Tesla launches Model X SUV with a focus on safety

First Deliveries Of All-Electric SUV Are A Hit

Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Debuts Its New Crossover SUV Model, Tesla X
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Debuts Its New Crossover SUV Model, Tesla X
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Model X SUV Reveal
tesla model x launch biohazard buttonStarting almost an hour late, as is unsurprising for Tesla, CEO Elon Musk laid out his vision for why you should want an all-electric Model X SUV as his company finally launched the EV. Musk started the demonstration off with a long discussion about the safety of the X, saying it was the first SUV that gets five stars in every crash test category. One reason for this is that there is no gas engine in the front of the vehicle. With the heavy battery placed so low in the vehicle, there is also a very low chance of a roll-over, he said. With the car's massive air filter, Musk said that the X has a "Bioweapon Defense Mode" that will protect you against different bacteria, gases, and possible apocalyptic scenarios. In other words, this will protect you against all sorts of possible problems.

Musk also showed off the SUV's Falcon Wing doors, which he said have sensors that can see through the metal and then adjust how high the door opens depending on the height of the garage ceiling. They also can open up even when parked incredibly close to neighboring cars, as Musk demonstrated on stage. Musk said the X is capable of towing 5,000 pounds while carrying seven people and a lot of luggage. If you don't want to tow, you can put on a Tesla-designed accessory hitch that can carry up to four bikes or six sets of skis. This is important, because the X can't have a roof rack with the Falcon Wing doors.

Tesla Debuts Its New Crossover SUV Model, Tesla X

Then, Tesla delivered the first Model X SUVs, as promised. After discussing all the reasons why he thinks the X is an amazing vehicle, Musk handed over the keys to a half-dozen vehicles to early buyers. These are the Signature Founders Series models, which start at $132,000, and come with Autopilot and, for another $10,000, the Ludicrous Speed upgrade. Tesla has not said when the cheaper versions of the X will be available. When they do arrive, they should start at about $5,000 more than a comparable Model S.

The EPA has announced that the Model X 90D has an estimated range of 257 miles, while the efficiency is rated at 90 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) in the city, 94 mpge highway, and 92 mpge combined. If you choose the P90D, you'll get a lower range (250 miles) along with 89/90/89 mpge, respectively.

Tesla first announced the Model S at the Detroit Auto Show in 2012. At the time, it said the first units would be delivered two years after the first Model S units went out. The first Model S was delivered in June 2012, which would have put the X in customer hands in 2014. Even with the delay – both of the vehicle itself and tonight's late-start event – Tesla fans in Fremont were excited and often interrupted Musk to show their appreciation for this or that new feature. How this excitement carries over into sales will be the subject of tremendous interest in the coming months.
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Safety First

Tesla Architecture

Built electric from the ground up, Model X is designed to be the safest car on the road. Our crash tests indicate that Model X will receive a 5 star safety rating in all categories, the first SUV to ever do so.

Not needing a big gasoline engine under the hood, Model X has a large crumple zone to absorb the energy of a high-speed impact. The battery's location on the floor gives Model X an extremely low center of gravity, reducing the risk of rollover common in most SUVs. Aluminum pillars reinforced with steel rails protect occupants and the battery while improving roof stiffness.

Active Safety

Model X comes standard with automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Tesla makes the only standard AEB system that works at high speed.

Every Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features. Tesla's over-the-air software updates regularly improve the sophistication of these features, enabling increasingly capable safety and convenience features like Autosteer and Autopark, and bringing the Model X ever closer to autonomous operation.

Breathe Easy

Model X is the world's cleanest SUV on the inside, too. The front fascia is designed with a functional duct that pushes air through the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile allowing medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what is going on outside.

Inside Model X

Model X Falcon Wing doors offer unprecedented convenience, entry, and maneuverability for everyday life. They provide seamless ingress and egress into the second and third row. No longer do parents have to cantilever themselves to avoid hitting their child's head on the roof as they place them in a car seat.

The double-hinged Falcon Wing doors open up then out, requiring only 30 cm of space on the side of the vehicle. Each door is equipped with capacitive, inductive, and sonar sensors to monitor surroundings and avoid contact with obstacles around the car, making it possible to park in tight spots.

The industry's first auto presenting door automatically opens and closes as the driver approaches or exits Model X. Why should the driver ever need to touch the door?

Monopost seats move independently, sliding and tilting forward and back. They allow passengers easy access to the third row and give them plenty of foot room when they sit down.


The windshield in Model X stretches up and over the front seat occupants. Second row passengers get a first row vantage point with an expansive view ahead, atop the falcon wing door, and beside them. The windshield's solar tint transition completes the modern and open feel.


Seventeen precisely positioned speakers bring concern hall like sound inside Model X.


The 17" center touchscreen seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and are voice-activated to focus the driver's attention on the road.

Whether big or little, there's a place to store it in Model X. Side pockets, a center console and a blind holster for your iPhone.

Fit everything

Model X provides unprecedented space for passengers and cargo. With three rows of seats, a front and rear trunk, and room under the second row seats, there's ample room for people, luggage, and big things like surf boards and bikes. For even heavier cargo, Model X is the first electric vehicle with a 5,000 lb. tow capacity.


Agility and Speed

At the heart of the vehicle is Tesla's proven electric powertrain, accelerating Model X from 0-60 in a staggering 3.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 155 mph, all while producing zero emissions.

Designed with Tesla's electric vehicle architecture, Model X's floor-mounted battery gives the vehicle a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution for exhilarating performance and superior handling.


At 0.24, Model X has the lowest drag coefficient of any SUV in history.

Model X comes standard with an active spoiler that automatically adjusts to three positions for maximum visibility and efficiency. Under 45 mph, the spoiler is positioned so the driver can see above and below it. At higher speeds the spoiler partially retracts for improved highway efficiency (+1.6%), and optimizes the vehicle's lift distribution. Model X is the only car with an active spoiler equipped with a center-high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL).

All-wheel drive

Dual motors digitally and independently control torque to the front and rear wheels to give Model X unparalleled control of traction while increasing performance and efficiency.

Signature Model X comes with a 90 kWh battery providing customers a driving range of 250 miles on a single charge.

By the numbers

Range 250 miles for P90D
Top Speed 155 miles per hour
Zero-60 3.2 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
3.8 seconds for P90D
Quarter Mile 11.7 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
12.2 seconds for P90D
Motor Power 259 hp front, 503 hp rear
Motor Torque 713 lb-ft combined
244 lb-ft/330 Nm front
479 lb-ft/600 Nm rear
US MPGe 89 MPGe for P90D
Weight 5,441 lbs.
Drag Coefficient 0.24

Tesla Information


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