Tesla has started delivering its latest Model X SUV after months of delays

2021 Tesla Model X crossover
The refreshed Model X. Tesla
  • Tesla started delivering the updated version of its Model X SUV on Sunday.
  • The first deliveries come several months after Tesla promised.
  • Elon Musk has attributed the delay to supply-chain issues and difficulties in ramping production.

Tesla announced the revamped version of its Model X SUV back in January. Now, after months of delays, it’s delivering them to customers at long last.

The electric-car maker posted photos to Twitter on Sunday of the “first deliveries of new Model X.” Customers picked up the first examples outside of Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory.

It’s the most significant update to Tesla’s largest and priciest vehicle since the model launched in 2016. The biggest changes come on the inside of the SUV. The $US100,000 ($AU134,817) Model X now has a landscape-oriented display (rather than a vertical one), a second screen in back for rear passengers, and a rectangular steering yoke, like something you’d see in an airplane.

Tesla gave the Model X a new battery pack and an exterior a facelift as well. Bits that used to be chrome, like the door handles and window trim, are now painted black. The front bumper looks different, too. As part of the updates, Elon Musk’s automaker also introduced a high-performance Plaid version of the Model X, which promises more than 1,000 horsepower and a 0-60-mph time of 2.5 seconds.

Model X interior.
Model X interior. Tesla

When Tesla announced major updates to the Model X SUV and Model S sedan in January, Musk – ever the optimist when it comes to timelinessaid deliveries of the new Model S would begin in February with shipments of the Model X starting shortly thereafter. New Model S deliveries started a few months behind schedule in June.

On Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call in April, Musk said Tesla had encountered “more challenges than expected” in developing the new Model S and Model X. That included navigating supply-chain issues and figuring out new internal production processes for the updated vehicles.