The bigger ones weigh close to 600kg, which is double what a typical engine and fuel tank would weigh in a conventional SUV.
The Model X, however, takes a fresh angle on SUV design and uses that extra weight to its advantage. Its roof is lower than you might expect – the car is less than 1.7 metres tall, when plenty of rivals approach 1.8m – and it has most of its mass concentrated under the cabin floor, where that battery is carried.
It’s no surprise that the car is heavy, but Tesla’s claim is that the Model X has a lower centre of gravity than any car in the large SUV class. In theory, that ought to translate into tidier handling than the class’s norm and also make it resistant to rollover.
The Model X is built on the same platform as the Model S, so it is predominantly made from extruded aluminium reinforced with boron steel. All versions of the car are four-wheel drive, powered by three-phase electric motors cradled between each axle.
In the cases of the lower-end 75D and 90D models, those motors are rated for up to 259bhp each, although the peak power they make is governed by how much power can be drawn from the drive battery.
The 75D has a total power output of 329bhp, while the 90D we’re testing produces 416bhp, along with 487lb ft, available instantly and from a standstill.
There is a 100D at upper-middle level and, for those for whom only ‘ludicrous speed’ will do, there’s the 611bhp, 713lb ft P100D range-topper. Its rear motor is swapped out for a bigger one with a peak of 503bhp.
The Model X uses the same suspension configuration as the Model S, with double wishbones at the front and multi-links at the rear.
Steel coil springs are standard but can be upgraded to height-adjustable air suspension, the latter producing up to 211mm of ground clearance on request – a respectable amount for the very occasional off-roading the car is likely to do. Rarely for an EV, the car is rated for towing of more than two tonnes on a braked trailer.