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.