Reservations already in place for 12,000+ Tesla Model X SUVs
Depending on how particular you are about automobile taxonomy, the Tesla Model X can be called an SUV or a crossover. I've heard Tesla CEO and Chief Product Architect Elon Musk call it both. But no matter what you call it, it is a beauty, and it is pulling in the reservations.
Aside from being pretty, it's also supposed to be fast and full of space. The Model X will reportedly be able to go from 0 to 60 MPH in under 5 seconds, similar to the Tesla Model S and faster than "the fastest SUVs," as Tesla notes. That's also faster than many sports cars. On the utility side, the Model X will include Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, and there will be a genuine third row.
Oh yeah, and it's going to have these wicked falcon-wing doors:
Aside from looking cool, the falcon-wing doors also make it much easier to load and unload kiddies and bulky cargo. As Elon's crew showed at the unveiling last year, even a tall man can stand upright while getting into the backseats.
Overall, the target is to make something nobody else offers: an SUV/crossover that is super stylish, super efficient, super spacious & useful, and that has super performance. (Of course, that means that it has to be electric, which is the only type of vehicle Tesla builds anyway.)
Many people are sold on the concept and Tesla's ability to deliver. Barring China's reservations, Black Sheep Planet estimates that 12,133 Tesla Model X reservations have been made. Deposits range from $5,000 to $40,000, depending on which version is reserved. The fully-loaded Signature series that will go into production first requires a $40,000 deposit, while the regular version requires a deposit of "only" $5,000.
Elon has stated several times that a few Tesla Model X SUVs will roll out to early customers at the end of 2014, but production won't really ramp up until sometime in 2015. If you reserve a Model X right now, you have to wait until 2015 to receive your electric beauty.
There are some caveats to the current reservation total of about 12,000. For one, anyone who has upgraded from a regular Model X to a Signature model is counted twice. Also, cancellations aren't registered. However, Chinese reservations very likely offset any of these errors. Tesla's flagship store in Hong Kong is reportedly its busiest, and Elon has stated that Chinese and European sales together are expected to be about double US sales by the end of 2014.
By the way, if you're curious what all those reservations amount to, Black Sheep Planet estimates that waiting customers have essentially given Tesla an interest-free loan of $112,920,000 ($53,200,000 for the production model and $59,720,000 for the signature model.) That seems to match up with Tesla's recently stated $163,153,000 that it is holding in customer deposits, since some of that reservation money is for the Tesla Model S (Tesla is still catching up to demand for that widely acclaimed electric sedan).
Here's a long unveiling of the Tesla Model X if you missed it the first time around: