Tesla video teases Model Y, shows Roadster cockpit in action

A glimpse of our terrifically slick future

Tesla just released a new video that appears to exist for no other reason than to recap Tesla. There are coupes and SUVs going fast, batteries and a gigafactory, a couple of semis, "The machine that makes the machine," and lots of shots of active, intense factory workers. There's also, at the 0:15-second mark, a tease of some new Tesla half built and half hidden under a sheet. We will assume this is the Model Y. And at the 1:05 mark we get a few seconds of the coming Roadster cockpit looking like it came from 20 years in the future.

We're pegging the tease as the Model Y because it looks to have the same sill and door profiles as the Model 3 on which it's based, and the way the rear door shutline pairs with the rear wheel well looks identical to the compact sedan. On top of that, frankly, there's not much else the vehicle could be — not unless Musk wants to get analysts and Model 3 customers gnashing what's left of their teeth over another new project.

Assuming it is the Y, Elon Musk in last week's earnings call said it won't be built at the Fremont, California, plant because that facility is "jammed to the gills" and "crazy packed." He indicated production lines could go in at Tesla's Gigafactory battery plants, including one in China. He also denied a Reuters story that production would begin in November 2019, saying, "The Reuters 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."

Between the two production locations, Musk aims to produce one million Model Ys per year.

The other treat in the video is the Roadster interior. We've seen it in static shots, but as far as we know only those who ponied up for acceleration runs got a chance to see the cabin in action. It really does look like our terrifically slick future if you can avoid staring at the unadorned metal tube serving as a steering column. There isn't much going on inside the cabin other than the glossy touchscreen and the tiny twin readouts in the instrument panel. But when 60 miles per hour comes in 1.9 seconds, the more focus on the road, the better.

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