Telsa Motors, the company that introduced the world to the sexy all-electric Tesla Roadster, has a new trick up their sleeve in 2012. This time, it’s an SUV that has lots of perks, is fast, and looks like something from the near future.
(images by Tesla Motors)
Pictured above is the Tesla Motors Model X, which actually is from the future when you think about the fact that they’re not rolling them out until late 2013.
Fast And Roomy
I like fast cars and my wife likes lots of space, so the Model X appeals to both of us, making it a possible compromise if we ever decide to trim down to just one automobile. As I watched Tesla founder Elon Musk unveil the Model X, seven full-sized adults crawled out of the three rows of seating. With everyone out of the Model X, they proceeded to then unload enough luggage for the seven people to be on a two-day trip, at least.
Comparing the Model X’s speed to that of a Porsche was also unexpected. When Elon mentioned a Porsche 911 Carrera and that it goes from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds, I thought he would then announce that the Model X could do it in 5 seconds or something else close. Instead, he followed by stating that the Model X can go from 0 to 60 in just 4.4 seconds. This, no doubt, is helped by the generous second motor this automobile boasts (only in the Performance model). And speaking of the second motor, the system is said to check the front and rear drives constantly and shift power to one or the other as needed for optimal traction control.
Interior Amenities To Brag About
The luxury styled interior of the Model X is just what you’d expect for the cost of this ride, but those who know what they want will pay for it and who wouldn’t want this.
Alongside classic style comes a 17 inch Tesla touch screen and Elon tells us they tapped Apple’s supply chain to use the same screen you’ll find in a MacBook… and then upped the contrast and lumens to make it look even better.
It Has Wings
One feature of the Model X which will probably be touted more than it should is what they are calling falcon wings. We loved a similar concept in the DeLorean that was paraded throughout the Back to the Future movie franchise and more recently, similar gull-wing doors have shown up more and more frequently on sports cars. The difference with the falcon wings is the space required to open them. Tesla designed them to open in just about the same amount of space you would need to fit your own body between two cars. Remaining aware of height limitations of your garage as well, they made the falcon wings open no higher than a standard SUV hatch door.
Sadly, the falcon wing doors are only on the back. This means that they won’t even be used unless you have rear passengers to use them. This also means that the problem of opening your door if someone parks too close is only solved for getting in the back. Perhaps Model X 2.0 can introduce additional falcon wing front doors. Until then, you’ll need to drive your friends around if you want to show off those doors.
The Electric Conundrum
According to the U.S. Department of Energy there are a number of electric automobile charging stations, depending on your state, and the numbers are growing. There are reportedly 500+ in California, 100-200 in Arizona, and far less in some of the other states. Unfortunately, none are very close to outlying areas in Arizona, which could limit our use for the Model X in some camping scenarios.
Cost And Availability
Although you can’t have your car until 2014, you can reserve one now. Tesla is taking reservations on their site for the standard models and the signature series. For the signature series, you’ll plunk down a hefty $40,000, and only $5,000 otherwise. Either option is refundable, in case you should change your mind. This refund goes towards the reported $60,000 to $100,000 cost of the Model X. The good news for every day use is that it should get 300 miles per charge with the 85kWh configuration which is about a month of me driving to and from the office.
Like most industries, I’m sure the costs of automobiles like the Model X will continue to decrease as the demand and production increase. As we see more small car companies like Tesla and Local Motors enter the industry, we will also see more choices and lower costs. The future of the auto industry looks good.