The compact SUV will soon offer expanded seating capacity – but there's debate as to how it will be done.
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The seven-seat version of Tesla's new compact SUV, the Model Y, will commence delivery in the United States later this year, the company's CEO Elon Musk has confirmed on Twitter.

The Tesla Model Y, which is not yet available in Australia, made its global debut in March 2019 – with US deliveries of the five-seat models starting six months ahead of schedule in March 2020.

However, customers wanting the seven-seat version had been left in the dark on timing until now, with Musk confirming the seven-seat Model Y will "probably" commence deliveries in "early Q4" (the last three months, or last quarter, of the year) in a response to a Twitter follower.

"Hi Elon, when do you think the 7 seater Model Y will start to delivery? My biz partner ordered one for his wife & keep asking me," Twitter user Vincent asked Musk.

"Probably early Q4," Musk responded.

While Tesla has confirmed the Model Y will offer "room for up to seven adults with optional third row", there's uncertainty as to how that third row will be executed.

Tesla previously offered the option of seven seats in its Model S liftback sedan, but had to describe the configuration as '5+2' because the two added seats were rear-facing and only capable of carrying children.

Although that option was removed from the Model S lineup, Musk confirmed in September 2019 Tesla would bring it back, albeit with larger seats capable of accommodating adults.

This has prompted questions as to whether the Model Y's set-up will be a full three-row, seven-seat layout, or a rear-facing, smaller third row as in the original Model S.

This query has been echoed by seasoned Tesla design critic Sandy Munro, who argued in his YouTube 'teardown' of the Model Y that it appeared to be set up for rearward facing seats.

"We know there's a third row in here and we're pretty sure it's going to be rear-facing," Mr Munro said, adding that it would be for "kids and agile adults".

Musk is yet to respond to clarifying questions on Twitter as to the placement of the third row.

The Model Y is based on the existing Model 3 sedan platform and shares approximately 75 per cent of its components with its smaller sibling to reduce manufacturing cost.

Since deliveries commenced, the crossover SUV has been plagued with reports of quality issues from customers, with one US buyer detailing his gripes – including scratches on interior panels that appear to have been touched-up, a faulty electric hatch, and a scratched wheel – in a YouTube video that's since amassed almost 200,000 views.

However, in his teardown videos, manufacturing expert Munro said Tesla had made several improvements for the Model Y, deeming it better-built' than its Model 3 predecessor.

The Model Y is all-wheel-drive, with two independent motors powering the front and rear wheels and promising a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.7 seconds. Tesla claims a WLTP range of 505km in the Long Range variants, or up to 480km in the Performance variants.

At this stage, there has been no announcement regarding the timing of the Model Y's arrival in Australia.