The all-electric Tesla Model X crossover was unveiled at a red-carpet, velvet-rope style event at the Tesla Design Studios in Hawthorne, CA tonight, with company co-founder Elon Musk confirming that the Model X will start production late next year and that full production is expected in 2013.

With luminaries such as California Gov. Jerry Brown in attendance and a post-announcement concert by Foster the People, Musk presented a CUV that, as rumored, has so-called "falcon-wing" doors that are similar to those of the old gull-wing vehicles but bend in the middle, allowing them to be opened in tight spaces while offering better access to the rear and third row of seats. Musk said the Model X, which is expected to be priced similar to the $57,500 Model S sedan set to debut this summer, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, or 0.2 seconds quicker than a Porsche 911. The vehicle, which Musk says can seat "seven real adults," actually has front and rear electric motors that instantaneously shift power from one to the other to maximize traction, Musk said. He added that the CUV's turning radius was comparable to that of a Mini Cooper.

Musk, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 people, touted the Model X as having, "more room than a minivan, more style than an SUV and more performance than a sports car." Indeed, with no internal combustion engine, the vehicle has substantial rear cargo space behind the third row of seats as well as a "frunk" in front of the car (which provided the evening's only glitch with a sticky latch. See video of that after the jump). Musk said that the "frunk" has the same storage space as the rear cargo area of an Audi Q7. Musk should know, since he owns one.

Musk also said Telsa will start deliveries of the Model S sedan – upon which the X is based – "no later than July" and will start taking online reservations for the Model X at noon Pacific time Friday. Tesla is expected to produce between 10,000 and 15,000 Model X units a year starting in 2014.



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  • 57 Comments
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not bad looking. Gull wing rear doors are certainly different. I still don't like their interiors, I'm not a fan of touch screens in cars. Give me well designed switches or buttons, much more intuitive.
        MacProMan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        get used to the touch screens bro, can't imagine innovation moving in any other direction
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Those doors seem unnecessarily bizarre. They just seem more likely to let water in when closed and definitely when open. I would think you'd get a pretty serious dump of water into the car if you open the door in heavy rain or when it has standing water on it. The pictures of it with 7 people in it don't back up the idea that 7 real adults fit in it. The people in the 2nd row seem like they are shoved quite far forward to make room for the 3rd row people. It seems like it's probably better than any other vehicle of its size for this, but it doesn't look like "7 real adults" really fit well.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        [blocked]
        Gordon Chen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I don't think so. They are a bit deviating from the norm but they do offer advantages. The main one being the doors won't hit adjacent cars as they would in a typical opening door. This would be an appealing feature if the car has a lot of hip room.
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gordon Chen
          Looks to me like they do hinge - above the side glass. When open, the roof portion of the door and the side window portion are at nearly 90 degrees to each other. However, if you look at the angle of B/C pillars to the roof, you'll see that the angle is a bit more relaxed than that. Also, in some of the close-ups, you can see the hinge line.
          axiomatik
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gordon Chen
          What do you do when your tires wear down? Do you just replace the car? If the struts get weak, buy new struts. It's pretty simple.
      Gordon Chen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I only have one comment about this…if they debuted this car today, why didn't they debut this at the Chicago auto show? Not sure if anyone else feels this way, but I feel it's a huge mistake on PR department.
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        Watch the video. It seems PR is not their strong suite.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        [blocked]
      Dante
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://www.zercustoms.com/news/images/Miscellaneous/De-Tomaso-SLC-1.jpg Anyone?
      Slartibartfast
      • 3 Years Ago
      Solving a non-existent problem with tortured engineering...can we have our tax $ back please? Put regular doors on it and fix the X6/GT hatch....what's wrong with an actual wagon?
        Mazdaspeed6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Slartibartfast
        I agree about the doors. However the hatch is sexy. I'll sacrifice a little bit of space for style. We all love coupes right?
      Unni
      • 3 Years Ago
      azteck 2.0. electric luxury edition. btw i am still a fan of aztek
      tnsubie
      • 3 Years Ago
      So everyone will have to build new garages and parking structures just to drive the Model X? This is a potential fail. Give me sliding doors any day over overly complicated and tall "Falcon" doors.
        Gubbins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tnsubie
        Not only that...how does one make a hasty exit from a rollover using a so-called "Falcon" door?
        Gubbins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tnsubie
        Not only that...how does one make a hasty exit from a rollover using a so-called "Falcon" door?
      Michael H
      • 3 Years Ago
      The more I see the gull-wing, the less I like 'em.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        alphaass
        • 3 Years Ago
        Looks like it will fit in my garage just fine... I drive a Santa Fe right now and have at least 3 feet above the roof of the car before my garage ceiling. I doubt this takes up more room than that.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, back when they introduced the Volt, I said that I would be willing to buy an alternative energy vehicle, but only if it was competitive in its class, without too much of a price prenium. I think the time has come.
        stumpy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        I think what people keep forgetting is that Tesla is a premium brand. They're not trying to get Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer buyers, they're trying to get, Porshce Cayenne, BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes Benz ML buyers. Other thing people keep forgetting is that by buying an EV they'll be saving at least $15k on gasoline over the life of their vehicle (7 years at 15k miles per year compared to a 20mpg avg at $3.50 a gallon). So Chris H, maybe the Tesla Brand isn't for you, but there are the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV. Yes they're both still $40k and $30k (before $7,500 tax credit), no they don't go more than 100 miles, but I suggest you start keeping track of how much you spend on gasoline and then do some calculations and see how much money you'd save by powering up on electricity. How much is owning a ICE vehicle worth to you? How many miles do you drive on a daily basis (Do you drive less than 80 miles a day)? How many cars do you own (more than one)? With how many Porsche Cayennes, BMW X5s, AUDI Q7s, Acura MDXs, Lexus RX and GXs, I see on the road in the DC area, I can't help but think that those people probably have more than one car. Not only that, but most likely they don't drive anywhere near 80 miles a day, or in this case 200 / 280 miles. These people dropping between 50K and 80K on SUVs can DEFINITELY afford this vehicle. So just because YOU can't / wouldn't spend that much money on a Vehicle -- electric or otherwise -- doesn't mean that other people can't / wouldn't.
        ChrisH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        For who???? These vehicles are not within the reach of the majority of car buyers. Worse, the average car buyer is subsidizing other more well off people to buy them. No, the problem with the Volt was its price, not its technology or its looks. Compare the average price of a new car to this eSUV and tell me how it changes willingness to buy? I am more than willing to buy a alternative energy vehicle, I am not willing to spend this much on one. Hell, I still cannot convince myself to spend 40k for a single car, though I came close more than once. Fortunately I found that happiness is in the mid twenties for pricing of cars, there are so many fantastic cars available in the 20 to 30 range
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      WTF?? Hideous. They won't try to sell something that ugly. Nothing is cheesier than gullwing doors, the overall shape is ugly, and the front fascia looks terrible.
      Hatzenbach
      • 3 Years Ago
      delorean doors, Audi rearlights, the roof line of a 5GT and don't ask me where that front comes from.
        bvz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hatzenbach
        Where does that fro... oh, sorry.
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