Elon Musk unveils Tesla Model X, his safest, most feature-packed vehicle yet
Elon Musk has unveiled his latest auto creation. Tesla appears to finally be staking its claim in the world of fast cars, with a monster electric SUV that is not only the safest ever built, but can do 0 to 60 in just over three seconds.
That is without mentioning all the things that make this new line appear as though it’s arrived straight from the future, like the intelligent ‘falcon doors’ and the panoramic windshield – the first of its kind on a production line car – and the impressive 17-inch touchscreen.
The new Model X SUV doesn’t just have a powerful engine. It’s also very quiet.
The new all-electric was unveiled at the company headquarters in Fremont, California, on Wednesday, with everyone, including the online audience, incredibly excited (Musk held all the cards very close to his chest until the fateful moment.)
The handsome marque comes in two models, with the more basic Signature affording you 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph (about 250kmh). The Founder is faster, speeding you to 60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Both models can go 250-257 miles on a single charge.
Technology Tesla is particularly proud of is Ludicrous Mode, which is fitted onto the Founder model. Picking up where Insane Mode left off, Ludicrous gives the engine extra edge.
Introduced first on the Model S, it allowed the car to emulate the acceleration of a Porsche 911. While for the new SUV, the 2.8 seconds has been increased to 3.2, it’s still pretty impressive.
The crossover vehicle comes with a set of swanky features to allow you to pull up to any cool spot in town and be allowed in.
The falcon doors are a marvel, as they sense the driver approaching and close automatically when both the front seats are occupied. They actually read the driver’s movements as they approach the car. They also use electronic sensors to determine the best possible trajectory for them to open, as they contain multiple hinge points.
The Panoramic Windshield will also impress, especially the more nervous driver. You will never have to crane your neck again, as this is the biggest panoramic shield ever put on a conventional vehicle.
The glass almost envelopes the driver, spanning beyond the top corners and reaching the roof. Understandably, this created a huge headache for Tesla in trying to block out the sun; a clever design with several UV gradients had to be used, along with a special visor – the most complicated in the world, according to Musk. The extra piece of kit is clipped into place with a magnet, and can extend all the way into the back.
All crash test expectations have been exceeded by the new SUV, because instead of an engine up front, it has a large crumple zone, complete with aluminum pillars reinforced by steel rails.
Completing this feature roundup is the ridiculously high-tech air filtration system that promises to have you safe and protected inside the locked Model X.
The crossover SUV has a price tag of $132,000 for the Signature series and $142,000 for the Founder.
The Space X and PayPal founder does have some issues to consider. A recent rise in computer connectivity has left a lot of gadgets open to hack attacks – and Tesla is no exception. It’s a uniquely scary prospect to have your vehicle taken over remotely when speeding down a freeway at 155mph.
However, with others quickly entering the electric car market, it seems that some form of future technology that helps better insulate the driver from such dangers may soon be on the way.