Tesla Model X launched with dual-hinge falcon wing doors, Bioweapon Defense Mode
After almost two years of delays and setbacks, the Tesla Model X has finally been revealed in full production trim. With a claimed range of 414 km (257 mi), the Model X won’t go quite as far on a charge as the Model S, but it has three rows of seating, a new take on the scissor door and a hospital grade air filtering system dubbed "Bioweapon Defense Mode."
As you might have guessed, the Model X will be underpinned by Tesla’s "skateboard" chassis. That means the 90 kWh battery pack is set within the chassis, with a motor attached to the front and rear axles for all-wheel drive.
Unless you're planning on crossing a country, range hasn't really proven a problem for any of Tesla's recent cars, and the Model X is no different. The 90D will go 414 km (257 mi) before it needs topping up, while upgrading to the 90D Performance lessens range to 402 km (250 mi), more than enough for the daily school run and commute.
Charging can be tackled by a small wall charger, an optional home fast charger or at the rapidly-growing number of Supercharger stations popping up across America and Europe.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Telsa without some insane acceleration stats. In the top P90D Ludicrous spec, the Model X will sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.2 seconds – the same as the Model S P85D we've just reviewed. The non-performance 90D will do the sprint in 4.8 seconds, still faster than most hot hatches can manage.
In fact it’s not just crazy for a family car, but crazy for just about anything. The standard Porsche 911 Turbo takes the same 3.2 seconds as the Model X, while Audi’s RS6 super-wagon can only manage a sprint time of 3.9 seconds.
Looking at the Model X, one feature really stands out. They might look like pure show-car theatre, but the production car will be taking flight with falcon wing doors that, as well as making your family car look like a Mercedes SLS, offer up easy access to the second and third row seats.
They appear huge, but Tesla says the doors’ dual-hinge design mean they can be opened in a garage without hitting the walls. If you have a particularly small garage, a special ultrasonic sensor has been set up to make sure your wings aren't clipped by the roof.
As an SUV, Tesla's latest car will need to cart more than just passengers – it'll need to cart kids, strollers, bikes and more. Thanks to a new "accessories hitch," the Model X can carry bikes, skis and snowboards on the outside of the car without impeding on bootspace. It can also tow 2268 kg (5000 lb), the same as a Ford Explorer.
Inside, the Model X will be familiar to anyone who has sat in a Model S. What is new, however, is the air filtration system. The system includes a huge HEPA filter that, if it's working to its maximum capability, can be used in "Bioweapon Defense Mode" that apparently makes the air inside the car as clean and clear as a hospital ward.
Yep, that's right – Bioweapon Defense Mode. At today's launch, Elon Musk even joked that Tesla was trying to "be a leader in apocalyptic defense scenarios." Maybe he knows something we don't about what's to come?
It might have taken slightly longer than Tesla had hoped, but the Americans will still have the electric SUV market to themselves for the time being. Audi plans to release an all-electric crossover in 2018, but until then the Model X will be competing with hybrids like the Volvo XC90 T8 and Audi Q7 e-tron.
So, how much will the Model X set you back? At launch there are two models available, the P90D Signature (US$132,000) and the P90D Founder edition (US$142,000), expect to pay much less for the standard 90D and non-special edition P90D's when they hit the roads.
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Bravo to Franz! And Elon.