Tesla has been teasing their Model X for a while and now the world’s first luxury electric SUV is officially here. CEO Elon Musk took the stage in Fremont, California at Tesla’s manufacturing plant to unveil the new production model, saying, “It’s important to show that any type of car can go electric. We did it with the sports car, the sedan, and, now, we’re going to show it with an SUV.”
Obviously, the all-wheel drive Model X is much bigger than its Tesla predecessors. With a 90 kWh battery that offers a range of 250 miles, the SUV travels 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds and can fit seven people in its three rows of seats (a six-passenger version is also available). The impressive range is attributed to its aerodynamic design, which according to Tesla offers 20 percent lower drag than its competitors.
Though it has super cool features, like its impressive speed and cool DeLorean-like “falcon” doors, what makes the Model X so impressive is that everything comes together seamlessly without being over-the-top. Plus, everything was clearly thought through. Take the falcon doors, for instance. Though they are a great idea, they’re often not practical since opening them requires a lot of space. Tesla fixed this issue by double-hinging them and adding sensors, which means that they scan how much room there is beside the car and adjust the wingspan accordingly. According to Tesla, the doors will be able to open even if there’s only 12 inches on each side, which they proved on stage by parking the cars super close to each other.
We also love the seat design, which raises the middle row up off the floor to give stowage space underneath, much like what you would see on an aircraft. Capable of towing 5,000 pounds, the SUV is able to fit an impressive amount of stuff, from surfboards to plywood. There is an accessory hitch that can hold four bikes or six ski sets, which is designed to angle far enough away from the trunk that you can still get in and out. Plus, it can be attached by a child in five seconds.
Due to the floor-mounted battery, the auto features a rollover risk that is “virtually nonexistent” and since there isn’t an engine in the front, the hood acts as a “giant impact-absorbing crumple zone.” There’s even a medical grade HEPA filter that pumps in clean air through the vents.
After showing off the Model X's features and incredible functionality, Musk then handed over the keys to the production cars used in the event to six incredibly lucky customers, who jumped inside their new $130,000 SUV's and drove off the stage. As for the rest of us, we’ll have to get our reservation in now and wait patiently until the late 2016 delivery date.