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The anticipated Tesla Model X, which is the first fully electric production SUV, has been officially launched. Elon Musk says the X is designed to be the safest car on the road, with an eye to score a 5-star safety rating in all categories.

It’s easy to see why the Model X is said to be safer than any other SUV in the world. First up, it doesn’t have a combustion engine under the hood, freeing space for a large crumple zone that will absorb the energy of a high-speed collision.

The battery is placed on the floor, so the Model X boasts a low centre gravity resulting in reduced body roll. The whole structure is strong and stiff thanks to aluminium pillars reinforced with steel rails. Not only that, the vehicle also has a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” that will protect occupants from dangerous gasses or bacteria in any life-threatening situation.

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The Model X’s Falcon Wing doors require only 30 cm of space on the side of the vehicle to open. Interestingly, each door is equipped with sonar sensors that monitor surroundings and adjust how high the opens in order to avoid obstacles. The doors also open and close automatically as the driver approaches or exits the vehicle.

Like the sought-after Model S, the Model X comes with a large 17-inch touchscreen that provides access to media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data through touch or voice control. Tesla says there are 17 speakers and a handful of storage compartments in the cabin. If you need to tow, fret not as the SUV boasts a 2,268 kg tow capacity.

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At launch, the Model X will be offered in two variants – 90D and P90D. The former boasts two 190 kW motors (one on each axle), enabling the SUV to go from 0 to 98 km/h in a scant 4.8 seconds. The latter gets to the same speed a full second quicker, as it is equipped with a 190 kW motor up front and a more powerful 370 kW motor at the rear. Customers will have to opt for the Ludicrous Mode upgrade if they wish to go any faster.






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