The first example of the Tesla Model Y’s so-called ‘Juniper’ facelift has been spied in the US, ahead of its reportedly delayed launch in 2025.

    Uploaded to Reddit by user ‘JackIJack’, this Tesla Model Y was spotted in California, with its front and rear ends covered by camouflage.

    While we unfortunately can’t see under the covers, previous reports suggest the Juniper update will include sleeker headlights and tail lights like the recently updated Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’.

    As both the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 are built on the same platform and have previously shared an almost identical design language – apart from their different body shapes – it’s likely the electric SUV will remain looking like its sedan sibling.

    Tesla has been secretive about the changes to the Model Y, however based on the differences between the pre- and post-updated Model 3, we can expect the best-selling model to move away from steering column stalks and adopt the latter’s controversial steering wheel buttons.

    Other changes on the Model 3 resulted in the electric sedan’s gear selector being relocated to its touchscreen – another move criticised by prospective buyers – while refinements were made to its suspension and electric motors for greater driving range. The ultrasonic parking sensors were also removed.

    Unfortunately there are no photos of the facelifted Model Y’s cabin up close, so we can’t say for sure whether it’ll adopt these changes, though it’s likely given Tesla’s propensity to cut costs and use shared parts.

    If recent comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk prove to be true, we won’t be seeing the Model Y Juniper until 2025, after the outspoken executive last month posted on his social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) that the refresh isn’t coming in 2024.

    His clarification came after reports from China – where the Australian-delivered Model Y and Model 3 are produced – claimed journalists had been told not to expect a facelift during 2024.

    While this left the door open for US- and German-built models to receive a facelift, Mr Musk promptly shut down these ideas.

    Mr Musk claimed “Tesla continuously improves its cars, so even a car that is 6 months newer will be a little better”, however it has been known to make running changes to reduce costs, such as removing the Model Y’s standard Brembo brakes for smaller calipers.

    The Tesla Model Y has remained Australia’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV) throughout the opening six months of 2024, with 12,516 examples sold, placing it ahead of the Model 3 in second (10,600 sales).

    However, even with price cuts of up to $9500 for the year, its year-to-date sales have fallen by 10.6 per cent compared to 2023, despite Australia’s EV market rising by 16.5 per cent.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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