Tesla Model X: First Look

Tesla Model X

  • Looks like: The Tesla Model S gets the crossover treatment  
  • Defining characteristics: All-wheel drive, electric drivetrains, massive roof-hinged rear doors 
  • Ridiculous features: Huge touch-screen might make MyFord Touch look simple  
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Deliveries start in early 2014

While the first Tesla Model S sedans have yet to reach customers, the automaker feels confident enough to show its next new model, the Model X.

The Model X is a three-row crossover that's based on the Model S. Shown here in prototype form, the electric carmaker says it's investing about $150 million into designing the new body style. Tesla also expects the Model X to go into production late next year, with it showing up in early 2014 at customers' doorsteps.

Why should you choose this over the Model S, which also has the ability to seat seven people in a pinch?

The Model X has the versatility of a minivan, says Tesla. Instead of rear-sliding doors like a minivan, however, the Model X comes with roof-hinged doors that lift up and away. The “Falcon Wings,” as Tesla calls them, are more than a gimmick. The doors were designed so that an adult could stand in the middle row and conveniently position a child-safety seat, says Tesla. We'll definitely want to validate that claim in our Car Seat Check series. A sliding second row offers easy access to the third row.

Tesla says the Model X will be priced similarly to the Model S, which starts at $57,400 before any applicable tax credits. The crossover will be available in Model X, Model X with AWD and Model X Performance trims. Battery capacities include a 60- or 85-kilowatt-hour battery, which on the Model S provide a 230- or 300-mile range, respectively. Tesla expects a zero to 60 mph run of less than 5 seconds, depending on trim.

Unlike the Model S, the X will be optioned with a new all-wheel-drive system. The system has a rear electric motor, which can help increase torque by 50% when road or weather conditions demand it.

Tesla aims to sell 15,000 Model X crossovers per year once production starts in the San Francisco area in late 2013. For more information, check out Tesla's website, and continue below for more photos.

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

Tesla Model X Prototype

By Colin Bird | February 10, 2012 | Comments (5)


Amuro Ray

The questions now (to me) are:

(1) How important will the RAV4 EV project be at this point?

(2) What will be the price point of RAV4?

(3) Will these 2 become direct competitors (remember, RAV4 can seat 7 too)?

(4) Why, like really why, to have 2 similar products (RAV 4 EV and X)?


The "Falcon" doors look really cool. Just don't try to open them in a parking garage with a low ceiling.

And that third row seat... with that roofline, better reserve those seats for small children.


Looks like an Accord CrossTour from the side...


Gullwing doors can easily bankrupt a company unless they are only a tiny percentage of sales.
Mercedes is the only company I know of that survived them. Many others went under. The warranty repairs kill you.
An incredibly stupid idea, I would not buy Tesla stock.


I actually like the Delorean style doors for a family car, because like sliding doors they do not extend out as far, and you do not have to worry about overzealous kids dinging the car parked next to you.

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