The big change, he said, is that the Model Y won’t require a completely new architecture, instead being built on most of the same principles as the recently unveiled Model 3.
“The Model Y will in fact be using substantial carryover from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster,” he said. “That will really accelerate our ability to get Model Y to market faster.”
This represents a change of course for Tesla, as Musk had previously suggested the Model Y would be a marked departure from the sedan-specific architecture of the Model X. The Model 3 apparently features another engineering overlap with the compact SUV for it to be a workable basis for the Model Y.
Musk credited his executive team with reeling him back from “the cliff of insanity” and putting off the task of designing a radically new architecture. He said the SUV market is larger than that for any of the existing Tesla models, which is part of the reason the company hopes to get the Model Y into production as soon as possible.
“The Model Y will have relatively low technical and production scheduling [issues] as a result,” he said. “I still think we want to do the crazy thing in the future, but we’ll bump that until after the compact SUV.”