Altering the Landscape
Before Tesla began producing the Model S in 2012, a typical electric car had a range of about 100 miles and didn’t have much to boast about in the power department. The Model S changed that, offering a range exceeding 250 miles with very impressive performance. Tesla hopes to alter the automotive landscape again with the all-new Model X.
The Model X is a crossover SUV unlike any other on the market, and its unique powertrain is the core of this game-changer — although it’s not the only innovation. Two independently controlled electric motors power the all-wheel-drive Model X. The base 90D has a range of 257 miles and can reach 60 mph in a quick 4.8 seconds. The upgraded P90D (P stands for Performance) loses a few miles in range to 250 total, but acceleration to 60 is 3.8 seconds. In Ludicrous mode (yes, that’s the name), it drops to a supercar-worthy 3.2 seconds.
The Model X’s efficient vehicle aerodynamics contributes to the efficiency of the batteries and electric motors as well. With a .24 coefficient of drag, this Tesla has the lowest drag of any crossover SUV — 20 percent better than the next best on the market, according to the automaker.
Incredible performance numbers notwithstanding, the Model X boasts many innovative features. Most noticeable, of course, are its Falcon Wing doors. A step above gullwing doors, the Falcon Wing features two hinges so the doors can slide up and out, needing only 12 inches of clearance on the side. Sensors in the doors detect obstacles to the side as well as above and adjust the opening functionality as needed. The open doors provide unparalleled interior access since the roof over the seats is open as well.
Inside, occupants enjoy panoramic views provided by the largest windshield on the market that stretches above front-seat passengers. In the center console, the 17-inch center touchscreen integrates media, navigation, communications and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. A medical grade HEPA filter is standard and can remove pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution from the air before circulating it into the cabin. There is even a Bioweapon Defense Mode that creates positive pressure inside the cabin to, in theory, protect occupants.
The second-row seats are each mounted on a single post, making them easy to slide forward, which gives access to the third row. A flat cabin floor provides storage under the seats. The Model X can be equipped with seating for seven or six — the latter has just two seats in the second row.
The Model X offers plenty of cargo space. There’s a trunk under the front hood (there’s no engine in there), space behind the rear seats, as well as additional storage under the seats. If that’s not enough, Tesla designed a lightweight rack that connects to a trailer hitch. The rack can carry multiple bicycles or skis, but still leaves enough space for the cargo hatch to be opened. Need more capacity? Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Price and Wait
With a starting price of $132,000, the Model X 90D is not inexpensive. Upgrading to the more powerful P90D bumps the price to $142,000. The first six production models were delivered at Tesla headquarters this week, but if you order one today the wait time will likely be around 12 months.