If you’ve been following the Design section at Riot Engine, you would notice this isn’t the first electric vehicle we have featured. We love our internal combustion engines, and the only way you would get us on the saddle of an electric two wheeler limited to 25kph, is with a fork lift, all the while putting up with our incessant bawling. The thing about all the electric vehicles we have featured so far, is that they aren’t just sold as a solution to all the things gone wrong with fossil fuel powered motoring. All these brands have an understanding of what more electric motors can give the consumer, than just act as a internal combustion engine replacement.
Tesla Motors, based in California is probably the wisest sage of them all. If you can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 130 mph, in the comfort and luxury of 12-way power adjustable, heated seats wrapped in Nappa leather, in a car propelled by electric motors running on a 85kWh battery pack, then why not? So Tesla gave us the Model S.
Tesla co-founder Elon Musk today unveiled the Model X, a crossover utility vehicle that in his words, can seat seven people, carry as much cargo as an Audi Q7 in its ‘frunk’ (the storage space up front ) and more cargo at the rear, without having to fold down seats and ask any of the occupants to take the bus. All this primarily due to the fact that the Model X doesn’t need space for an internal combustion engine, the electric motors are tucked between the wheels, and the battery is a rigid structure in itself that is the base of the car.
Boys who have been putting up with all this banter waiting for us to come to the most attractive aspect of the Model X, the ‘Falcon Wings’, well, we shall not keep you waiting. Head to the Tesla Motors Website where you can actually play with a virtual Model X whose Falcon Wings you can close and open.
The Falcon Wings are different from ‘plain’ gull wing doors in that there is an additional hinge where the doors bend in the middle, and thus need very little space to operate. The Falcon wings also open upward all the way, and you can ‘step’ into the rear of the Model X rather than slide, crawl or wriggle.
The third row seats are also accessible thanks to the second row that can be fully slid to the front.
The crossover Model X also features the 17″ capacitive touchscreen seen in the Model S. All media, communication, cabin and vehicle controls are through this high resolution input screen.
Dual Motor All Wheel Drive
Model X will be offered with a 60 or 85 kWh battery. The Model X would be available as a Rear Wheel Drive, or Dual Motor All Wheel Drive. The third configuration would be the ‘Performance’ variant with Dual Motor All Wheel Drive.
The second motor increases torque by 50% and gives the Model X all wheel drive capabilities. When outfitted with AWD, ‘Model X Performance’ accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, outperforming the fastest SUVs and many sports cars.
Production is slated to begin late 2013 with deliveries starting early 2014.
New York Times reports that the base model starts at $49,000 after factoring in tax credits, in the USA while choosing options including the largest available battery pack and extra features can bring the total cost to $90,000.