Tesla Motors has announced its plans to enter the popular crossover vehicle market—bigger than a sedan, but not quite an SUV—with the all-electric Model X (Fig. 1). Despite its family-friendly size, the Model X promises typical Tesla performance with 0- to 60-mph acceleration in less than 5 seconds.
The company designed the Model X with a lower center of gravity than any other SUV for better handling. Just like the Roadster and Model S, the Model X also boasts instant torque, even when it’s carrying its full complement of six passengers and the driver.
Furthermore, the Model X offers an optional dual-motor all-wheel drive that not only targets all-weather and all-road driving, it increases torque by 50% as well. The all-wheel drive gives the Model X its 5-second 0- to 60-mph acceleration.
Passengers can easily access the Model X’s middle row and third row via the Model X’s “falcon wing” doors, which open vertically (Fig. 2). The middle row slides all the way forward, even with child seats installed, so passengers can stand up as they get in and out without hunching or climbing.
The Model X will include a 60- or 85-kWh battery. Three drivetrain options will be available: the Model X with real-wheel drive, the Model X with dual-motor all-wheel drive, and the Model X performance with dual-motor all-wheel drive. Production will begin in late 2013. Pricing will be comparable to similarly equipped Model S orders.