Tesla Unveils Model X

Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors

Tesla continues to blaze the trail in electric vehicle platforms with the unveiling of the Model X. This vehicle is a cross over unit that provides more space than the Model S sedan and its flagship Roadster.

The design was specifically targeting individual consumers that have been searching for a semi-affordable electric vehicle that provides space, power and versatility. This platform is between a sedan and a SUV but Tesla pushes the envelope with rear doors it has dubbed as “Falcon Wings” that would flip up to allow easy ingress or egress from the vehicle.

The doors open upward from a center roof hinge very much like gull wing doors but there’s a second hinge between the roof and the door panel. The interaction of these two hinges makes the doors swing up and then out, allowing for foot of more opening to provide more room to get in and out. When open, the door is tall enough to have someone under six feet to stand upright on the foot well of the car.

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Falcon Wings are the largest rear door openings that have been found in a passenger vehicle. The Model X is also expected to retail near the price tag of the Model S at $49,000. In addition, the battery options for the Model X and the Model S would be the same, ranging from 160 miles to 300 mile configurations. The main difference though, the Model X would get about twelve percent less range compared to the Model S because of the greater weight of the former compared to the latter.

According to Musk, “Most cars are pretty blah. This is not.”

Much of the design for the Model X is still under wraps. There have been rumors that much of the design would be taken from the Toyota RAV4, after the Japanese car giant entered into an agreement with Tesla. What the result was entirely different, as the styling of the Model S has been stretched over to the crossover coupe.

The Model X has a third row of seating that can be accessed by sliding the middle row forwards. The vehicle is able to carry up to seven passengers together with their cargo and would have an all wheel drive option. This option is to be offered for the first time by Tesla together with the base rear wheel model option. Because of the electric drive train of the Model X, the car is able to tweak the torque in each wheel to adapt to the changing driving terrain.

The company would begin production of the Model X by 2013 and the deliveries to commence on 2014.