It would not be hyperbole to state that the Tesla Model X is the most important electric vehicle in the history of the motor car. Tesla has long since established itself as the market-leader in the electric vehicle niche, and it is widely noted that the Model X is extremely important for the future of Tesla. This crossover SUV is reported to deliver outstanding performance alongside attractive aesthetics and environmental credibility. All that remains now is for the vehicle to actually be released so that we can assess its quality!
Speaking of which, Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk confirmed this week that the Model X will begin deliveries in the next three to four months. Musk was speaking at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California. This announcement is good news for Tesla, as an estimated 20,000 customers have placed $5,000 deposits in the hope of receiving a Model X this year. Although Tesla has endured a wide range of delays previously, one can only hope that on this occasion the corporation will be able to deliver on Musk’s promises.
The Tesla Model S has already become a massive success for the corporation, and is now widely driven by a collection of Hollywood glitterati. But what can we expect from the Model X, how will it improve on the existing Tesla vehicles, and is it possible to separate the fact from the fiction with regard to this vehicle? Here is the rundown of what we know about the Tesla Model X, what will probably be part of the vehicle based on decent evidence, and what can be reasonably dismissed as rumor, speculation or pie in the sky.
Model X – Certainties
It is still possible to reserve a Model X for delivery in the next few months by placing a deposit of $5,000. However, it is unlikely that such deposits will result in a vehicle on release day. Instead, if one were to put a deposit down for a vehicle now, delivery sometime early in 2016 should be expected.
The Model X will share similarities with the existing Model S, featuring the same battery pack structure in particular. However, the body of the Model X is higher than the Model S and slightly longer. It also features Falcon Wing rear doors and three rows of seats. However, the third-row of seats is, in fact, optional. There will also be an optional telling hitch included in the vehicle, making this a steady and resilient vehicle in a wintry conditions.
Unlike previous Tesla vehicles, the Model X will not feature a panoramic roof, however the vehicle will utilize side view mirrors in common with the previous Model S. The Model X will be based on two drive units, one front and one rear, and the drive units and battery packs in the Model X will be comparable to those featured in the Model S. However, we do know that the Model X will have less rated range than the existing Model S.
Finally, the initial software included in the Model X will have a version which is at least 6.2 in chronology.
In this section, we begin to separate the wheat from the chaff and examine some features of the Model X which are not 100 percent guaranteed, and which have not been confirmed by Tesla, but would seem likely based on strong rumors related to the vehicle and anecdotal evidence.
Firstly is the all-important price. It is expected that the base unit of the Model X will cost around 10 percent more than a comparably equipped Model S. The height of the Model X with the doors open is expected it to be around 85 inches, although this has not been confirmed precisely.
The initial battery pack offerings in the Model X will be 70 and 85 kWh, in common with the previous Model S. There are expected to be three versions of the Model X, 70D, 85D, and P85D, and each one of these will share existing Model S drive units.
The weight of the Model X is expected to be just over 5,000 pounds, which is only 200 more than the Model S. It is this characteristic of the vehicle which has led to boasts from Musk and Tesla that its power-to-weight ratio is extremely impressive.
The rated range of the Model X 70 is projected to be slightly over 200 miles, while the 85 version of the vehicle will go around 240 miles. The P85 is expected to be slightly less than the 85 in this characteristic.
There are a wide variety of aspects of the vehicle which are expected to be largely shared with the Model S vehicle. It is difficult to give a definitive verdict on these, as they are large in number and also widely open to speculation. But…the brakes, touchscreen control center, instrument cluster display, steering wheel and associated controls, door handles, battery management and charging equipment, frunk mechanism, sun visors, foot pedals, autopilot hardware and front seats have all been cited as elements of the vehicle which could be shared with the Model S.
Although we know for a fact that software in the vehicle will be at least a 6.2 release, it is possible that it could be as up-to-date as 7.0. Seats will accommodate child seats, and it is expected that the Model X will do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.
Finally, here are a few suggestions from the Tesla-following community and analysts which seem to be pure speculation, but which could yet turn up in the vehicle.
Second-row seats could slide forward when folded flat in order to enable third-row entry. There will be no rear window wiper or washer, but sun visors will include lightable vanity mirrors. The second-row of seats could feature adjustable reclining backs, and there could also be independent climate control for rear passenger compartments. It is asserted by some sources that there will be improved or augmented autopilot hardware peripherals included in the vehicle.
Finally, some people believe that there will be an option for programmable surround video cameras with wireless access included in the Model X.