Tesla revealed its hopefully future biggest-selling car to the world last night, the Model Y. It’s notable in that it’s not really so notable— for Tesla, it’s a pretty straightforward design, in that there’s no crazy falcon/hawk/dragon doors or anything radical like that. The basic design, though, has a pretty significant flaw, but I’ve taken it on myself to fix it. You’re welcome.
The flaw has to do with the steeply-raked fastback design. While I think this worked well for the Model 3, when scaled up a bit to the Model Y’s proportions, it starts to feel more like a modern electric Ford Aspire than anything else. Here, look:
That’s probably not the automotive analogue Elon was hoping to conjure up in people’s minds when they see the Model Y.
Even if we set aesthetics aside, there’s no good reason why the Model Y should have such a steeply raked rear. It compromises overall interior volume, limiting cargo room and headroom, and for a car that has an optional third row of seating for seven people, this is an especially big deal.
Visually, I think it’s stronger looking with that sort-of-Kammback rear end, and the amount of second- and third-row headroom would be dramatically better, plus you could carry much larger things in the car with the seats folded down.
It’s mostly just adding empty volume, so there shouldn’t be much of a weight penalty, and I’m pretty sure the aerodynamics could be made to work about as well as on the fastback design.
I’m pretty sure Tesla has hardly built any of these yet, so there should be plenty of time for them to rework the body tooling to match this new, let’s face it, better, design.
You’re welcome, Elon. You can contact Jalopnik HQ to find where to send my fruit basket.