Tesla Debuts Model X Electric Crossover
By Mark Vaughn
Months before its sleek Model S sedan is even in showrooms, Tesla has rolled out its AWD Model X sort-of-non-SUV, the vehicle to come after that. Cheering throngs of supporters at Tesla's Los Angeles Design and Engineering Building woot-woot-wooted.
Have a look for yourself. The outside shape will surely be compared in proportion and profile to the BMW X6/Honda Crosstour/Volkswagen Fastback, with a sloping rear roofline descending over a rear hatch. So fair, fairly conventional by today's standards. But then as soon as you hit a button those "Falcon Wing" (not gullwing) rear side doors rise up and hang there like a cormorant getting some sun. Inside is room to fit seven real adults. We know--we sat in the very back and had headroom to spare. When the Falcon Wing doors are in the up position you can stand up all the way while still in the Model X. This makes ingress and egress a piece of cake compared to a typical seven-seat, three-row SUV and makes it much easier to put a kid into a child seat.
In front is what would normally be called a trunk, but since Tesla is all about doing things differently, this one is called a “frunk.” Unfortunately, they couldn't open the frunk when the car was onstage. The frunk was in a funk.
Since the Tesla Model X shares almost 100 percent of its powertrain and chassis with the Model S sedan, it promises to be a smooth and sporty performer. It might even be smoother. While the Model S is rear-wheel drive only, the Model X can be ordered with second electric motor to drive the front wheels, hence the all-whee-drive evocative X in the name.
Only the thinnest of technical specs were released, reminding us that the X's launch is still almost two years off. But we were still able to glean a few details during our evening in the Hawthorne, Calif. design building. While the battery pack of the S comes in three sizes, 40, 60 or 85 kWh, the Tesla Model X will get only the 60- or 85-kWh batteries at first, all loaded into a tray slung beneath the chassis. The decision has not been made yet whether to offer the 40-kWh battery on the Model X. Since the X weighs 10 to 12 percent more than the sedan, depending on whether it's rear or all wheel-drive, it will suffer a 10-to-12-percent range penalty. That translates to 260 to 270 miles for the 85-kWh battery and 200 to 210 for the 60-kWh.
The X has the exact same 116.5”-wheelbase and 195.9”- length as the Model S but should have much more interior volume.
Tesla says the X's 0-60 time is 4.4 seconds, which is the same figure as the lighter and theoretically just as powerful sedan. So that still has to be sorted out.
Pricing should be right on top of the Model S, too, Tesla execs said. The Model S retails for $67,400 with the 60-kWh battery and $77,400 for the 85-kWh pack. Don't forget to subtract the $7500 Federal tax credit from that, or about $10,000 if you live in a state like California that offers an additional incentive.
We got a quick ride in a Tesla Model X and found that, even from the third row seat, it felt fast. We also rode in the Model S a couple months ago and that felt fast, too. Maybe faster.
The Model S will start deliveries in July, while the Model X goes into production in 2013. Some Model Xs will be delivered in 2013 but most will go to owners in 2014.
And after that?
“The thing I've always wanted to do, the thing I'm going to do next, is a mass-market car,” said founder and CEO Elon Musk.
That mass-market car has been called the Gen III and details on it are even thinner. Though many of the powertrain components from the Tesla Model S and X can easily be scaled down to fit a smaller car (look at the Toyota RAV4 EV and the Smart ED, both built with Tesla powertrain componentry), the platform would obviously need to be shortened or reworked entirely. Nonetheless it could be done by 2014.
“That's my aspiration, not a promise,” Musk said.
After the Gen III will be the next Tesla Roadster, possibly due in 2015.
“I really believe we'll be profitable within 12 months,” said Musk. “Early next year.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Content provided by Autoweek.
Most people believe those who buy electric cars do so in order to save money on gas. That’s not why I ordered my Volt on 9/11/2010 and took delivery on 1/22/2011. I bought the Volt to reduce the amount of gas I use and help reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil. The funny thing is I also got a car with the best ride, comfort, performance and technology I’ve ever had.
My Chevrolet Volt’s lifetime economy: 215 MPG for fuel; 17 kW-hr/100 miles for electric. Courtesy of MyVolt.com..
I think they should bring back the 60's cars the ones that will be the only Ones that on the planet when we get old .. what are they doing here they were more dependable that all the new cars ever will be and were ever were . Don't ever try to reinvent the wheel we don't need you to plastic is fine for the old cars but . electric cars are for the people that like to be Inventers' or the Ivirementilests .
Lets face it boys It will never be are choice any way .. you will keep producing the same old plastic junk that you all was do the stuff that you have to get us to buy. A new car every five years instead of a quality produce that we all could live with .. so don't tell me that that's what your doing, because I am the same person I was and you can't dumb me down like all the other people( You have been trying to do for the last 30 years) . I don't believe you ..!!
Hope the Japanese don't copy it like they did with everything else.
Buy American native made and support your Country in a time of need.
It's meant to be unattractive, this country cash flows on gas hogs and war. Its hard for it to
move on, it doesn't know how without hurting itself.
To jimgur; the idea of electric cars have been around a long time, you claiming its a bad idea from President Obama shows as much a lack of intelligence as ushmariemogo. All you who call President Obama a Marxist were asleep during history class, you wouldn't be able to define Marxism or relate, in your own words, how President Obama is a Marxist. You are capable of only repeating propaganda heard on some radio show.
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