No, this is not the updated Tesla Model Y

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Social media has fired up with an alleged “leaked” photo of this year’s facelifted Tesla Model Y. But closer inspection reveals it is a fake. Here’s why.

A photo has surfaced claiming to show the facelifted Tesla Model Y electric SUV due later in 2024 – but it appears to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

Posted widely on social media in China and abroad, the image shows a Tesla Model Y with styling from the updated Model 3 electric sedan.

At first glance it appears genuine, with headlights, tail-lights, wheels and badges similar to the Model 3 – and comes days after reports a facelifted Model Y with more comprehensive changes than past updates is due to begin production mid-2024.

However, on closer inspection, it appears to be a well-constructed Photoshop hoax – rather than our first look at the real deal.

Among the clues spotted by Tesla fans is the tailgate, which in the image is a traditional boot lid as seen on the Model 3 – rather than the Model Y’s hatchback design, where the rear windscreen opens with the sheet metal around it.

The panel gap – or ‘shut line’, as it is known – between the roof structure, and the section that opens to reveal the boot is halfway down the rear window in the “leaked” photo, whereas on the real Model Y it is positioned higher on the rear of the car.

It is highly unlikely Tesla has redesigned the rear end of the Model Y to be less practical – given the Model 3’s boot lid has a much smaller opening for loading cargo than the Model Y’s liftback.

Also giving away the “leaked” photo as a fake is the shut line around the lower edge of the tailgate, which is placed high on the car as per the Model 3 – rather than extending beyond the crease in the rear bumper, as it does on today’s Model Y.

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Updated Tesla Model 3.

Overseas reports – from reputable news agencies including Bloomberg and Reuters – claim the facelifted Model Y is due to commence production “as soon as mid 2024”.

It is expected to bring more comprehensive upgrades than past revisions, and is likely to draw inspiration from the updated Model 3.

Among the Model 3-derived changes possible for the updated Model Y are restyled front and rear fascias, new seats with ventilation, a brighter touchscreen, retuned suspension, new wheels and tyres, and additional sound-deadening material.

It may also delete the steering wheel stalks, and relocate the indicators to buttons on the steering wheel, and the gear selector to a slider on the touchscreen.


Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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