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The first photos of Tesla’s electric SUV the Model X

Elon Musk explaining falcon wings

At a sneak preview in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, electric car maker Tesla (s TSLA) unveiled its third car, an all-electric SUV, minivan hybrid called the Model X, for the first time. And yep, true to the rampant speculation on the Interwebs, it’s got so-called “falcon wing” doors, which are a Tesla-designed double-hinged play on gullf wing doors, named after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Falcon rocket line for his other company Space-X (yeah, Tesla is just one of his three companies).

In contrast to gull wing doors that sweep out and up and take up considerable horizontal space, the Model X falcon wings lift up and have a double hinge so they take up a lot less horizontal space. Tesla designed the doors not only to add that extra cool-factor, but also to appeal to, say, a Mom or family driving to the mall and parking in a tight spot.

Because the doors open up vertically there’s also room to stand in the car while getting in and packing cargo (see photo) like kids and groceries. I fully stood up in the car with the doors open and I’m 5’11 and I had ample head room. The Model X is as roomy as any minivan out there and then some — it seats seven, and has cargo space in both the back trunk, and the front trunk (please don’t make me say frunk).

Rear of the Model X with trunk closed

The Model X is built on the backbone of the Model S, Tesla’s sedan that will be delivered to customers this Summer, and the Model X prototype that we checked out on Thursday was Tesla’s most advanced prototype at a launch to date and little will be changed for the production version, said Musk.

Tesla execs drove us around a short driving track and the car handled like the Model S — it has the same low, long, bottom battery pack design. It’s pretty amazing to ride in a minivan/SUV that can handle like a sports car. Musk says the Model X can go zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Think of it as the first cool, green, sporty minivan.

The Model X will be priced similarly to the Model S, said Musk, (Model S costs $50,000 to $70,000) and will have about the same electric driving range, with potentially 10 percent less range, because it’s a heavier car (the Model S has three range option, 160 miles, 230 miles and 300 miles).

OK, enough talk, I know you want to see the first photos of Tesla’s Model X! So here you go:

41 Responses to “The first photos of Tesla’s electric SUV the Model X”

  1. You would never get your money back from something so incrementally expensive. It doesn’t have to be all about that – they will have plenty of customers who buy it for other reasons. But enough with the massive tax handouts for a small niche product.

  2. Mark cazman

    My comment will focus on the attributes of the Model X, rather than the shortcomings of the article. Tesla motors is stretching the boundaries of the automobile, and as such there will be growing pains. I think the model X and S look fantastic, and if they can travel about 300 miles between charges, we are witnessing history in the making. I’ll buy one.

  3. Way to focus on the minutia of article syntax instead of the subject at hand! If only the whole world could spend so much time nitpicking, we would never have any more errors (or new products) again!

    Beautiful car, this is what we need in electric vehicles! Good job on the writeup Katie, it looks like the Tesla X can survive a typo!

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  5. Looks fantastic. The only problem with practicality is the fact you won’t be able to put roof racks on with those gullwing doors. For us surfers, paddlers and snowboarders, roof racks are a must!

  6. There is a reason other more seasoned (pun intended) automakers don’t do gimmick doors like that anymore…besides tight side-by-side parking lot issues, low/narrow garage space issues, enjoy seeing what happens to your seats each time you open those doors in the real world of rain and snow.

  7. Awesome

    for people who can afford it, the rest of us will fret about mortgages or college or health insurance or our next meal. And I hope the batteries have a lot longer lifespan than, say, the ones in my cell phone, laptop, tablet, or virtually any other portable electronic device that become almost useless in a few years.

  8. beancube

    Great! The logo is trading in higher price. That’s all. Is there anything that packaging anything for the alternative energy technology distribution for the public infrastructure to engineering yet? Noop, none, and zero are all about Tesla so far.

  9. These vehicles are looking top notch! One thing about those doors on the Model X is if someone is setting in the back and you had to open the door for someone when it is raining, the people in the back seat would get wet.

  10. Markus Roder

    Chill out Terry. It’s obviously a “quick post” article to benefit from search traffic, so it might even be an autocorrect error.

    Which other facts do you doubt?

  11. beazleybub

    I can just see it now…
    Mom comes to get her little boy from soccer practice and sis rambunctiously closes one of those gullwing doors on her brothers hand crippling him for life. Gullwing doors on a family vehicle. Absolutely genius!