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Tesla’s Model X is here, and it’s driving transport into the future
Elon Musk is a busy man. When he’s not dreaming up concepts like Hyperloop or suggesting we drop nuclear bombs on Mars, he’s working at his day job reinventing the future of transport. Tesla’s Model X is the next piece in the jigsaw, and – now in place – the overall picture is clearer than ever.
Teased since 2012, the Model X is the world’s first luxury electric SUV, and it might as well be an advert for the potential of electric vehicles. So, should you need convincing, here are six reasons to love Tesla’s new toy.
6 reasons to love Tesla’s Model X:
1. One charge lasts 250 miles
The Model X is undeniably stylish, but it’s also practical – the car’s 90 kWh battery will take you 250 miles on a single charge. That’s a mightily impressive driving range for an electric SUV, close to that of its Model S sedan that can do 270 before needing to be plugged back in.
More impressively, Tesla hasn’t made any noticeable sacrifices to achieve this range. It’s incredibly fast (more on that in a minute), but its also a proper family car with cavernous storage space and seats for seven people – these even move around automatically to make room for shopping, luggage or kids. Tesla also offers an accessory hitch that attaches to the back of the car and can carry up to four bikes or six pairs of skis – perfect for a weekend away.
2. It has a ‘Ludicrous Mode’
Practicality only gets you so far, and what will really win over the skeptics is how this thing performs.
The Model X is officially the quickest SUV that money can buy, and, like the latest version of the Model S, it also comes with a ‘Ludicrous Mode’ should you need a rush of adrenaline. With this turned on, the vehicle is capable of reaching 0-60MPH in just 3.2 seconds. As Gizmodo points out, that’s fractionally quicker than a Ferrari Spider 458 or a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4.
This is what Ludicrous Mode looks like in Tesla’s Model S P90D:
Without ludicrous mode, the Model X still reaches 60MPH in 3.8 seconds, while the vehicle has a top speed of 155MPH.
3. But it’s still super safe
Okay, so the Model X is fast, practical and stylish – but what about safety? Tesla has got you covered there too.
The first thing to note is that the Model X doesn’t have a fuel engine and its battery is mounted in the floor. This means two things; firstly, there’s room in the front for an extra-large crumple zone to keep you safe should you drive into the back of somebody; and secondly, the car has an especially low centre of gravity – making it nearly impossible to roll.
The Model X also uses cameras, radar and sonar systems to continually scan the road around it. This means the car can give you real-time feedback as you drive, and can even slam on the emergency breaks in the case of an emergency.
4. It has a ‘Bioweapon defense mode’ button
Being an electric car, Tesla’s Model X is obviously clean when it comes to emissions, and the air inside the car is also “on the levels of hospital rooms,” according to Musk. But should your precious fresh air become somehow compromised, don’t panic – just press the ‘Bioweapon defense mode’ button.
Yes, that’s a real button, and pressing it will kick the monstrous Model X air filter into action. The filter is around 10-times bigger than that of an average car, and Tesla claims it’s around 300 times better at filtering bacteria, 500 times better at filtering allergens, 700 times better at filtering smog, and 800 times better at filtering viruses. That ought to come in handy during the next apocalypse.
5. ‘Falcon Wing’ doors are flashy and practical
Arguably the flashiest feature of Tesla’s Model X are the ‘Falcon Wing’ doors which rise up to the sides like the DeLorean. As pretty as they are, though, Tesla also claims its design has practical benefits.
The USP of Tesla’s Falcon Wings is that they’re engineered with a double hinge, meaning they’re able to open up all the way within a tight space. The roof and doors of the Model X are fitted with ultrasonic sensors that scan the area around the car and adjust the ‘wingspan’ accordingly. According to Tesla, the doors need as little as 12-inches either side to open fully – and you’ll look cool doing it.
6. It’s just the beginning
As exciting as the Model X is, it’s neither cheap nor easy to get your hands on. Priced at $130,000, Tesla says that orders placed now will be ready in around 8-12 months, perhaps limiting its appeal to a certain strata of society.
The good news is that, having shown what it can do, Tesla’s next car will be much more affordable. Auto Express reports that the Model III is likely to retail for around $35,000, which slashes the premium pricing of the company’s previous models.
It’s expected to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show next march, so let’s hope it doesn’t suffer as many delays as the Model X.
For more on the Model X and to reserve yours, visit the Tesla website.