A Tesla owner has shared how he took his Model Y off-road on a wet, muddy day and says it was capable of handling all sorts of tracks and muddy puddles with “no problem whatsoever”.
The Model Y is Tesla’s latest production electric vehicle and as a crossover SUV is currently available in the US in either a Long Range or Performance variant, both with dual motors and therefore all-wheel drive capabilities.
Although it is not a high-set sports utility vehicle per se, Brian of “i1Tesla” set out for a drive off-road with Out Of Spec’s Kyle Connor to tackle some slippery North Carolina clay tracks.
The video exemplifies how wrong misconceptions can be that electric vehicles might “ruin the weekend”- as hooted by LNP politician and federal minister Michaelia Cash, or wouldn’t be suitable for families wanting to get off the beaten track to go camping, as touted by prime minister Scott Morrison before last year’s federal election.
“The reasons why we’re able to do this is such a capable vehicle already and I think we can get even better,” says Brian in the video.
As with any other vehicle, the Model Y just needs a bit of preparation, including in this case strapping a spare tyre to the roof (there is no well inside the vehicle), and lowering its tyres to 25 PSI.
The Model Y been fitted with 18″ Martian Wheels rims that stick out just beyond the body combined with open country Toyo AT3 tyres.
Importantly, the Model Y has been set to “off-road assist mode” which Tesla says allows the wheels to spin, and “balances the torque between the front and rear motors to optimize traction” on rough and soft surface.
In the case of this off-road Model Y video, these are soft surfaces indeed.
While the car suffers a bump almost straight off the bat when the driver slips back into a tree, the rest of the drive looks like a lot of fun.
The pair first tackle a hill only to end up on a slippery flat – keeping momentum, the car doesn’t let up. “I can’t believe it just climbed that hill pretty straight,” Kyle says.
“Well, we were going pretty fast,” says Brian.
You really have to see it for yourself (and you can in the video below) – the Tesla takes all sorts of soggy puddles with no issue at all (aside from losing a piece of the plastic suspension casing which can be replaced easily enough).
“Not a huge deal, I can order one of those from Tesla and slap that on there,” he says.
“Would you take your Tesla through here? Well I just did,” says Brian.
The two put the Model Y up on the lift after the drive to show a battery pack with no visible damage. “Nothing wrong with the battery pack it all,” he says.
“A little bit of carnage and not much damage at all,” he says.
The Model Y is slated for the Australian market and is expected to be available for pre-order before imports start within the next 12-18 months.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.