Tesla founder Elon Musk is just launching his latest creation: the crossover SUV Tesla X.
The car will start at $US132,000 – expect to pay around $AU200,000 when the luxury AWD with three rows of seating lands in Australia, placing it up against the likes of the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5.
Musk’s going all Volvo with the product pitch, saying it’s the first SUV to receive 5-star ratings for crash tests, with a large crumple zone to absorb high-speed impact and the battery location in the floor giving the car a low centre of gravity to avoid the rollover danger common SUVs face.
Automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance are standard, with Musk saying Tesla makes the only standard AEB system that works at high speed.
And this is a car that will get you from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h and battery range of 400km.
There’s a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features such as the autosteer and autopark.
Musk says the inside will have the cleanest cabin air ever, with “medical-grade air” via “the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile”.
The double-hinged falcon wing doors open up then out, so just 30cm of space is needed on the side. Each door has sensors to monitor surroundings and avoid contact with obstacles around the car.
The amazing thing is you won’t even have to touch the driver’s side door. Musk said the model X has the industry’s first auto-presenting door, which automatically opens and closes as the driver approaches or exits.
The monopost seats move independently, giving passengers easy access to the third row.
For music lovers, there are 17 speakers around the cabin, while the 43cm centre dashboard touch-screen integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data, with many functions mirrored on the instrument panel and voice-activated. And there’s a blind holster for your iPhone.
The model X’s 0.24 drag coefficient is the lowest of any SUV and the car comes with an active spoiler, which automatically adjusts to three positions based on your speed.
The dual motors, which generate 193kW front, 503kW rear, independently control torque to the front and rear wheels. They generate 967 N-m torque and the X has a towing capacity of 2268kg.
The car weighs just under 2.5 tonnes.
It’s due to arrive in Australia in late 2016.
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