Tesla Model X Coming Early 2015
As much as we like talking about the Tesla Model S, despite it not being available in our neck of the woods (why is life so unfair?!), a single car model does not a carmaker make.
Still, since the launch of the Model S in 2012, Tesla Motors has managed to stay in the spotlight with stories of not just its sole car model, but also its fantastic stock price performance, its plans for a gigafactory to build batteries, and through its CEO Elon Musk, who graced magazine covers and splurged on a car that used to belong to James Bond.
But we’d like to get back to the cars, please. So we’re extremely pleased that Tesla recently sent emails to its customers informing them that prototypes of the electric crossover vehicle, the much anticipated Model X, will be built end of this year and the email also confirms that production will begin early 2015, albeit a year later than they had initially planned to. As of April 2014, more than 13,000 units had been reserved.
Since the email announcement about the Model X on 16 June, share price rose from US$229.25 to US$240.06 in a week’s time, once again showing that any piece of good news, whether small or big, is enough to provide a hefty boost to investors’ confidence.
The Model X, which was first revealed in 2012, has many similarities with the Model S – the same platform, available with either a 60kWh or 85kWh battery and probably using many of the same parts and material to build. The Model X will feature modified gull-wing doors, or as Tesla prefers to call theirs, ‘falcon-wing’, which rises up (rather than out) to allow you to step (not climb) into the second and third row. While the wing design of the doors may not serve any added functional purpose, who cares! It’s cool!
Although the Model X will be heavier, it will race from zero to 100kph in five seconds, less time than the Model S, thanks to the dual-motor all-wheel drivetrain which will be a standard in all Model X’s, and is also supposed to enhance its all-weather, all-road capabilities. What will not be a standard but available as an option is the third row of seats, which has vexed some potential buyers who think it’s a ploy to get them to fork out more money. May we point out that not all crossovers come with standard third row seats either? While no official price has been given, Musk has said that it will be priced slightly above the US$70,000 Model S.
The poorer folks who want to own a Tesla will have to wait until 2017 when the automaker plans to launch the compact sedan, the Model E, for what is expected to be less than half the price. To achieve that ‘affordable price’, Tesla will need to reduce the cost of the battery (hence, the gigafactory), reduce the size of the car by 20% compared to the Model S and, well, probably use steel instead of aluminium. But then, Musk is a self-proclaimed perfectionist and 2017 still allows for a few years of development. Who knows what changes will occur from now till then (even cheaper batteries, even cheaper aluminium?). Maybe Tesla Motors will come to South East Asia by then too (we’ll keep praying).