Yesterday, Tesla has officially announced the latest model in its product line: the Model X SUV (or you may call it a CUV).
As a quick walk-around for the Model X:
- Two models at initial launch: P90D, 90D
- P90D motor output: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear
- 90D motor output: 259 hp front, 259 hp rear
- P90D performance: 3.8s (0-60), 3.2s (0-60 with Ludicrous Speed Upgrade)
- 90D performance: 4.8s (0-60)
You can see more technical details in the press release, in the bottom of this article.
For pure-electric car enthusiasts, it looks like the Model X is the way to go; however for a consumer with rational thinking, below are some facts and analysis that worth consideration.
Advantages and selling points
- As a pure-electric SUV, it has the unique characteristic of instant maximum torque from the electric motor, which no internal combustion engine (ICE) can match;
- It accelerates very fast;
- The omission of ICE and transmission saves a lot of interior space, so the Model X will provide you a more spacious feel;
- The enormous windshield also acts as the moonroof, and also the extensive glass section in the 2nd-row falcon wing door give you a panoramic view of the outside surroundings;
- The falcon wing door also makes it easy to get access to the 3rd-row-seat;
- Some fancy electronic features such as the SUV can detect your approaching and opens the door for you; autopilot etc.
Something you need to consider
- While Tesla cars have its own styling and design language, there seems to be some overlook in details. For example you find the falcon wing door design makes it impossible to have storage pockets; the adjustments on the seats are just very basic (compared to competitors which offer something like 18-way adjustable seats)
- The falcon wing door design requires the upper car body structure to be broken up into two independent sections, which are only connected by a single center roof beam. Therefore, the Model X will mainly rely on the aluminum battery box (also a structural component of the floor frame) to maintain the car body’s torsional rigidity. While Tesla does not release any data for its product’s torsional rigidity. From our extensive data list, we can see the Model S dynamic rigidity, its bending/torsional frequency just matches previous generation of the BMW E60 5-Series. So unless Tesla strengthens the Model X’s floor frame significantly, it will be tough for it to match the static/dynamic rigidity characteristics of the Model S;
- Because its upper side rails are discontinuous to accommodate the falcon wing door, I am not sure whether its roof strength is as good as its competitors
- The way how Tesla reports its car’s HP output. Careful readers may find Tesla has removed the combined HP rating of its Model S P85D, and does not publish this spec on the Model X P90D. The reason is due to some current P85D owners have complained that, Tesla exaggerated the actual output of its dual-motor models. Previously Tesla claimed the P85D has a total of 691 HP, however during those owners’ actual test, the P85D only managed to get around 557 HP. So be careful: what total HP output you will actually get from the dual-motor models, is NOT simply adding the front and rear motor output together. And also please note: the HP numbers provided by Tesla are not certified
- The full maximum output may not be available all time, for example when the battery is low, or you have just applied full throttle for an extended of time which causes the battery overheat.
Built electric from the ground up, Model X is designed to be the safest car on the road. Our crash tests indicate that Model X will receive a 5 star safety rating in all categories, the first SUV to ever do so.
Not needing a big gasoline engine under the hood, Model X has a large crumple zone to absorb the energy of a high-speed impact. The battery’s location on the floor gives Model X an extremely low center of gravity, reducing the risk of rollover common in most SUVs. Aluminum pillars reinforced with steel rails protect occupants and the battery while improving roof stiffness.
Model X comes standard with automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Tesla makes the only standard AEB system that works at high speed.
Every Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features. Tesla’s over-the-air software updates regularly improve the sophistication of these features, enabling increasingly capable safety and convenience features like Autosteer and Autopark, and bringing the Model X ever closer to autonomous operation.
Model X is the world’s cleanest SUV on the inside, too. The front fascia is designed with a functional duct that pushes air through the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile allowing medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what is going on outside.
Inside Model X
Model X Falcon Wing doors offer unprecedented convenience, entry, and maneuverability for everyday life. They provide seamless ingress and egress into the second and third row. No longer do parents have to cantilever themselves to avoid hitting their child’s head on the roof as they place them in a car seat.
The double-hinged Falcon Wing doors open up then out, requiring only 30 cm of space on the side of the vehicle. Each door is equipped with capacitive, inductive, and sonar sensors to monitor surroundings and avoid contact with obstacles around the car, making it possible to park in tight spots.
The industry’s first auto presenting door automatically opens and closes as the driver approaches or exits Model X. Why should the driver ever need to touch the door?
Monopost seats move independently, sliding and tilting forward and back. They allow passengers easy access to the third row and give them plenty of foot room when they sit down.
The windshield in Model X stretches up and over the front seat occupants. Second row passengers get a first row vantage point with an expansive view ahead, atop the falcon wing door, and beside them. The windshield’s solar tint transition completes the modern and open feel.
Seventeen precisely positioned speakers bring concern hall like sound inside Model X.
The 17″ center touchscreen seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and are voice-activated to focus the driver’s attention on the road.
Whether big or little, there’s a place to store it in Model X. Side pockets, a center console and a blind holster for your iPhone.
Model X provides unprecedented space for passengers and cargo. With three rows of seats, a front and rear trunk, and room under the second row seats, there’s ample room for people, luggage, and big things like surf boards and bikes. For even heavier cargo, Model X is the first electric vehicle with a 5,000 lb. tow capacity.
Agility and Speed
At the heart of the vehicle is Tesla’s proven electric powertrain, accelerating Model X from 0-60 in a staggering 3.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 155 mph, all while producing zero emissions.
Designed with Tesla’s electric vehicle architecture, Model X’s floor-mounted battery gives the vehicle a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution for exhilarating performance and superior handling.
At 0.24, Model X has the lowest drag coefficient of any SUV in history.
Model X comes standard with an active spoiler that automatically adjusts to three positions for maximum visibility and efficiency. Under 45 mph, the spoiler is positioned so the driver can see above and below it. At higher speeds the spoiler partially retracts for improved highway efficiency (+1.6%), and optimizes the vehicle’s lift distribution. Model X is the only car with an active spoiler equipped with a center-high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL).
Dual motors digitally and independently control torque to the front and rear wheels to give Model X unparalleled control of traction while increasing performance and efficiency.
Signature Model X comes with a 90 kWh battery providing customers a driving range of 250 miles on a single charge.
By the numbers
Range 250 miles for P90D
Top Speed 155 miles per hour
Zero-60 3.2 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
3.8 seconds for P90D
Quarter Mile 11.7 seconds for Ludicrous P90D
12.2 seconds for P90D
Motor Power 259 hp front, 503 hp rear
Motor Torque 713 lb-ft combined
244 lb-ft/330 Nm front
479 lb-ft/600 Nm rear
US MPGe 89 MPGe for P90D
Weight 5,441 lbs.
Drag Coefficient 0.24