Is Tesla Motors working on a less expensive version of the Model X? It would make sense, as the company has long been talking about the upcoming Model 3, which will be a less expensive version of the Model S. Now it seems Tesla CEO Elon Musk has dropped a hint about a vehicle that could be called the Model Y.
Mysterious tweets from Elon Musk
On Friday, Musk tweeted about a “Model Y” that could have falcon-winged doors like the recently released Model X. He said something to the effect that it will be one of two new vehicles coming in the future, with the Model 3 being the other. His tweets referring to the Model Y have been deleted, but not before they were spotted by Tech Insider, which captured a cached screen shot of the tweet and posted it.
According to Tech Insider, the tweet was Musk’s answer to tweeted questions about the Model 3, which is expected to start out at a price of $35,000 when it becomes available in 2017. When asked about the falcon-winged doors everyone has been ogling on the Model X, he said they would either be on the Model 3 or the yet-unrevealed Model Y.
Model Y tweets quickly pulled
Because the tweets were deleted quickly, it’s possible Tesla won’t finalize the decision to release a less expensive version of the Model X. Perhaps upper management is considering the feasibility of such a project.
Musk did answer a tweet from someone asking about a less expensive 70D Model X, saying that they’re planning to start selling a more affordable model of it but probably not for another year. Currently we only know the price of the most expensive Model X, which is $132,000.
Based on this, it would seem that the previous statements from Musk about the Model X starting prices being about $5,000 than the starting prices of the Model S are unlikely, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. They cut their price target for Tesla because they think the Model X is more expensive than previously thought and simply too expensive even for early adopters.
A picture of the Model Y?
In support of the deleted tweets, EV Obsession has published a photo that some are saying shows the Model Y. It’s said to be a screenshot from a Tesla segment that aired on 60 Minutes in Australia, and in the image there is a vehicle underneath a cover that has been circled. Actually there are two vehicles under covers, and both look to be slightly smaller than the Model S and Model X, and one looks to have “some kind of strange door opening,” according to Shahan, which could suggest that it has falcon-winged doors like the Model X.
Shahan noted that the name “Model Y” would fit in with Musk’s previous desire in the naming of Tesla’s vehicles. Previously, the automaker wanted to name the Model 3 the Model E, which would mean that the EV firm’s cars would spell SEX (Model S, Model E, Model X). When you add Y on the end, you get “SEXY.”
A tall order for Tesla
But is it feasible to make a less expensive Model X while keeping the best features? The idea of a less seems like a bit of a stretch in light of how much more expensive the Model X is than what analysts were expecting. Those fabulous falcon-winged doors with their extra hinges and sensors must be very expensive to make, so it’s difficult to imagine that Tesla would be able to incorporate them into a less expensive vehicle. Even including them on a $35,000 car seems like a tall order, although that could possibly change in two years.
Then again, it seems like Tesla is coming up short on a lot of Musk’s claims lately, especially in the area of vehicle delivery units.
As a result of Morgan Stanley’s price target cut, shares of Tesla fell by as much as 4.02% today to $236.26 per share during regular trading hours.