Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is hard at work on it’s next big product. The Model X EV SUV is on the way, and it’s likely to change the way the world sees the electric car forever. Elon Musk, the CEO at Tesla Motors says that he thinks there will be more demand for the car than for the company’s Model S. The EV sedan is expected to sell around 50,000 units this year.
The Model X release date and specs are public knowledge to some extent, but there’s been a lot of debate about the exact numbers we’ll see from Tesla Motors. Here’s your run down on what to expect from the Tesla Motors Model X when it arrives later this year.
Tesla Model X release date
Elon Musk and his team have stuck to a single number for the Model X release date. The car will ship, says Tesla Motors, in Q3 2015. That means any time between July and September of this year.
A hard Model X release date doesn’t capture the nuance of Tesla Motors, however. The car won’t be available to buy in the third quarter any more than you can buy it today. If you have a spare $5,000 you can head over to the Tesla website right now and book a Model X. When it’s going to be delivered it another story.
Elon Musk said in a February earnings call that there were more than 20,000 reserved Model X units on the firm’s books. As release date approaches that number, barring disaster, will head higher.
The real Model X release date will come when Tesla Motors gets its delivery numbers down to a reasonable level. Adam Jonas at Morgan Stanley expects the 5000 units of the Model X to be delivered by the end of 2015. That means the real Model X release date, when you can actually get your hands on a car, may be toward the end of 2016 or at the start of 2017.
Tesla Motors says that if you reserve a Model X today it should be able to get it to you in early 2016 though, so waiting isn’t an option if you want a Model X as soon as possible.
Tesla Model X specs
We know the Tesla Model X will have gull wing doors, but there’s a few other important specs to look at when deciding to buy an EV.
Elon Musk and his team have given little enough concrete information on Model X specs, but sleuths on Wall Street have been able to sort some fact from fiction by working off of the Model S as a base.
Here’s what we know from what we’ve seen of the car and what Elon himself has told us:
It’s going to be fast. Mr. Musk is not about compromise. That’s how he brought us an EV with the range of fuel-driven car. ““Even though the X is heavier, it will still go zero to 60 miles an hour in about 4.4 seconds. And that’s not even the Performance model,” he said at the unveiling of the car.
It’s also going to be big. That’s because of the space saved by not needing an engine. Mr. Musk explained, “The Model X offers ample room for seven adults, and their luggage.” That’s a lot of space.
The falcon wing doors aren’t going to be just a gimmick to sell the car either. The doors, which will open vertically, “will let you get in and out in the tightest garage or parking spot without hitting the wall or car next to you, or your head.”
On power, nobody’s quite sure how far the Model X is going to be able to take you. the care will be about 10% heavier than the Model S and that means that the range will be about 10% less. When the car was first unveiled Mr. Musk said that it would have the same battery options as the Model S.
At the time the Model S offered 40kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh models. Tesla Motors found out that people wanted longer ranges, and it discontinued the 60kWh and 40 kWh models in favor of a 70kWh model. The Model X is likely to have the same options as the Model S.
That means that the Model X is likely to be all-wheel drive and come in 70kWh and 85 kWh variants. Range is still going to be about 10% less than the Model S with the same batteries. That means that the 70kWh will likely get you about 220 miles and 85 kWh will bring you 240 miles without a charge.
Will Tesla Motors make the Model X drive itself?
There’s a lot of legal restrictions on exactly how Tesla Motors is going to bring self-driving to the Model S, but the hardware is all there in newer versions of the car. The Model X, Tesla Motors has confirmed, will have all of that hardware on board from day one.
The software update that will let the Model S drive itself, at least to some extent, will arrive before the end of the Summer according to Mr. Musk. That means the Model X should have those features on board at release date.
That means that the Tesla Model X will be able to keep itself inside a lane on the highway, and it will be able to park itself and bring itself to your door. What it’s going to be able to do on the road is a matter of state law, however, and it’s going to be a long time before the Model X will be able to drive itself coast to coast without your hands on the wheel.
What does the Model X look like?
We already know what the Tesla Model X is going to look like because it’s been seen on the street more than once. Here’s a recent picture of the car driving around, being tested for release by Tesla Motors.
The car may not seem all that big there, but the lack of an engine means that everyone is able to sit much lower to the ground and the back row of seats is almost hidden.
As with the Model S there’s going to be a huge number of options for the exterior of the car. The paint colors on offer are likely to be the same as those for the Model S.
How is Tesla Motors going to build that?
Tesla Motors just leased the old Solyndra Factory in Fremont and the firm might use it to build some units of its Model X SUV. Most of the cars are going to be built in the firm’s Model S factory to start off with, however. That’s also in Fremont and Tesla Motors calls it one of the most advanced automobile factories in the world.
If you’ve never seen a Tesla being made, you should watch the below video. It will give you some idea about how Tesla Motors is going to get your Model X ready for release date.