Tesla introduced its luxury electric SUV this week in Freemont, CA. Here are Tesla’s Model X Top 10 cutting edge features.
Six customers took possession of the first Model X SUVs, some waiting nearly three years for the privilege. They are not disappointed.
“The mission of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” CEO Elon Musk said at the car’s introduction. The Tesla Model X also proves the company is more than a one hit wonder.
The Tesla Model X accelerates to sixty mph in 3.2 seconds. It’s able to do a quarter-mile run in 11.7 seconds in “ludicrous mode.” That put its alongside cars like the BMW M5, Corvette Z06, and Porsche Panamera Turbo. Top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The Model X gets its power for a 90 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery driving motors (259 horsepower at the front, 503 at the rear).
Tesla has created amazing rear passenger doors called Falcon doors. The big drawback of doors that open like wings—think DeLorean—is they require a lot of room to open. Tesla got around this by double-hinging the doors, and fitting each with an ultrasonic sensor and putting a third on the roof. They scan the area around the vehicle to determine how much space there is, then adjust the “span” and open accordingly. Falcon doors can open with as little as 12 inches on each side of the vehicle. Doors lift automatically, in 6 to 7 seconds, which is twice as long as it takes for the car to accelerate to sixty mph, just to give some perspective.
Musk is especially proud of the “panoramic” windshield, which extends back over the front seat seats to provide an exceptional view. Tesla claims it is the largest windshield ever installed in a production vehicle. Riding up front feels almost like being in a convertible.
Another feature is the “monopost” design of the second-row seats. Each seat (two if you get the six-passenger model, three if you get the seven), sits on its own chrome-plated post. That makes each seat almost infinitely adjustable fore and aft and provides ample room for everyone’s feet. No gymnastic contortions are required to get into the (standard) third row seating.
No one at Tesla could tell us the internal volume of the Model X—you’d think someone would have known that figure—but suffice it to say, this thing will swallow as much cargo as any normal person would carry. The internal capacity is cavernous, thanks, in part, to the aforementioned monopost seats.
The Model X has Class 3 towing capacity, which in lay terms means it’ll haul 5,000 pounds. Tesla offers an accessory hitch that holds four bikes or six pairs of skis, and it attaches to the back of the car in just a few seconds.
Tesla Model X has an enormous 17-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash to provide enough distractions for any driver.
Featured predominantly on the 17-inch touchscreen is the sound system with 560 watts and 17 speakers. Tesla designed the system in-house specifically for the X because it wanted to ensure the system delivered the best sound with the smallest power requirements. The sound is crisp, clear, and loud—even when standing 15 feet away from the car. Many of Tesla’s competitors went to Bose to design a system specifically for the car.
Tesla expects the Model X to get 5-star NHTSA crash safety ratings in all categories. Tesla claims it’s impossible to flip because the battery pack is lower than the center of gravity. The car weighs 5,441 pounds, about 740 pounds heavier than the Model S.
Bio-defense air system
Unique among the safety features is its “Bio-weapon Defense” mode. The Model X’s air conditioning system prevents any bacteria or viruses from entering the vehicle. It uses an enormous filter to block the bacteria and viruses.
Although the X is the first electric luxury SUV, it won’t be alone for long. Bentley promises a plug-in hybrid version of its new, ultra-luxe Bentayga SUV in about a year. Rolls Royce and Lamborghini have hinted at similar plans. Last month, Audi showed off an all-electric crossover concept that’s probably a preview of the 2019 Q6. Aston Martin wants to have one ready in two years.
Pricing is not among Tesla’s Model X Top 10 cutting edge features. The Model X 90D starts for $132,000 and goes 257 miles on a charge, the more acceleration-friendly P90D will cost you $142,000 and cover 250 miles.
In the wake of Volkswagen’s pollution-test scandal, regulators will surely intensify scrutiny of emissions from conventional cars; and as the costs of complying with tightened environmental rules rise, the price disadvantage of electric cars will diminish. As it does, Tesla will hold a leadership position for redefining the electric vehicle with the Model X.