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.
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.
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.
Built electric from the ground up, Model X is designed to be the safest car on the road. Our crash tests indicate that Model X will receive a 5 star safety rating in all categories, the first SUV to ever do so.
Not needing a big gasoline engine under the hood, Model X has a large crumple zone to absorb the energy of a high-speed impact. The battery’s location on the floor gives Model X an extremely low center of gravity, reducing the risk of rollover common in most SUVs. Aluminum pillars reinforced with steel rails protect occupants and the battery while improving roof stiffness.
Model X comes standard with automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Tesla makes the only standard AEB system that works at high speed.
Every Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features. Tesla’s over-the-air software updates regularly improve the sophistication of these features, enabling increasingly capable safety and convenience features like Autosteer and Autopark, and bringing the Model X ever closer to autonomous operation.
Model X is the world’s cleanest SUV on the inside, too. The front fascia is designed with a functional duct that pushes air through the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile allowing medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what is going on outside.
Inside Model X
Model X Falcon Wing doors offer unprecedented convenience, entry, and maneuverability for everyday life. They provide seamless ingress and egress into the second and third row. No longer do parents have to cantilever themselves to avoid hitting their child’s head on the roof as they place them in a car seat.
The double-hinged Falcon Wing doors open up then out, requiring only 30 cm of space on the side of the vehicle. Each door is equipped with capacitive, inductive, and sonar sensors to monitor surroundings and avoid contact with obstacles around the car, making it possible to park in tight spots.
The industry’s first auto presenting door automatically opens and closes as the driver approaches or exits Model X. Why should the driver ever need to touch the door?
Monopost seats move independently, sliding and tilting forward and back. They allow passengers easy access to the third row and give them plenty of foot room when they sit down.
The windshield in Model X stretches up and over the front seat occupants. Second row passengers get a first row vantage point with an expansive view ahead, atop the falcon wing door, and beside them. The windshield’s solar tint transition completes the modern and open feel.
Seventeen precisely positioned speakers bring concern hall like sound inside Model X.
The 17″ center touchscreen seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and are voice-activated to focus the driver’s attention on the road.
Whether big or little, there’s a place to store it in Model X. Side pockets, a center console and a blind holster for your iPhone.
Model X provides unprecedented space for passengers and cargo. With three rows of seats, a front and rear trunk, and room under the second row seats, there’s ample room for people, luggage, and big things like surf boards and bikes. For even heavier cargo, Model X is the first electric vehicle with a 5,000 lb. tow capacity.
Agility and Speed
At the heart of the vehicle is Tesla’s proven electric powertrain, accelerating Model X from 0-60 in a staggering 3.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 155 mph, all while producing zero emissions.
Designed with Tesla’s electric vehicle architecture, Model X’s floor-mounted battery gives the vehicle a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution for exhilarating performance and superior handling.
At 0.24, Model X has the lowest drag coefficient of any SUV in history.
Model X comes standard with an active spoiler that automatically adjusts to three positions for maximum visibility and efficiency. Under 45 mph, the spoiler is positioned so the driver can see above and below it. At higher speeds the spoiler partially retracts for improved highway efficiency (+1.6%), and optimizes the vehicle’s lift distribution. Model X is the only car with an active spoiler equipped with a center-high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL).
Dual motors digitally and independently control torque to the front and rear wheels to give Model X unparalleled control of traction while increasing performance and efficiency.
Signature Model X comes with a 90 kWh battery providing customers a driving range of 250 miles on a single charge.
By the numbers
Range 250 miles for P90D
Top Speed 155 miles per hour
Zero-60 3.2 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
3.8 seconds for P90D
Quarter Mile 11.7 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
12.2 seconds for P90D
Motor Power 259 hp front, 503 hp rear
Motor Torque 713 lb-ft combined
244 lb-ft/330 Nm front
479 lb-ft/600 Nm rear
US MPGe 89 MPGe for P90D
Weight 5,441 lbs.
Drag Coefficient 0.24