Tesla's Next Model Y, Project Juniper, Spotted with Front Bumper Camera; Arriving in 2025

Tesla's Next Model Y, Project Juniper, Spotted with Front Bumper Camera; Arriving in 2025

While Elon Musk had previously stated that a refreshed Model Y, codenamed 'Juniper', would not arrive in 2024, JacklJack on Reddit snapped a photo of a covered Model Y.

When Will It Be Released

The refreshed Model 3, also known as the Highland Model 3, started its journey with engineering test vehicles seen near Giga Texas and the Fremont factory in California. Similarly, this camouflaged Model Y was spotted near Pasadena, California.

Based on the timelines observed with the new Model 3, it seems likely that the Model Y prototype is on track for an early to mid-2025 launch. Engineering test vehicles for the Model 3 were first seen in North America approximately 6-8 months ahead of its debut in China. Following its initial release in China, the vehicle was subsequently launched in North America a few months later.

If Project Juniper's timelines mirror those of the Model 3, we can anticipate more engineering test vehicles appearing on North American roads soon. The vehicle is expected to debut in China first, with launches in North America and Europe following afterward. Similar to the Model 3's release strategy, where the Performance variant launched several months after the Long Range version in North America in April 2024, it remains uncertain whether Tesla will adopt a comparable approach for the new Model Y, possibly releasing the Long Range version before the Performance model.

Front Bumper Camera

There has been much speculation about the refreshed Model 3 potentially featuring a front bumper camera. Currently, the Cybertruck stands alone among Tesla vehicles in offering both a bumper camera and a camera washer. Updated versions of the Model S and Model X are also anticipated to include the lower-bumper camera, though they have not yet been released.

It remains unclear why Tesla did not introduce the new camera with the updated Model 3, given the bumper redesign and factory retooling underway. However, recent spy shots of the updated Model Y suggest it could become Tesla's second vehicle to incorporate the bumper camera. TeslaNewswire shared a photo of the Model Y with enhanced brightness, revealing what appears to be the new front bumper camera in a location akin to the Cybertruck and early prototype Model 3 shots.

Whether this additional camera will make it into the final production model remains uncertain. Nonetheless, it signals Tesla's consideration of expanding this feature to other models.

Musk Asks People to Stop

Elon Musk responded to Sawyer Merritt on Twitter, clarifying that the refreshed Model Y will not be released this year. He also requested people refrain from suggesting otherwise, as it impacts Tesla's current vehicle sales.

Potential Upgrades

While the release of the new Model Y in North America may be about a year away, there's potential for the updated Model Y Juniper to feature Hardware 5 sensors and computers. Elon Musk estimates AI5 (formerly HW5) production is 12-18 months out. The new Model Y could debut the new FSD package.

Expected upgrades include a new front and rear fascia, adaptive headlights, increased range, ambient lighting, new colors, upgraded speakers, and enhanced dynamics. With its 2023 best-seller status, this promises to be a hit.


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