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Tesla Unveils Model X Crossover

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer February 2012
  • Available in early 2014
  • Capable of 200 to 285 miles on a single charge
  • Pricing is similar to upcoming Model S

Tesla's newest vehicle is a four-door high-performance crossover with wing-like "falcon" doors. Dubbed the Model X and set to begin production in early 2014, the newest Tesla was recently revealed at a cocktail party for customers and journalists alike.

On the outside, the Model X features handsome, fluidic styling most notable for a steeply raked roofline that evokes BMW's controversial X6. The X6 is also among the Model X's biggest competitors, as Tesla says the new model is aimed at performance-minded buyers looking for a family crossover. That's certainly backed up by Tesla's claim that the seven-seater Model X can hit 60 mph from a standing stop in just 4.4 seconds, making it faster than many modern high-performance sports cars.

But while the X6 and Model X may share some styling cues, the two vehicles diverge in one very distinct area: their rear doors. That's because the Model X features "gullwing," or - in Tesla's words - "falcon" doors that are hinged in the crossover's roof and rise up like wings over the vehicle. Although the doors certainly look cool, Tesla says they also serve a purpose: according to the automaker, they open with less room than front-hinged doors, aiding rear passengers with entry and exit in tight parking spaces.

Of course, the doors aren't the Model X's only unique feature. Like Tesla's sporty Roadster and its upcoming Model S sedan, the Model X is fully electric and can travel between 200 and 285 miles on a single charge depending on which battery option the buyer selects. While pricing for the Model X hasn't been set, Tesla says it will be similar to the Model S, which offers a 160-mile range for $57,400 before federal tax credits or a 300-mile range starting at $87,400. Although Tesla hasn't announced any official options, the automaker did confirm the Model X will be available with rear- or available all-wheel drive.

According to Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who revealed the Model X on stage at the automaker's southern California design studio, the crossover will debut with a limited "Signature" edition in late 2013, while regular production will commence in early 2014. Buyers who want to be among the first to own a Model X should hurry to Tesla's website, teslamotors.com, as the automaker has already begun accepting initial orders - including more than a few the night of its unveiling.

What it means to you: We suggest waiting to see how the Model S sells before getting excited about the handsome Model X.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Tesla Unveils Model X Crossover - Autotrader