Behold the Model S's Chubbier Cousin With Fancy Doors!Finally. It's here. The Tesla Model X CUV, which promises to blend the best traits of SUVs, minivans, and electric vehicles. It's a lot more spacious than we might first think, because a lifetime of gasoline vehicles has trained us to expect certain things. But the Model X's electric motor is very small and the batteries are in the floor, giving it enough seating space for 7 adults and 2 large trunks (one in front, one in back). This might be the perfect carpooling vehicle.
With the biggest battery pack, Model X should travel about 270 miles on a charge, 10% less than the lighter Model S electric sedan.
Forget Gull Wing Doors, These are Falcon Doors!Wanting to be manlier than Mercedes with its gull doors, Tesla decided to call its articulated doors 'Falcon doors' (you can see an animation by dragging the photo near the middle of this page). Maybe this is the start of an arms race in door names..? When will we see 'Dragon doors'?
Like the Model S, the Model X will have a kind of giant iPad central console that can connect to the internet.
Model X Under the HoodModel X will be offered with a 60 or 85 kWh battery and 3 different drivetrain configurations; 1 motor rear-wheel drive, 2 motors all-wheel drive, or 2 motor all-wheel drive "performance" model, which gives the Model X an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph of less than 5 seconds (I've seen 4.4 seconds reported, but we should wait for independent testing to be sure... not that making a crossover SUV go that fast is all that useful). Adding the second motor increases torque by 50%, which is definitely something that will be felt even if you don't drive fast.
Model X PricingModel X should start close to $50k after tax credits, and go up all the way to around $90k with the biggest battery and performance package and other options. That's very similar to the pricing of the Model S electric sedan, which is not surprising since Model X is based on the same platform. It might seem expensive to mere mortals, but you have to consider that for that price you are getting a cutting edge vehicle that competes against BMWs, Mercedes, Audis and such. If you add to that the fuel savings over the life of the vehicle (which should add up to many thousands of dollars), the price makes more sense.
But most of us will have to wait for Tesla's third generation platform, which should start closer to $30k.
Tesla expects to begin production of Model X in late 2013, ramping up deliveries in early 2014. If you can't wait that long, Model S should start shipping in mid-2012, but get in line, because production has already been pre-sold.