Tesla Motors Inc will host a big launch event in order to celebrate the first shipment of the Model X SUV on Tuesday, September 29. The invites for the event only arrived on Monday, meaning that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk still hasn’t learned to respect the social lives of those working as automotive and tech reporters.
Here’s what we’re expecting to see from the Model X on Tuesday, and a close look at what we’ll be trying to find out. The release event will be the first time anyone outside of the Tesla Motors inner circle has seen the full car, so there’s bound to be a couple of surprises from Elon Musk and his team.
Tesla Motors shares the Model X
Tesla Motors has said for quite a while that the shipment of the first Model X would act as the launch event, but the firm wasn’t clear about whether it would mark the shipment with a formal press appointment. Mr. Musk and the Tesla Motors marketing team decided to do so some time before invites were sent out on Monday.
The Tesla Motors Model X is the third car to come from the Palo Alto based car maker. It’s going to be a small SUV, or crossover, and it’s going to run on electric power, and electric power only. The Model X is built on the same base as the Model S, the Tesla Motors sedan, but there’s a lot of differences between the two cars.
The Model X will have room for seven people, and it is going to be roomy. Because of the nature of the EV, Tesla Motors has a lot of space to lay with inside the car. It also has a trunk in both the front and the back. If the firm’s description of the space plays out, there’s going to be enough room for the needs of even the most active of people in the car.
The Model X will come with three rows of seats. The back row can be folded down in order to make room for luggage, while the second row appears to shift far forward in order to allow even more space. We’re not all that sure about the full features of the second row seat just yet. That’s one of the many surprises that Mr. Musk and his team are keeping for Tuesday.
The back doors of the Model X will open almost entirely vertical and will do so at the press of a button. They’ll have sensors installed that will allow them to avoid obstacles, open to a height that prevents bumping and scratching and makes their use quick, clean, and safe.
The Model X will use the same drive train as the Model S. It will have about 10 percent less range than the Model X at each power cell class. The longest range version of the car will be able to move around 250 miles on a single charge. We’re not sure of the precise power pack sizes on offer, but it seems that the biggest on release will be 95 kWh.
A tow package will be an option on the Model X, as will a package that will make winter driving easier. The car also comes with other premium features that aren’t all that exciting. It will have the same screen and software as the Model S, more or less, and it will offer added luxury in the form of ventilated seats and other tiny perks.
Only Signature Model X shipped for now
The Tesla Motors Model X that will roll off the factory line and be driven to a buyer this week will be one of the firm’s special edition Signature Model X units. Elon Musk offered those cars when the Model X went up for order for the first time back in 2012.
The Signature Model X will cost buyers somewhere in the region of $135,000. We’re not quite sure what the normal version of the Model X will cost on release, but we do know that it’s going to be a little bit more expensive than a Model S with similar stats.
Mr. Musk, in a recent tweet, said that the Model X premium is going to be about $5,000. If the same units are offered, and that’s not clearly the case, the lowest-priced Model X will cost $75,000.
Here’s what to look out for
A lot of the Model X specs have been hidden from us, at least in part. We don’t know, for example, what the front of the Model X will look like. We don’t know how the second row of seats, which Elon Musk described as “sculptural” will work, and we don’t know if the car will be able to drive itself.
There’s a bunch of mysteries that surround the Model X, and there’s always a chance that there’s a huge feature that the world is missing. Knowledge that the SUV is going to have a massive overhead windshield only really became concrete after the first leaks from the firm’s online design studio arrived. There may be more secrets that the world is overlooking.
For the sake of clarity, and for those who want a cheatsheet to get them through the event, here’s a look at the most important facts we don’t know about the Model X specs right now:
- How do those second row seats fold, swivel or tilt?
- How can a driver block glare under that massive windscreen?
- Is update 7.0, which brings self-parking and lane-keeping, ready yet?
- How much will the base Model X cost?
- What does the nose cone, and front lights, of the Model X look like?
- Why do the falcon doors look misaligned in so may photos?
- How are the falcon doors going to deal with water, or worse snow, on the roof of the car?
There are lots of other questions about the Model X, and the way Mr. Musk tends to conduct events it’s likley we’ll be left with more once he stops speaking next Tuesday.
Tesla Motors will have to, at the very least, let us finally see what the Model X really looks like for the first time before the end of this week. That’s something to be excited about. The event will start at 7 PM PT, we’ll bring you all the facts one the first handful of Model X SUVs are on their merry way.