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Tesla Quietly Unveils the Ultra-Affordable Model Y: 279 Miles of Range for Less!

Tesla has quietly started selling a cheaper Model Y with a 279-mile range and using the 4680 battery pack, but you won't find this variant of Tesla's electric SUV on the configurator yet. This is in addition to last Friday’s price cuts, which I have reported here.


Tesla's decision to offer a cheaper variant of the Model Y off a secret menu is something of a genius move, as it allows customers to purchase the electric vehicle at a price that better fits their budget. Although Tesla’s website currently restricts Model Y orders to those of the $54,380 Long Range or $58,380 Performance variants, Tesla's list of online inventory shows that a number of its stores are stocked with salable base Model Y EVs that wear a starting price $2000 less than that of the Long Range model.

This variant of the Model Y is currently only available in Tesla stores. It's not in the configurator, and while it does feature optional 20-inch wheels and tires, the base model still offers a $2000 savings over the Long Range model. This secret menu option is sure to be popular among Tesla fans, as it provides a more economical way to get behind the wheel of the high-performance electric vehicle. In fact, on January 3rd, Torque News Tesla reporter Jeremy Johnson, reported that Tesla leaked source code then showed that a cheaper Model Y was coming soon.

After stopping the production of the prior entry-level rear-drive Model Y in 2021, Tesla released a new base-level Model Y that has a significantly improved powertrain design. Unlike the prior rear-drive entry-level Model Y, this new all-wheel-drive model comes standard with a dual-motor system. This powertrain upgrade gives the car an EPA-rated range of up to 279 miles, which is 35 miles more than the Standard Range model it replaced. While it doesn't offer the same range as the Long Range and Performance models (which have up to 51 and 24 miles more range respectively), the new Model Y still offers a great option for those looking for a powerful, efficient daily driver.

In fact, Tesla’s new dual-motor system also provides improved acceleration and handling over the single-motor option, making it an all-around better car and a great choice for those who want to maximize performance and range.
So, this latest addition of cheaper and more affordable Tesla Model Y this time is featuring a powerful 4680 battery pack. Tesla may not be releasing the exact details surrounding the pack's rated capacity, but Car and Driver, who first noticed Tesla’s new model, estimates that the useable capacity is lower than that of the 75.0-kWh pack of its 2020 Model Y Long Range counterpart.

The 4680 battery pack is produced at the company's Texas plant and is built to power the electric motors of the Model Y. This is a big leap forward for Tesla and electric cars in general, as the increased power of the battery makes the Model Y more capable for longer range trips, and ultimately brings us one step closer to the future of electric cars.

Now the question for consideration: is the range deficing of this affordable new Model Y to its Long Range counterpart worth $2,000 dollars? What would you say?

The range deficit of the base 2023 Model Y relative to its Long Range kin is indeed a big consideration for prospective buyers. Whether or not the $2000 price reduction is worth it for you is ultimately a matter of personal preference. That said, the extra $2000 you save when opting for the base Tesla Model Y can be put to good use. You can choose to invest those savings in additional options for your new EV such as a bigger battery, larger wheels, or more advanced technology. On the other hand, you can use the $2000 to lower your monthly payments, freeing up more of your money for other expenses like groceries, bills or even college funds for your children. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but the $2000 price reduction of the base Model Y offers plenty of potential benefits.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.


Chris (not verified)    January 21, 2023 - 3:13PM

52k for a mid-size car is "ultra-affordable". How to show your privilege without saying your privileged.

I mean, not more affordable, or less expensive, but ULTRA-affordable. Compared to what? It's 10k more than other EVs in its class, including thr Volkswagon. And twice as much as an "affordable" crossover, like a Kia Sportage.

Click bait titling author, pushing a notion that EVs are affordable to begin with, know tries to convince you Teslas are ULTRA affordable.

Armen Hareyan    January 25, 2023 - 8:46AM

In reply to by Eloy Bencomo (not verified)

Hi Eloy. those Tesla Model Y vehicles used to be far more expensive several months ago. Car prices have gone up significantly in the past few years. But I see your point and agree with you. A $55K Tesla Model Y is not affordable for the most people on this planet.