Electric-car upstart Tesla continues to expand its range. With the Model S family sedan hitting the streets and arch-rival Fisker reeling from recent financial difficulties, Tesla announced plans to further mainstream its lineup with the Model X, due to start production in 2014. The Model X prototype was displayed at the North American Auto Show in Detroit this week.
The Model X combines aspects of a minivan and an SUV into a single, multi-purpose package. It’s a large vehicle, with three-row seating offering room for up to seven adults. The Model X’s most distinctive feature is the “falcon wing” rear doors, which open upward similarly to gullwing doors, but fold in the middle as well. This creates enough space for an adult to stand up inside the vehicle, for easy installation of child seats. There’s also a sizeable trunk up front and a big rear cargo area.
The spacious interior features a seventeen-inch display on the dash through which drivers can access vehicle functions, smartphone apps and web connectivity. A panoramic sunroof is also available.
The available Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive provides exceptional acceleration, and Tesla’s large, flat battery is mounted low to keep the center of gravity low. Twin electric motors also increase the torque output, providing the Model X with a five-second 0-60 time.