For today’s road test we find ourselves immersed in the curves of the Mottarone, in complete silence, driving the Tesla Model Y Long Range, the latest arrival in Europe from the US manufacturer. In our magazine there are now many Tesla test drives, yet every time this brand manages to surprise us. In order to appreciate a special car, we decided to head towards the Alps, on the Mottarone, where a fantastic panorama can frame Tesla Model Y.
Tesla Model Y is an SUV derived directly from the Model 3 sedan, we are in fact in front of a car that in its forms and many of the details closely follows the electric sedan that we have been able to admire on the Italian roads for the past two years. Streamlined lines, smooth surfaces; everything is designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, so much so that Tesla engineers have achieved an enviable CX of 0.23. Everything is more massive, taller and in general gives the impression of being a bigger car. In fact, compared to its sedan counterpart, it is like this: it grows in length up to 4.75 meters and in width up to 1.92 meters, finally, the overall height reaches 1.62 meters.
Obviously, given the type of car, the ground clearance also increases, which goes from 14cm in Model 3 to 16.7cm in Model Y under test. Model Y is faithful to its sedan version even in the interior, the setting is the same. The steering wheel is the same pleasant command that we find on Model 3, with two wheels placed on the spokes and the driving selector lever. At the center, however, there is only the large touchscreen that we have come to appreciate so much. Compared to the previous test, the software changes, we find the latest version with a slightly different design and many more features.
By downloading the Tesla app on your smartphone, you can then set the latter as a key for your car and use a series of functions to monitor and manage the car. Of particular interest, compared to the previous tests, are the smartphone adjustment of the AC charging amperage and the ability to view the sentry mode videos even remotely. The novelties that Tesla offers from a purely tech point of view are not over here, in fact the latest Model 3 and Model Y produced are equipped with an AMD Ryzen processor. A processor architecture that in recent years, thanks to excellent performance, has depopulated in PCs of all bands.
Although the wheelbase compared to Model 3 remains almost the same, with all the resulting advantages starting from the space available for rear passengers, the greater height of the car leads to an expansion of the space available for luggage. The rear trunk is 840 liters and, as per Tesla tradition, we find a generous 120-liter frunk at the front. In addition, the space inside the rear trunk is very usable as it is regular and full of hidden wells. The absence of the parcel shelf to hide the contents should be noted, not bad since the rear windows are darkened.
The Model Y Long Range powertrain consists of two induction induction motors and permanent magnets, one at the front and one at the rear, powered by a 75kWh battery. Tesla never declares the power and torque of its vehicles, so there is no objective data to compare with, but this car pushes a lot. Suffice it to say that 0-100 is covered in just under 5 seconds.
The steering offers a sufficiently direct command, with the right load that can be varied according to the situation. Model Y Long Range on the scale weighs about 2000kg, distributed at 46% on the front and 54% on the rear. An important weight, mostly due to the battery pack, which, however, being positioned between the front and rear wheels, helps lower the center of gravity. This results in a feeling of adherence to the ground and flawless control. Also thanks to the great ability of all Tesla cars to perfectly control torque delivery, you always have the vehicle under your control.
The driving experience of Model Y, or more general of any Tesla, is without any difficulty while appearing rewarding and fun. The electric car is usually associated with problems such as times, costs and charging stations. Tesla, a pioneer and reference point in the sector, erases all these doubts and anxieties in the blink of an eye thanks to a real ecosystem made up of its own cars and the Supercharger network. Whenever I have the opportunity to try a Tesla, I am amazed at how the integrated navigator manages to plan short stops on the Supercharger network with such precision. I am also increasingly struck by the expansion that has been characterizing this proprietary charging infrastructure in recent years: more and more charging stations are created, and those already present are often upgraded.
During charging stops, you can then use the onboard infotainment to watch Netflix, surf the web, play something or have fun with one of the many Easter eggs. Part of Tesla’s driving experience also goes through the infamous driver assistance system called Autopilot. In this latest version it is further improved becoming even more precise. The “Advanced Autopilot” option also adds functions such as automatic lane change and “Navigate on Autopilot” which allows the car to independently take the correct motorway junctions.
Very spectacular, but limited by current regulations, is the “Smart Summon” that allows you to move the car from your smartphone.
Model Y Long Range accepts DC up to 250kW with a charging curve which, on Supercharger and ultrasfast charging stations, allows you to recover 80% of battery life in less than 30 minutes. In AC, on the other hand, it offers a more conventional 11kW three-phase OBC which in less than one night allows you to fill up without any particular problems. Consumption, despite the type of car and the performance offered, are the result of years of experience in the production of fully electric cars, everything is designed to minimize the waste of electrons. The result is a frightening efficiency, so much so that it is possible to travel 100km with 22kWh in very unfavorable conditions (motorway, low temperatures).
In better conditions it is possible to travel 100km with a consumption of about 14.5kWh. Tesla Model Y Long Range, for how the test car is set up, is declared for 533km of autonomy in the WLTP cycle. Staying away from highways and temperatures that are too extreme is an easily reachable value, and even surmountable; on the other hand, traveling only on the motorway, given the aforementioned consumption, it is reasonable to expect around 330km of autonomy. According to the values declared with the 19 rims it is possible to travel about 10% more of the road.
Tesla Model Y Long Range starts at € 63,990 with practically everything as standard. It is possible to change the body color, choose whether you want white or black interiors with 5 or 7 seats, and insert 20 “wheels (the 21 are reserved for Performance), as well as choose the level of autopilot between basic, advanced and autonomous driving at maximum potential. The test car, with metallic Ocean Blue, 20 “wheels and advanced autopilot comes in at just over € 73,000. It is known that SUVs are fashionable and in this price range they sell more than any other type of car.
The advantages are indisputable, the cargo space and the greater ground clearance can be convenient for a very large slice of the market. The aesthetic factor is then purely subjective, but the raised cars are tempting. So, if you can already admire a lot of Model 3 on the streets, what will it be for Model Y? Our opinion is largely positive, net of the only defect found in the lack of the hatbox. Tesla, as always, is a reference point for electric cars and also in this round it has hit the mark with a vehicle that, despite the greater weight and greater height compared to a sedan, manages to convince thanks to an impeccable behavior on the road. and an exceptional autonomy.