It has been widely reported that 2016 is a make-or-break year for Tesla, as both investors and founder Elon Musk are hoping that consumers will snatch up the new Model 3, its affordable $35,000 sedan. The Model 3 will be unveiled on March 31. Meanwhile, the company is also betting big on the Model X, the company’s new SUV.
The Model X is Tesla’s third electric car. Its first effort was the 2008 Roadster, followed by the Model S saloon in 2013, which was very popular among eco-conscious drivers and forward-thinking engineers. earned the brand its reputation for bold engineering. Early reviews on the Model X are positive, concluding that Tesla has made an exciting new take on the sport utility vehicle.
Behold, Falcon-Wing Doors
The Model X arrives with falcon-wing doors. Winged doors always strike us as gimmicks, but with Tesla everything has a purpose. The double-hinged doors have capacitive, ultrasonic and inductive sensors to open without making contact with any object above or beside the vehicle. The biggest benefit of the winged doors for drivers is that they only need about 30 centimeters of space, which means they easy to open and close when you are navigating the Model X in tight spots.
The falcon-wing doors also address a longstanding issue with SUVs that the carmakers never seem to get around to solving: the difficulty of getting in and out of the vehicle without jumping down, jumping in, or hunching over to step in and out. The falcon-wing doors make entry and exits easier, plus add additional space for people to climb out of the third row of the vehicle.
Unprecedented Expansiveness in an SUV
Some drivers love the SUVs high vantage point, while others have consistently complained about the small windshield and rear window. (The Chevy Traverse, for example, has a tiny back window with poor sight lines.) Tesla made sight lines a priority by installing a huge front windshield, which Tesla says is the largest of any vehicle in the world. The windshield extends from the front back to where the rear door frame begins, giving the SUV a unique openness.
The automatic features of the Model X are also admirable. There are auto-presenting and auto-closing doors, as well as three individually adjustable “monopost” second-row seats (which form the third row). This adds a good amount of storage under the seats. The interior also boasts the automaker’s 17-inch touch screen, which is the conduit for Tesla’s industry-leading driver-assistance technologies. That means Tesla is another entry in the autonomous driving world, enabling steering without driving assistance.
0 to 60 in 3.2 Seconds
When it comes to performance, the Model X has a phenomenal 0 to 60 mph time of 3.2 seconds in the vehicle’s highest category. The entry-level Model X also boasts a 0 to 60 time of just 6 seconds. This is all in an electric automobile that has a 220 to 2457 mile of EPA-rated range (it fluctuates according to the battery configuration). The Model X is the world’s only fully electric SUV.
Model X pricing starts at $80,000. Although this is in the high range, it is certainly comparable to other luxury SUVs.
Industry watchers were concerned over 2015 reports that Tesla had been unable to produce the number of Model X’s that would move the needle. Tesla now believes that its Model X deliveries will make a significant impact on its annual sales. Last year Tesla sold around 50,000 Model S cars. In 2016, the automaker is hoping for a range of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles between the Model S and X combined.