An entrepreneur, a business head and a visionary. The many roles of Tesla founder Elon Musk have been extremely beneficial for his most iconic company that makes stupendously amazing electric vehicles for a living. It first amazed us with the Tesla S sedan and followed it up with a fire breathing Model S P85D version and a Ludicrous mode somewhere in-between. While the sedan is just something for EV lovers, the company had also showcased the Model X SUV concept under development for years now which is finally launched with Musk himself taking the centre stage to reveal his latest creation.
So what’s the Tesla X all about? It is safety, performance and electric mobility exactly in that order. Elon Musk started with the safety tech on board the Model X calling it the safest SUV in the world. We are sure the Swedes just took offense to that. Nevertheless, Musk says the X is the first SUV to get 5 star rating (internal tests) in every crash test category and also cannot roll-over due to the high centre of gravity which comes thanks to the heavy battery pack placed so low on the vehicle. The SUV further gets a ‘Bioweapon Defence Mode’. At this point we thought Musk was making things up, but he wasn’t.
Now, the Tesla X comes gets a medical grade HEPA filter that filters the purest of air inside the cabin and will protect you from different bacteria, gases and possibly in a quarantine zone in the post apocalyptic world where electricity is more easily available than clean air. You also get other safety tech exclusive to the X including the AEB system, a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360-degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features like the Autosteer and Autopark.
Speaking about the design, the Model X is very much in Tesla’s ballpark. The overall futuristic styling looks impressive on the lines of the Model S and does not feel from the generation next making it easier to live with. The roofline curves up smoothly from one end to the other extending up till boot and lends an agile look to the SUV. Not too different from the concept, the Falcon wing doors are the show stoppers that open vertically (as seen in the Mercedes SLS AMG) and Tesla says they can be opened even in places with a low ceiling height.
If that does not feel exclusive enough, the Model X also comes with a Butler-ish function with the auto opening and closing doors. In essence, there are sonar sensors all around the doors that judge the surroundings before opening the doors depending on the width or the height of the garage you’ve parked in. So Auto doors – Yes. Auto dents – No. You can also open or close the doors yourself with a manual override option if you aren’t a big fan of being pampered.
Inside the cabin, the Tesla X is all futuristic, luxurious and comfortable with 6- or 7-seater options available for customers to choose from. The simplistic dashboard looks exceptionally good and harnesses that massive all-controlling 17-inch tablet in the centre console. The Tesla Model X comes with a massive front windscreen stretching all the way up to the front seat occupants, offering the second-row passengers an impressive vantage point.
Space is hardly a problem with three rows of seats upholstered in beautiful white, tan or black leather, front and rear trunk and storage space beneath the second row. The last row does not fold here though. If you still find the need to carry extra cargo, the roof rack is not the option here but a customizable accessory that will help you carry skates, surfboards, bikes, you name it. The X is also the first electric vehicle to come with a maximum towing capacity of 2268 kg.
Going by the numbers, the Tesla X is available in two trims 90D and P90D with the latter being the performance bred version. The saner Model X 90D All-Wheel Drive uses a 259 HP electric motor powering the front and rear wheels individually and is capable of doing the 0-100 kmph run in 4.8 seconds. The 90D has an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph and has an EPA estimated 413 km range. The X comes with a drag co-efficient of just 0.24 also making it extremely aerodynamic.
At the other end, the outlaw P90D uses a 259 HP electric motor to power the front wheels whereas the rear gets mind boggling 503 HP coming from an electric motor. 0-100 kmph comes up in 3.8 seconds, faster than the Bentley Bentayga while the Ludicrous Upgrade pack will help you achieve the same in 3.2 seconds. The P90D has a range of 400 km and an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph. Talking about prices, the first series models come with a starting price of $1,32,000 or Rs. 86.51 lakhs. There will be cheaper versions too, but they will arrive later in the year. Call us fanboys if you may, but Tesla, come to India soon. We just can’t wait.