Editorial note: Business Insider just named its 2015 Car of the Year, the Volvo XC90. This weekend, we’re re-running out reviews of the five cars that almost beat out the Volvo for the honour.
The Tesla Model X crossover is one of the most eagerly awaited vehicles in recent memory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the production electric crossover during a massive gathering at a company facility in Fremont, California, on Tuesday night.
The Model X is unique in the automotive world. Though there are plenty of electric vehicles on the road and even a couple of electric SUVs for sale, none of them live in the high-performance luxury realm normally occupied by the likes of Porsche, BMW, and Range Rover.
After years of development and an initial production run that Elon Musk described as “very difficult,” the Model X is finally ready for delivery. Fortunately for us, Tesla gave a few lucky journalists the opportunity to experience its latest offering — hours before the vehicles were to be turned over to their future owners.
We also attended Tesla’s ceremony launching the production version of the Model X. Check back for coverage of the event.
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the new Tesla Model X.
The Model X is a midsize electric crossover with room for seven passengers spread over three rows of seats.
The car's defining feature is its falcon-wing doors, which open by swinging upward instead of out. Elon Musk says the doors open with 'balletic grace.'
It's an inspired piece of technology. The doors are automatic and are equipped with a variety of sensors including sonar that can detect the car's surroundings. The amount of space an open door occupies is dictated by the amount of space surrounding the car.
Musk calls the 'monopost' seats a 'sculptural beauty.' There is also lots of storage space underneath.
Soon, it was our turn behind the wheel of this black P90D Model X, which has a range of 250 miles on a single charge.
The modern interior bears some resemblance to the Model S sedan, but with added storage and some distinct stylistic touches.
The instrument cluster is fully digital. We jammed out to some Chris Brown on the car's 570-watt, 17-speaker sound system, which was developed in-house at Tesla.
The massive center touch screen is the heart of the front console. You can open the doors at the touch of a button.
We unleashed our P90D. Simply put, it's ridiculously fast. In fact, our videographer almost dropped his camera when I stepped on the gas. The P90D can hit 60 mph with Ludicrous mode in just 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.
The Model X's panoramic front windshield is the largest single piece of glass to be installed on a production car.
One final piece of tech to touch on. The automatic doors are equipped with a full array of sensors that can essentially interpret your intent as you approach the vehicle.
Tesla has roughly 25,000 Model X vehicles on order. If you book one now, you'll most likely get yours in 8 to 12 months, Musk told reporters.
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