The Tesla Model X will have the lowest centre of gravity of any SUV on sale when it goes on sale next year, its makers announced today at the Detroit motor show.

The prototype on display is the current evolution of the Model X, and features its latest dual electric motor set-up to allow the four-wheel drive system to apportion power where there is most traction. Visual changes from the previous model shown are minor, including new wheels and a new paint finish.

The low centre of gravity is made possible by the Model X's floor mounted battery pack, and Tesla says it helps counter the extra weight of the batteries and ensure the car, which can accelerate from 0-60mpb in less than five seconds, retains sporty characteristics.

The seven-seater's unusual 'falcon doors' are also set to make production. Lifting up and away from the car's body, they are designed to give adults enough room to stand while they reach into the car.

The Model X's future in Europe hangs in the balance, as Tesla is debating whether or not its size makes it too big for European tastes. If it does make it to the UK, right-hand-drive conversion means it is unlikely to appear before 2015 — even if this is possible.

Tesla says it will be priced competitively against other premium SUVs.