The Tesla Roadster is one of the most enjoyable vehicles I’ve ever driven – the problem is, Tesla hasn’t done anything since then, and is releasing new models before their long-awaited Model S sedan is even on sale.
The Model X is a crossover based on the aforementioned Model S. Unveiled at an event in Los Angeles, the Model X has a few quirks that make us question if Tesla is really going to move 15,000 of these vehicles – assuming any get built in the first place. First up are the quirky gullwing rear doors, which are supposed to look cool and allow for easy loading of people and cargo. Here’s one problem; how the hell are they going to open in a place like an underground garage or parking lot with tight spaces? In a lot of urban areas, this is a real issue. I personally know someone who passed on an Mercedes SLS because the gullwing doors wouldn’t give him enough room to exit the car within the tight confines of his condo parking spot. Yes, a very #whitepersonproblem to have, but in the income segment Tesla is hoping to compete in, it’s a potential problem – looks like the garage in the Tesla promotional photo doesn’t have that issue though. The doors are apparently double-hinged and able to open without necessitating too much space, but I’d like to see them in person before any definitive judgement is made.
Tesla will let customers order a second motor mounted up front to give all-wheel drive capabilities, and buyers will have the option of different battery sizes, whether 60 or 85 kWh, which will give the vehicle different range capabilities. Look for range to be slightly less than a Model S, due to the 10 percent weight penalty, so between 200 to 270 miles depending on battery type and a whole host of other variables. The three-row crossover supposedly accelerates to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but who really knows. One slightly cringe-worthy feature is the so-called “frunk”, a front trunk where the engine would go. That sounds like an unfortunately similar slang term that will surely be picked up on by more juvenile observers. Expect the Model X to come in higher than the $67,400 pricetag of the Model S – if either of them ever come to market.