Tesla Motors has done it again. This California electric car company has introduced its third model, a seven-passenger crossover sport utility vehicle it calls the Model X. The new Tesla was rolled out at the company’s design studios in February 2012 and goes on sale in 2014. The new model offers numerous features not found in other CUVs including Open Falcon Wing doors and ease of third row access. The vehicle made its public debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2012 and is on display at other major auto shows throughout 2013.
The upcoming Tesla Model X will join the Model S, a luxury sedan that is the current offering from this EV manufacturer. Its first model, the Tesla Roadster was introduced in 2008 and was retired a few years later after selling 2,000 copies. All Tesla models are built at a California assembly plant.
The Model X is a rear-wheel drive model with optional all-wheel drive. This vehicle is powered by a standard 60 kWh system or an optional 85 kWh electric power pack. The dual motor all-wheel drive system is expected to rocket the Model X from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds, beating most every SUV out there and matching the performance of many sport cars.
The body lines of the Model X are closer to a raised sedan than they are to a CUV. Tesla says that the model has external dimensions approximating the Audi Q7, while offering 40 percent more interior room. Tesla notes that the Model X is designed to carry seven large adults and all their luggage. Figure that Tesla will position the Model X to compete against today’s larger European CUVs.
Behind the wheel, drivers will have access to an oversized 17-inch touchscreen. This feature puts all the driver controls within easy reach and includes infotainment options such as audio, web access and smart phone connectivity. Onboard charging information will also be displayed. Leather seating surfaces, power accessories, ambient lighting and numerous storage compartments will be among the many interior features of the Model X.
More details about the Model X will be released this year. What we do know is that this model shares some 60 percent of its content with the Model S and weighs approximately 10 percent more than the sedan. To gain its all-wheel drive capabilities, the Model X will feature electric motors at both the front and rear wheels. Its standard operating range is about 210 miles with a 270-mile range possible with the enhanced drive system.
Riding on 21-inch tires, the 2014 Tesla Model X is an imposing vehicle. Its AWD feature does not mean you will want to take this CUV off-road, but it will offer the handling assurance that competing models offer. With its electric-only range, no emissions, strong performance and roomy interior, the new Tesla model should easily sell out its anticipated 10,000 to 15,000 unit build capacity with little problem.