The Model X is a seven-seat SUV that can crack 0-60mph faster than a Porsche 911 and travel up to 270 miles on a single charge. It has been shown in public for the first time, sporting minor revisions since its online unveiling almost a year ago.
The company claims the Tesla Model X will go into production alongside the firm’s Model S saloon by the end of 2013. “This will be our most important, and highest-volume, car when it comes out,” said Tesla chief Elon Musk. "It has more utility than a minivan, and better performance, much better performance, than an SUV."
The Model X shares around 60 per cent of its common architecture with the Model S and weighs around 10 per cent more, at just under two tonnes. Due to the extra weight, the Model X’s range will be around 10 per cent less than Model Ss equipped with the same battery packs.
It will be offered with a 60kWh or 85kWh battery pack, which should be good for around 210 and 270-mile ranges respectively. The battery pack is concealed in the floor for the lowest possible centre of gravity.
In its most potent guise, the Model X’s 0-60mph time is just 4.4sec. A Porsche 911 Carrera takes 4.6sec to reach the same speed. Musk hinted there will be an even faster ‘Performance’ model, something offered on the Model S.
While the Model S is rear-wheel drive, the Model X gets its own unique all-wheel drive system. Each axle gets its own electric motor, and power and torque can be sent directly to the correct wheel to prevent slippage and maintain stability and traction without sacrificing acceleration and economy.
The system is described by Musk as “incredibly precise and accurate in its application of power and traction, much more so than any other type of all-wheel-drive out there”. Exact power and torque figures for the electric motor have yet to be revealed.
The Model X gets a pair of innovative ‘falcon’ rear doors. “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.”
One such packaging benefit is the addition of a second boot at the front of the car. As a result, the Model X is claimed to be able to seat seven full-size adults and their luggage.
The interior also boasts the vast 17in touchscreen display of the Model S mounted on the centre console to control most of the interior’s functions. Options will include a panoramic windscreen.
Prices for the Model X will be similar to the Model S in North America, starting at around $50,000 and rising to $90,000 in its most expensive guise. It will be built at Tesla's Fremont factory in California.