The Tesla Model X, Elon Musk’s long awaited first all-electric SUV, has finally arrived following years of delays and subsequent anxiety from devout Tesla fans over whether or not the car would ever hit the road.
First announced in 2012, with production promised in 2014, the SUV’s engineering challenges proved to have one upped Musk on this occasion. While it may now be the latter half of 2015, the Model X has arrived.
Silicon Valley’s electric car darling launched the new vehicle to much fanfare last night at its Fremont, CA factory, which saw six customers become the first Tesla fans to get into the driver’s seat. The car, which will set you back some $130,000, bears a lot of similarities to its predecessors in the sense that it makes lofty performance promises. For one, it promises 250 miles on one charge and stylistically, bears some similarity to the Model S range.
It is the car maker’s major play for the luxury car market but it won’t be the only electric SUV for much longer. Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini have all expressed interest in bringing an electric SUV to market but Tesla has got the head start.
Here are all the vitals that you need to know about the Tesla Model X.
First of all, the Model X boasts zero to 60 speeds in 3.8 seconds. However when the driver uses the “Ludicrous Speed Upgrade”, it becomes just that—ludicrous and can hit zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. The top speed for the Model X is 155mph.
All this talk about speed is well and good but shouldn’t be the crux of the car. The Model X sees Tesla build in some new safety features and designs. This includes a floor mounted battery that lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, meaning it won’t turn over too easily; a slew of cameras, sensors, and sonar that constantly scan the road ahead for possible collisions while auto brakes will hit in the case of emergency; and thanks of course to the lack of gas engine the front of the car, this provides a lengthy crash-absorber. Musk said the car has a five star safety rating in “every category”.
In an ode to futuristic car designs, the Model X’s back passenger doors open vertically. It is one of the first SUVs in the industry to include such doors, which Musk say will make entry and exit quicker and easier. According to Tesla, the car’s sensors will only allow the car doors to open at certain angles depending on how much space you have, i.e. a narrow garage, parking space, or low ceiling.
Another standout feature of the Tesla X is the car’s massive “panoramic” windshield, which feels you’re “sitting in a helicopter cockpit”. Tesla was happy to brag about this being the biggest windshield in a production vehicle yet but strangely, didn’t provide any measurements. It seems like a strange little feature, but early drivers have reported to really love the feeling the bigger windshield gives while driving.
The Model X seats up to seven people and can carry up to 5,000 pounds. The interior of the car is kitted out with all the specs that are familiar to any Tesla driver, like the 17-inch LCD display for keeping control of everything. Also, Autopilot, Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving feature, is installed of course.
Early adopters of the car will only have the option of the Model X with the 90kWh battery, Tesla’s largest battery, but lower capacity batteries (and with that, lower prices) will be available in the future, said Musk.