Tesla Motors Inc will launch its third car, the Model X SUV, next week at an event in Fremont, San Francisco. The all electric SUV will, if CEO Elon Musk’s forecasts are right, and they almost never are, double sales and set Tesla on the road toward 500,000 sales per year.
In order to figure out whether you plan to put yourself among the throng clamoring for a new Model X, here’s a look at the features that the EV SUV will have in store on release, and what people are already saying about the car.
Tesla Motors Model X specs
Tesla Motors has gone all out to make the Model X the best car it’s ever made. Here’s a look at what you can get by splurging between $70,000 and $140,000 on the next big thing in the EV world.
Long range driving, short charging times: The Model X won’t be able to go as far as the Model S, because it’s a little bit heavier. With battery sizes of 70kWh, 85 kWh, and 90kWh, the Model X will travel for an estimated, 210, 240 miles and 250 miles respectively.
Charging times should mirror the Model S exactly. That means about 10 hours charging time at home using a 240-volt, 40-amp plug. If Tesla Motors offers dual charging on the SUV, users may be able to cut that time in half. There is, of course, another way to drop charging times.
Supercharger access: The Model X will, like the Model S, come with free access to the Tesla Motors Supercharger network. The charging set up will allow the Model X to hit an 80 percent charge in just about 30 minutes if the Model S is any guide. Tesla Motors has been trying to restrict use of the network to people on long journeys in recent months, but it’s still a free, and fast, way to charge your SUV.
Tesla Motors speed: The Model X will inherit more than just the Model S’ Supercharger pass. The SUV is built on the same base as the sedan, and it will have the same thirst for speed. The base Model X will be able to get from 0-60mph in under 5 seconds. The “Ludicrous Mode” version of the SUV will do the same in just 3.3 seconds, if Elon Musk’s best guess is right.
Falcon Wing doors: The Model X has one feature that sticks out ahead of all others. The Falcon Wing doors on the EV will open vertically. They’re supposed to allow easier ingress and egress, and they’re designed to attract attention while doing it. The doors will have sensors that stop them colliding with low roofs and close pillars.
“Sculptural work of art” seats: The second row of seats in the Tesla Motors Model X have been the subject of no end of bragging by Elon Musk, but we still don’t really know what all the fuss is about. A recent image showed us that innovative folding might be the reason that the CEO called the seats “sculptural” but we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Massive hauling: Tesla Motors reckons that you’ll want to carry a huge amount of stuff in your Model X, so the firm has put in the room to do just that. The SUV will comfortably carry seven adults and their luggage. It has two trunks, one in the front and another in the back, and it’s got some seating arrangements that will let you carry almost anything.
Tesla Motors aesthetics: Some people hate the Model X already, and that’s okay. The car has taken a lot of cues from the Model S, and Tesla Motors is developing a style all its own. There’s plenty of pictures out there, including some in this piece, of how the Model X will look. Until Tuesday September 29, however, we can’t be fully sure about the exact face of the next major EV release.
Model X release date gets blurry
Elon Musk, in his third guess, forecast that the Model X would hit the road for the first time in the third quarter of 2015. Since November of 2014 he’s stood by that release date and the first units of the Model X will land just over 24 hours before the third quarter ends.
It’s not clear how many shipments we’re going to see, but in the most recent Tesla Motors earnings call, Mr. Musk said that only a handful would reach their owners before the end of the third quarter.
Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley said, in a report published earlier this year, that Tesla Motors would ship 50 units of the Model X to owners by the end of September. Given the time constraints that seems unlikely, but Elon Musk is almost always ready to surprise.
The Tesla Motors Model X release date for each individual buyer will depend on how fast the firm is able to ramp up production of the car. Mr. Musk said in the June quarter earnings call that the ramp up would not happen until the end of the fourth quarter.
There are more than 25,000 people in line to buy a Tesla Motors Model X. Unless the launch is an unmitigated disaster, in which case the queue might shorten, it’s going to be a long time before Tesla manages to get a car booked this week to the person booking it.
The Tesla Motors website still tells those looking to book a Model X that it will likely be shipped in early 2016, but that doesn’t seem to be in line with the message Mr. Musk has sent out in recent weeks.
The Model X is ambitious. That’s clear from the list of specs. It’s going to take a long time to get up to production speed as a result, but that isn’t bothering Wall Street. Whatever about the auto world’s obsession with Tesla Motors , it’s Wall Street that cares more than anyone else about the Model X.