Tesla Launches Model X SUV With A Focus On Safety

Posted on Oct 1 2015 - 5:33am by Mary Mohler

Starting almost an hour late, as is unsurprising forTesla, CEO Elon Musk laid out his vision for why you should want an all-electric Model X SUV as his company finally launched the EV.

Tesla launches Model X SUV

Musk started the demonstration off with a long discussion about the safety of the X, saying it was the first SUV that gets five stars in every crash test category. One reason for this is that there is no gas engine in the front of the vehicle. With the heavy battery placed so low in the vehicle, there is also a very low chance of a roll-over, he said. With the car’s massive air filter, Musk said that the X has a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” that will protect you against different bacteria, gases, and possible apocalyptic scenarios. In other words, this will protect you against all sorts of possible problems.

Musk also showed off the SUV’s Falcon Wing doors, which he said have sensors that can see through the metal and then adjust how high the door opens depending on the height of the garage ceiling. They also can open up even when parked incredibly close to neighboring cars, as Musk demonstrated on stage. Musk said the X is capable of towing 5,000 pounds while carrying seven people and a lot of luggage. If you don’t want to tow, you can put on a Tesla-designed accessory hitch that can carry up to four bikes or six sets of skis. This is important, because the X can’t have a roof rack with the Falcon Wing doors.Then, Tesla delivered the first Model X SUVs, as promised. After discussing all the reasons why he thinks the X is an amazing vehicle, Musk handed over the keys to a half-dozen vehicles to early buyers. These are the Signature Founders Series models, which start at $132,000, and come with Autopilot and, for another $10,000, the Ludicrous Speed upgrade. Tesla has not said when the cheaper versions of the X will be available. When they do arrive, they should start at about $5,000 more than a comparable Model S.

The EPA has announced that the Model X 90D has an estimated range of 257 miles, while the efficiency is rated at 90 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) in the city, 94 mpge highway, and 92 mpge combined. If you choose the P90D, you’ll get a lower range (250 miles) along with 89/90/89 mpge, respectively.

Tesla first announced the Model S at the Detroit Auto Show in 2012. At the time, it said the first units would be delivered two years after the first Model S units went out. The first Model S was delivered in June 2012, which would have put the X in customer hands in 2014. Even with the delay – both of the vehicle itself and tonight’s late-start event – Tesla fans in Fremont were excited and often interrupted Musk to show their appreciation for this or that new feature. How this excitement carries over into sales will be the subject of tremendous interest in the coming months.