Tesla Unveils the Model Y: Here’s What Students in Auto Mechanic College Should Know

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Standard range production of the Tesla Model Y is set for early 2021. With a 483 km EPA range estimate, a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, 66 cubic feet of cargo space, and an all-wheel drive dual motor, this compact crossover is likely to be popular with brand loyalists. The vehicle is built on the Model 3 platform, with about 75% of it being pretty much identical. Some are even having trouble telling them apart!

Read on for a closer look at why the Model Y has people talking.

SUVs Vs. Crossovers Explained for Auto Mechanic College Students

As a crossover, the Model Y is a unibody design, based on the platform of a Tesla Model 3. Crossovers sometimes get confused with SUVs, as they have a similar appearance. As a result, don’t be surprised if you hear a few people mistakenly refer to a crossover as an SUV during your career.

The basic difference between them is that crossovers are based on a car’s platform, whereas an SUV is based on a truck chassis. Crossovers use unibody structure, with the body and frame all existing as one piece. On the other hand, SUVs are designed with a body-on-frame approach: the body is built separately and installed on the frame later.

In your career after auto mechanic college, you may encounter crossovers that closely resemble the model that their car platform is from. The Model Y’s small size and car-based unibody design give it the look of a tall sedan. However, the spaciousness it offers can’t be beat by the Model 3. The amount of cargo space in the Tesla Model Y is close to that of a standard full size pickup truck bed.

Safety Design Points of Interest for Students in a Mechanic Program

The Model Y is built with a low centre of gravity, which makes the vehicle more stable and better at turning corners with control. The rigid structure of the body provides protection, and there are large crumple zones to absorb impact. With special attention given by Tesla to build the safest vehicles in their class, the Model Y is no exception. Without a combustion engine in the hood of the car, more space is available for a forward crumple zone. In addition, with the battery located at the bottom of the car, the vehicle is given a lower centre of gravity and extra stability.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave an all-around 5-star safety rating to the Tesla Model 3 (the car platform on which the Model Y is based)—the highest possible rating the agency can give. Given their similarities, it’s expected that the Model Y will get a similarly high rating.

Autopilot and Other Features for Enhanced Driving

The seating position in the Model Y is elevated above a lower dash, giving extra visibility, and an all-glass roof even allows for a view of the sky. The car comes with rear, side, and forward facing cameras, which maximizes visibility and spatial awareness. A long-range view is available for looking at objects up to 160 metres in the distance, using the forward facing radar. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors in the car for detection of nearby objects and collision prevention, including when parking. In addition, the collision warning and blind-spot monitoring enhances driver capabilities and provides some extra reassurance when on the road.

Students in a mechanic program may be well aware that Tesla is known for trying to push boundaries with regards to everything from battery range to self-driving capabilities. To that end, the Model Y also has full self-driving capability. It can drive automatically on streets and highways (pending legal approval), and it has autopark for both parallel and perpendicular parking. The car can even find its driver in a parking lot when summoned to do so!

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