Electric car maker Tesla is gearing up to introduce its first SUV later this year, but during a meeting with shareholders earlier this week, the firm’s chief executive unveiled a sneak peak of the previously unseen Model Y.

Mashable reports that the shot of the car, in which it is bathed in shadows to retain a degree of mystery, was made public by Elon Musk as part of a wide-ranging discussion about the future plans for the firm’s automotive ventures.

Outstanding Features

There are a number of factors which make the Model Y stand out from its existing stable mates, including the Model S. The most significant difference will be the platform, which is a brand new creation that will form the foundation of many Tesla models scheduled to arrive in the next few years.

Another titbit of information gleaned by eagle-eyed observers from scrutinising the image of the Model Y is that it will not have traditional wing mirrors. This could suggest that it will instead rely on cameras and sensors to provide drivers with visual feedback and assistance when behind the wheel during manoeuvres, pushing Tesla further towards autonomous driving territory.

While the Model Y will still be powered by electric motors and onboard batteries, the internal set-up has been overhauled to improve the range and make it more practical for everyday use. Performance improvements are also likely given the speed-focused set-up of many earlier models.

Whether or not this new SUV will arrive in the UK without wing mirrors remains to be seen, since regulatory obstacles will need to be navigated. But in the near future, people looking for Tesla hire in London could have access to the Model Y, which will look very different from almost every other car on the road today.

Model 3 Waiting Times

Musk went on to confirm that the Model 3 saloon, which is Tesla’s most affordable electric vehicle so far, is on schedule to hit production targets. July will see the launch of the official configuration service for this car, meaning customers will be able to pick the options they want for their model before it is built and delivered.

In terms of how quickly the Model 3 will be delivered to buyers, there looks to be a long wait as a result of the high demand that has been experienced since it was first announced. Musk said that anyone pre-ordering it today would be able to expect to receive it in late 2018, showing that even with increased manufacturing capacity there are still more people trying to become Tesla owners than the company can currently accommodate.

The Model Y should be similarly popular, albeit with a much higher price tag than the BMW 3 Series-rivalling Model 3. With the Model P pickup truck also in the works, Tesla has a busy few years ahead of it, during which time it will need to prove that it is able to live up to the lofty ambitions set by its founder.