• Tesla's new Model X to launch in early 2015
  • Crossover features falcon-wing doors, fully electric power
  • Pricing for the Model X is not yet known

The Tesla Model X crossover will officially launch in early 2015. That's the latest from Tesla, which also confirmed that the fully electric, production-ready Model X will keep the falcon-wing doors that wowed audiences when the vehicle was first shown as a concept car in 2012.

Initially slated to go on sale in early 2014, the Model X's debut has been postponed several times, much like Tesla's popular Model S luxury sedan was delayed before going on sale in 2012. But after a few delays, Tesla is sticking with its early-2015 launch date for the Model X, which suggests that the first Model X units will likely be 2016 models.

So what makes the Model X special? Much like the Model S sedan, the Model X will be fully electric, making it one of the first fully electric SUVs on the market. Also like the sedan, two versions will be offered: a 60-kilowatt-hour (kWh) model and an 85-kWh model. Both will offer a range of more than 200 miles, making them competitive with traditional gas-powered SUVs.

But the most unusual aspect of the Model X is its doors. While the front doors open like usual, the crossover's rear doors are hinged at the top, meaning they open like 1950s-style gull wing doors, or as Tesla is calling it, falcon-wing doors. If this seems impractical, don't worry: Tesla says the doors can be fully opened in most garages and notes that they need far less width to open than traditional doors thanks to multiple hinges.

The big question about the Model X now revolves around pricing. With the standard Model S priced from around $71,000 with shipping, we suspect the Model X will be a little cheaper than its sedan counterpart, but Tesla has not yet confirmed anything. Look for those details later this year as we draw closer to the Model X's launch.

What it means to you: The Tesla Model X brings the trendy Tesla nameplate from the luxury-sedan segment to the world of the family car.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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