We’ve been seeing teasers about the Tesla Model X for what seems like years and now the time has come for the official unveiling. Last evening in Fremont, California Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk revealed the latest vehicle from their stables. We give you the Tesla Model X.
At the first glance of the exterior you will notice many design cues that were inherited from the Model S. Look closer and you see some new details such as a redesigned front bumper, newly styled headlights, and a massive panoramic windshield that further modernizes the overall Tesla design language from Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen.
Getting into the Model X is fun as well. Approach the SUV and it will sense your presence with ultrasonics, this technology assesses your trajectory, and then will open the door for you when you want to get in. Sit in your seat, apply brake, and the door will shut without any further input. Musk says this is a lot like getting an invisible butler with your Model X. Ultrasonics will also assist in keeping those beautiful falcon doors from hitting other things in tight and low spaces. They constantly surround the area around the car to open doors to the maximum degree possible without inadvertently bumping anything. As for overhead clearance, the same thing applies. Pinches are prevented this way as well. Pretty cool tech.
Inside the cabin you will notice that the Model X really blows everything else away. The huge windshield that continues seamlessly onto the roof, the graphical-user interface in the gauges, the huge touchscreen, the ambient lighting and comfortable seats are all nothing short of exceptional.
The Model X is also expected to receive a five-star crash rating in every category, including rollovers. Even when you’re not in an accident, the car protects its occupants from invisible harm with a true HEPA cabin air filter. Elon stated that “If there’s ever a bioweapon attack,” Musk said “the safest place is your car.” At this point everyone assumed he was kidding, until he added “there’s actually a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ right there in the HVAC. We figure you shouldn’t have to think if you’re in an emergency.”
Horsepower is delivered via two electric motors for a combined horsepower rating of 762. Torque is a healthy 713 lb-ft which translates to a completely incredible 3.2-second 0-60 time and an 11.7-second quarter mile in “Ludicrous” mode. Standard models will still reach 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds. Still impressive given the overall size and weight of the new SUV. Top speed for all variants will be 155 MPH. All while being able to travel 250 miles on a single charge!
The Utility of the Model X doesn’t compromise. 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.
Our only question is when can we have one? The first six cars, part of the “Founder Series,” will be delivered to customers who’ve been on the waiting list since there was one. A TBD-number more of those will be released shortly after, along with the first batch of top-tier “Signature Series” vehicles which are the same thing but, you know, not as special.
The nicest ones loaded are expected to cost about $143,000 with the “base” just behind in the $130,00’s. But even if you’ve got that kind of cash to spend today, Musk says ordering one today will get you delivery “in about eight to twelve months.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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