The upcoming Tesla Model X SUV will come with the same Ludicrous Mode as the Model S P85D when it goes on sale towards the end of this year.
Company boss Elon Musk said the luxury all-electric SUV will be capable of sprinting to 60mph in around 3.3 seconds, faster than a Porsche 911.
Musk also said the Model X will weigh about 10% more than the P85D, which tips the scales at 2238kg. That means the SUV is likely to weigh around 2460kg - heavier than both the Range Rover Sport hybrid and BMW’s X5 eDrive.
Power is set to come from two independent electric motors - one mounted on each axle - with drive sent to all four wheels. Its floor-mounted battery pack is said to give the Model X the lowest centre of gravity of any SUV currently on sale.
While Tesla has yet to reveal the technical specifications of the Model X’s powertrain, the SUV could use the same one as the P85D, which already features dual electric motors. Combined, the two motors produce 682bhp, enough to give the 2238kg P85D a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds, a top speed of 155mph and an electric range of 300 miles.
Two sizes of battery pack will be offered - 60kwh or 85kwh. Even with the smaller battery pack in place, the Model X should still be able to travel over 200 miles on a single charge.
Musk has said the car’s all-wheel drive system is “incredibly precise and accurate in its application of power and traction, much more so than any other type of all-wheel-drive out there.”
Inside, the X will come with seven seats as standard, and will include a cabin inspired by the Model S. Tesla’s hallmark large central infotainment screen, which handles almost all functions, will also be included, while options will include a panoramic roof. Musk has already said the Model X will come with class-leading interior space when it goes on sale.
The production Model X is set to keep the unusual ‘falcon doors’ which were shown on a prototype version of the SUV in 2013. The doors lift upwards and away from the car’s body, and are designed to give adults enough room to stand while they reach into the car.
“You can get in and out in the tightest garage or parking spot without hitting the wall or car next to you, or your head,” said Musk. “Because it is an electric car, and we don’t have to package a traditional internal combustion engine powertrain, we have available to us much more packaging opportunities.”
Chris Porritt, Tesla’s vice-president of engineering, previously told Autocar that the seven–seater was based on the same platform and wheelbase as the Model S saloon, but some of the suspension had been changed. He added that the unusual ‘swan wing’ rear doors had been designed to make it easier to load children, as well as making the third row of seats more accessible. A second boot is said to feature at the front of the car, further boosting available storage space.
Production of the Model X is scheduled to take place at Tesla’s California plant, which already makes the Model S. Tesla manufacturing boss Gilbert Passin has previously said the factory is already set up to deal with multiple body styles: “We can build many models on the same line. The Model S is just one ‘top hat’ on a platform that is very modular. All our pressing modules are very adjustable and we’re working on improving that flexibility even further and making it faster at the moment.
“This plant is all about high flexibility at a low cost. We can handle different designs effectively and quickly.”
Batteries for the Model X will eventually be supplied by Tesla’s own Gigafactory, which is due to open in 2017. The new factory is designed to drive down costs for electric vehicle manufacturing by introducing economies of scale - with reports suggesting overall costs could eventually be cut by up to 30%.
The Gigafactory will help Tesla as it strives to reach targets of producing 500,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2020. Speaking to Bloomberg, Musk said the Model X would double the company’s current sales volume. The company plans to sell 55,000 vehicles worldwide in 2015.
Orders for the Model X are currently being taken in the UK, requiring a £4000 reserve payment with deliveries currently set at late 2016. Initially, it was thought the Model X might not make it to the UK, as it was thought to be too large. However, the appetite for crossovers and SUVs in Europe is understood to have swayed the decision. A full unveiling for the production-ready Model X is likely to come at the LA motor show in November.
Full pricing has yet to be revealed, but in North America the Model X will be priced at a similar level to the Model S, starting at around £50,000 and rising to £90,000 in its most expensive form.
The Tesla range will then gain another variant, the BMW 3 Series-rivalling Model 3, in mid-2017.
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