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.
The craziest thing I ever heard was a friend of mine getting his tags and paying over $400.00 for them because he drove a hybrid. When he asked why the license plate was so expensive they told him, " we don't make enough taxes on the vehicle since you don't buy gas". Where is the incentive to pay more for a car that saves you money at the pump but costs you more for everything else?
Also, there is no reason a car cannot have solar panels to charge the batteries and/or a friction generator to keep the car charged while it is in motion (the longer you drive it, the more it charges) As long as the oil companies have their way decent, affordable, energy saving and environmental friendly vehicles are well into the distant future.
I dont really know where marxist comes in ..but have you looked at the volvo v60 hybrid . If i were to be in the market i would wait for the volvo, This fall in europe next year in the states. check it out mid size car 100 mpg in hybrid all the apointments 4x4 with a 600 mile range capability and potentail of over 300 hp .. It really cant get eny better.
Hating Big Oil is NOT a reason to endorse a technology with a 100% failure rate!!
Yes,the battery powered car has been around for OVER 100 years,and still...the promise of freedom from oil has never appeared. Never,ever.
Just a bunch of useless battery powered cars are left in the wake,along with billions of wasted dollars.
High amperage battery packs cannot withstand the constant charge/discharge cycles that motor vehicles demand. That is why the battery packs have their own cooling system. Every time they are charged/discharged,they lose some of their life.Even with the latest and greatest battery construction. They have a short,finite life.
Diesel cars are available right now,and will carry us foreward until the fuel cell is commercially available.
Yes,the FUEL CELL is the answer for a future free from dependency on oil.
NOT battery cars. Pumping money into a technology with a 100 year history of FAILURE is lunacy! What is so hard to comprehend?
They finally built a car that is under $103,000.00 (base Fisker). So far, this inept company has received over $465,000.000 TAX DOLLARS! Now, Fisker auto has run out of tax dollars and wants more TAX DOLLARS to keep the OBAMA DREAM ALIVE. I wonder when Tesla will want more TAX DOLLARS?Wake up people! We have been scammed by Obama and his special interest money bundlers.
Telsa, is owned in part by GOOGLE BILLIONAIRES , Dan Reicher and Larry page and Sergei Brinn. If they want this pipe dream, they should use their own money. JUST ANOTHER OBAMA SOCIALIST PIG IN THE POKE. WHAT A DISGRACE!
The real challenge for possible buyers will be driving all the way to Kalifornia for service/repairs. Unless the brain trust over at Tesla gets on the ball and has service centers on line at the same time (or sooner) than the delivery of these autos, they will end up as orphans. Not encouraging enough for me to buy at the present (soon) time.
The biggest issues with electric cars are: 1) Too expensive for the average buyer who are the majority of tax payers helped to finance these vendors. 2) Too short range for long trips unless you want to stop every hour to charge the batteries. 3) Batteries are very expensive to replace when they go bad.
We owned a hybrid and had just less than 80K miles then we realized that the batteries will only be covered for another 20K miles which is about another 6 months. The cost of the batteries would be ~$8,000 so we traded it in for a diesel car instead. If they are smart enough to add solar cell arrays or some other full time charging device to continue to charge the batteries while you are driving then it might be worth the big price tags. Even with a build-in "single" stroke piston engine so it can run an alternator to charge the batteries is better than nothing. I think some did that with his electric car sometime ago. Also remember each time you plug into AC to charge the batteries you are adding pollution to the environment but you just don't realize it because it's not coming out the tail pipe!
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