The Tesla Model X was unveiled on Tuesday by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Tesla Model X is an electric, luxury SUV that accelerates like a sports car. Gas-powered engines have to shift gears to maintain maximum acceleration, but Tesla says the electric motors in the Model X can smoothly and rapidly accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 to 3.8 seconds, depending on the specific model. The Tesla Model X also boasts a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
According to Wired, the Tesla Model X has been purchased by six people who paid $130,000 for the SUV. Depending on the toys and gadgets, the Tesla Model X can skyrocket to $142,000. The more expensive Model X 90D can go 250 miles on a charge. The simpler Model X will cover 257 miles.
The Tesla Model X is similar to the Model S. They both operate on the same 90 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. Both the Tesla Model X and Model S have the same drive motors and software controlling it all. The Model X and S can both be charged at one of Tesla’s stations. The charge time is around 30 minutes. They are designed to be updated in tandem, so any software updates or performance upgrades will apply to both the S and the X.
The Tesla Model X has a design advantage because it’s electric, according to Vox. Since the space required by a typical gasoline-powered engine isn’t necessary, there’s room left for trunk space. That area in the front of the car creates a crumple zone and can protect passengers from injury. The design of the Tesla Model X also puts the battery under the vehicle. The placement creates a low center of mass to prevent rollovers.
The Tesla Model X is equipped with seven seats, a 17-inch touchscreen for controlling driving and entertainment systems, and double-hinged falcon wing doors that can open with just a foot of space on either side of the car. Unlike normal car doors that swing out to the side, the rear passenger doors on the Tesla Model X swing up.
In the past, this kind of door has had a big problem. If there was an obstacle next to the car — like another car — it would block the door from opening. Tesla solved this problem by adding another set of hinges to the middle of the door. The design modification on the Tesla Model X allows the doors to swing up but not out very far. If the car is parked in a garage, the doors are equipped with sensors to adjust the path of the doors.
The Tesla Model X also includes an array of sensors, including a radar and sonar system that applies the brakes if there is danger of an accident, and doors that open automatically when the driver approaches. Once the driver is inside and steps on the brake, the door starts to close.
A report by Gizmodo looks into the “bioweapon defense mode” claimed by Musk. The Tesla Model X has a more advanced HEPA air filter that can catch particles conventional air filters can’t catch. However, HEPA filters work best when air flows through them slowly, so the air filters in the Tesla Model X are dramatically bigger than those in other cars. The mode creates slightly higher air pressure inside the car, ensuring that no outside air can get in.
The Tesla Model X also has a huge windshield. Musk claims this feature was added to allow the front seat passenger to look up at the sky. The windshield extends past the head of those in the front of the Model X.
Musk has five children. It seems like Tesla is trying to make the family car cool.
[Photos by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]