Tesla unveiled the Model X crossover last night at their Los Angeles Design Studio. Boasting seating for 7, an abundance of cargo space and unique
gullwing doors "falcon wings," the latest Tesla mixes practical utility and futuristic design. According to Tesla's Model X launch site, the new vehicle offers "the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan, as only an electric car can."
Besides zero local emissions and instant torque, the Model X electric powertrain yields some additional, less obvious benefits. For instance, as we've seen with the Model S, Tesla has packaged the batteries and electric motors low within the vehicle's chassis. This creates a low center of gravity--lower than any other SUV, according to Tesla--resulting in better handling and stability. Also, the lack of mechanical components (namely an ICE) allows for both rear and front trunk space.
The DeLorean-esque doors aren't just cool looking, they provide an unforeseen advantage as well. By opening vertically the doors make accessing the third-row of seating less cumbersome and make it easier to get in and out of the vehicle when packed into a tight parking space. Sure, the sliding doors offered on most minivans provide these same benefits, but come on...falcon wing doors!
Although still technically a prototype, Tesla anticipates production of the Model X to begin in late 2013, with deliveries starting in early 2014. Pricing will be comparable to similarly packaged Model S vehicles, depending largely on the desired drivetrain configuration. Tesla plans to offer 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery options powering your choice of RWD, dual-motor AWD, or an AWD performance version of the Model X.
While you might not take delivery of your Model X until 2014, Tesla will start taking reservations today.
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