Tesla Motors on Thursday unveiled a prototype of its third vehicle, the Model X electric SUV.
The Model X, which features what the company calls “falcon-wing” doors and faster acceleration than a Porsche 911 — it goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds — will start production late 2013 and begin delivery in 2014.
The U.S. based automaker will likely offer the same battery configuration options that it does for the Model S, although the Model X should get 10 percent to 12 percent less range due to its increased weight.
While the Model S is rear-wheel drive, the Model X gets its own unique all-wheel drive system. Each axle gets its own electric motor, and power and torque can be sent directly to the right wheel to prevent slippage and maintain stability and traction without sacrificing acceleration and economy.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and professional space cadet, says the Model X will be available in both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions.
The car itself is pretty roomy, featuring seven seats and storage space in both the rear trunk and the front trunk, and it is touted to handle like a sports car.
There’s a generous rear cargo hold even with the third-row seat erected, plus a decent front trunk as well. With no tall gasoline engine in front, there’s plenty of crush space, and dynamically, its handling promises to be unusually good despite the Model X’s height
The Model X is expected to be priced at around $60,000 to $80,000, about the same as the Model S.