Energy

Tesla's New Car: A Luxury SUV, with Wings

The Model X will help Tesla compete better with large automakers.

Tesla Motors, the company that produced the Tesla Roadster, threw a party last night to unveil the Model X, its third electric car. Above, Elon Musk, the company’s chairman, introduces the Model X at the party, in Los Angeles.

Built on the same platform as the company’s luxury sedan, the Model S, which is supposed to be available in July, the Model X will go on sale by the end of 2013.

The Model X seats seven adults and comes with the option of having two motors, one on the front and one on the back, to help with traction in bad weather.  It will cost between $60,000 and $85,000, depending on the size of the battery and whether drivers choose the performance version, and will have a range of between 230 and 300 miles on a charge. The performance version is expected to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, which is almost as fast as the Roadster.

The car’s most distinctive features are the rear doors, which swing up, rather than outwards.

What do you think? Will this car, and the Model S, enable Tesla to hold its own against large automakers, all of which are planning electric vehicles of their own?

The Model X in its natural habitat, shown at a press preview event before the official unveiling. 

A rear view of the Model S shows its “falcon wing” doors. An extra hinge allows the door to fold slightly as it opens, so it won’t slam into cars parked next to it. 

The Model X is built on the same platform as Tesla’s Model S sedan, shown here. There’s no engine under the hood. The motors  go down by the wheels, creating storage space both front and back. 

A crowd gathers around the Model X at the Tesla unveiling party.

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