Tesla Reveals Model X Prototype

Yesterday Tesla Motors unveiled a prototype of the highly anticipated Model X SUV/minivan at its design studio in Hawthorne, Calif.

During a splashy gathering of media and prospective owners, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the electric SUV – complete with “falcon wing doors” and due for 2013 production – “has more utility than a minivan and better, much better performance than a SUV.”

What’s with the doors? Well they look cool, and they’re practical, Musk said.

“You can get in and out in the tightest garage or parking spot without hitting the wall or car next to you, or your head,” Musk said, with pride in his innovative and high-performance family hauler.

Falcon wing doors. (Photo by Mark Zimmer).

Prior to yesterday’s reveal, Tesla had tweeted that the X will be quicker than a Porsche 911 and roomier than an Audi Q7, that is, it will be able to dash from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds “and that’s not even the performance model,” Musk said yesterday.

Powered by a version of the same lithium-ion battery system found in the Model S sedan, the Model X features an all-wheel drive system with electric motors spinning the front and rear wheels independently.

According to Musk, the AWD system “is incredibly precise and accurate in its application of power and traction, much more so than any other type of all-wheel drive out there.”

And, as it’s a pure electric, Musk also touted advantages over internal-combustion competitors, saying the X offers “more packaging opportunities,” or put more plainly, it provides greater potential passenger and cargo space. Preliminary specifications reveal seating for seven plus room for luggage.

The Model X will likely be offered with a choice of 60- or 85-kwh battery packs – but since it weighs around 10-percent more than the Model S sedan, range is expected to be slightly less.

Expected to become Tesla’s volume vehicle, the Model X is projected to start at $57,400 before applying a federal tax credit up to $7,500, although with different options on the table, it will likely be easy to push the sticker to $100,000 if not more.

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  • Max Reid

    Great design, better space utilization with 2 trunks, innovative falcon doors and a good mileage. Hope they first start selling the Model S as promised. Certainly it will challenge all the high end models. Without gear stick, it should be electronically drive.

    Ideally their next model should be a smaller 4 or 5 seater and priced at 30K. Otherwise they will end up selling fewer upscale vehicles.

  • Glenn Louderback

    Do we really need more cars that only the rich can afford?

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Focus on the sedan and bring it to production… most car companies fail as Musk well knows….. this is to bring more future investor monies in….


  • jon appling

    tesla would roll over but good work

  • veek

    Owners should be careful about using indoor parking lots (or home garages). Many of them have less clearance than the open doors would allow. Looks like the windows are big enough to use as an exit or entrance though, a la NASCAR 🙂

  • SteveC

    I think Tesla is mostly smoke and mirrors. They will be gone in a few years. The doors on this vehicle are totally not practical. The look cool for a press release but try using this vehicle in real life with rain and snow. I get tired of the propaganda from this company and no commerical products. My $.02

  • pickupdoctor

    I think Tesla is doing what many other companies that are well established should be doing.

    Tesla has strategic partnership with Toyota working on electric RAV 4

    and Daimler AG working on Electric Smart Car and Mercedes Benz A-Call E-Cell car.

    Model X will fit in any underground garage without any problems whatsoever.

    Maximum height of the car with doors open is 85 inches, which is just bit over 7 feet.

    I am 6’8” and I don’t remember a garage that I haven’t fit in, most undergorund structures have 7 feet limit, while some have 6’8” but those relate to the one of few locations where that height is achieved.

    I thin Tesla is on it’s way to become Electric Car Pioneer who will eventually become a force to recon with in years to come.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Yes, it looks like those doors can easily be opened in the garage IF your garage door is CLOSED. Anybody actually look and see how much room there is between the roof of a typical crossover and a garage door that is open and on the tracks above it? Not nearly as much as you’ll need to open those doors. Honestly, if those men are 5’10”. Then it looks as that vehicle is 5’8″ at the roof. Those doors are about 3 feet taller than any of those guys. Have you ever measured how much room is in between the floor of your garage and the tracks where your door hangs is? I bet you it’s less than 8.5 feet.

    Better close that garage door before your passengers get out!!

    Good luck!