Still, the automaker's bestselling car is a sedan: the new Model 3. Despite not being an SUV, it's the industry's best-selling luxury nameplate through the first two months of 2019 by a mile, per Automotive News estimates — and that's after federal tax credits for all Tesla models fell by half.

Like Tesla's other models, the Model Y will be all-electric. Expected to ride a Model 3 platform, it could also share the sedan's batteries and electric motors. In the Model 3, such hardware enables range from 220 miles to 325 miles and zero-to-60-mph acceleration from 5.6 seconds down to a blistering 3.2 seconds. Given the larger Model X sees slight reductions in range and acceleration versus the Model S with which it shares a platform, we'd expect Tesla to report Model Y capabilities as similar to, but not quite on par with, the Model 3.

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Tonight's unveiling comes amid a season of controversy for the automaker. After a series of losses, the automaker ended 2018 with two consecutive quarters of profit. But the year also saw Tesla agree to pay a $40 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud charges and failures to control CEO Elon Musk's usage of social media, particularly with a misleading tweet that he'd secured funding to take Tesla private. Consumer Reports, citing owner surveys, ranked Tesla among the least reliable brands in 2018, a year after it called out the Model X as the least reliable new car on the market. Tesla, meanwhile, blasted the magazine's 2017 survey as "lack[ing] basic scientific integrity." (Dayum!)

What's in store for the Model Y? Watch Tesla's feed tonight, and check back on Cars.com tomorrow for our take on everything Model Y.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

 
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