Tesla unveils radical Model X crossover – USA TODAY
FREMONT, Calif. â Tesla unveiled its long-awaited electric crossover Tuesday night, a gull-winged beauty that will shake up the luxury vehicle market.
The Model X was rolled out by CEO Elon Musk before hundreds of enthusiasts and media nearÂ the Tesla factory here, south of San Francisco. Six of the SUVs were being delivered to owners.
Model X uses the same electric drivetrain as its hit Model S sedan, allowing similar breakneck acceleration times and about 250 miles of range per charge.
It will be billed as the world’s quickest SUV â 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds. But it also has the extra space of a crossover, and some key innovations like a windshield that lets you see the sky above you and one of the most sophisticated passenger air filters seen in a car. Top speed is 155 mph.
Model X “sets a new bar for automotive engineering,” Musk told reporters before the vehicle was formally unveiled.
The new vehicle tests whether Tesla can compete against the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus in a new space â crossovers. It’sÂ one of the hottest segments of the automotive market as consumer seek roomier, yet plush, vehicles.
The price will be as breathtaking as its performance â $132,000 for the initial “signature” or “founders” version.
Model X pushes the limits of its production system and designers. The company delayed the launch for months trying to perfect the vehicle’s signature feature, its radical upward-opening “falcon doors” for the second row.
They are meant to allow for graceful entries into the rear seats. More practically, they self adjust so theyÂ won’t bang against the sides of other cars in parking lots. But more than anything, they make a statement that this is no ordinary crossover.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he wanted to make sure the doors are just right, that they close properly and protect against all the elements.
Besides it’s novel doors, Tesla is touting other features about the Model X.
For instance, it can tow 5,000 pounds. Its electric power gives it a lot of low-end torque, which helps with towing trailers or boats.
It also comes with what Tesla describes as one of the largest windshields ever put on a vehicle. The windshield extends all the way past the top of the driver’s head. Front passengers will get not only a panoramic view of the road, but of the trees and sky passing by.
Tesla also promises that it will have many new safety features. With the batteries placed low in the vehicle, they say that it has low susceptibility to roll over.
Tesla has to make sure it can make enough of the new Model X to meet demand. Right now, the wait for one to be delivered is up to 12 months.
The company is going to make its Model S sedan and Model X crossover the same production line. It told investors recently that it intends to choose quality over production quotas and if suppliers’ parts don’t meet specifications or a complication is encountered on the line, it could slow output.