Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Tesla Model X

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Manufacturer  Tesla Inc.
Model years  2016–present
Production  2015–present
Designer  Franz von Holzhausen
Tesla Model X
Assembly  Tesla Factory in Fremont, California
Class  Full-size, luxury, crossover SUV

The Tesla Model X is a full-sized, all-electric, luxury, crossover SUV made by Tesla Inc. that uses falcon wing doors for access to the second and third row seats. The prototype was unveiled at Tesla’s design studios in Los Angeles on February 9, 2012. The Model X has an official EPA rated 237–289 mi (381–465 km) range, and the combined fuel economy equivalent and energy consumption for the AWD P90D was rated at 89 mpg-e (23 kWh/100 km or 39 kWh/100 mi).

Contents

The Model X was developed from the full-sized sedan platform of the Tesla Model S; both are being produced at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. First deliveries of the Model X began in September 2015. As of December 2016, global deliveries totaled more than 25,000 units, and just after one full year on the market, the Model X ranked seventh among the world's best-selling plug-in cars.

History

Initially Tesla planned for deliveries to commence in early 2014. However, in February 2013, the company announced that deliveries had been rescheduled to begin by late 2014 in order to achieve its production target of 20,000 Model S cars in 2013. In November 2013, Tesla said it expected to begin Model X high volume production the second quarter of 2015. In November 2014, Tesla again delayed and announced that Model X deliveries would begin in the third quarter of 2015. Deliveries began on September 29, 2015. Among the reasons for delay were problems with the falcon-wing doors and cooling the motors when hauling trailers.

In 2016, the company filed a lawsuit against Hoerbiger for not producing satisfactory falcon-wing doors for the Model X. Tesla claimed the doors suffered from oil leakage and overheating. Many believe this is one of the reasons for the delay of the Model X. The lawsuit was settled in September 2016.

On July 29, 2015, Tesla announced a referral program though October 31, 2015 wherein owners of a Model S who refer 10 new buyers gain the option to buy a Founder Series Model X for the price of a base model. The first person (in each of three regions; Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific) to reach this 10 referral point would be given this model for free.

On July 13, 2016, Tesla introduced its Model X 60D, which carries a starting price tag of $74,000 before incentives, compared to the original Model X's $80,000 starting price. The Model X 60D has a 200 mi (320 km) range and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in six seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). The battery can be upgraded by software to 75 kWh.

Tesla plans to use the Model X platform for the Tesla Minibus.

Global sales passed the 10,000 unit mark in August 2016, with most cars delivered in the United States. In August 2016, Tesla introduced the P100D with Ludicrous Mode to be the new top Model X. The P100D has a 100 kWh battery, a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 2.9 seconds and over 280 mi (450 km) of range. In October 2016 Tesla discontinued the 60D version and made the "Smart Air Suspension" standard instead of coil springs, increasing base price to $85,000.

Design

A series production vehicle was unveiled on September 29, 2015. It has a panoramic windshield. According to Tesla founder Elon Musk, it is the safest SUV in terms of frontal and side impact crash, being more than twice as safe as the next closest SUV in rollover tests as well. The Model X includes Tesla Autopilot with standard radar-based AEB and ultrasonic-based side collision avoidance system to steer occupants away from a side collision. Tesla developed an ultrasonic sensor that can see through metal to keep falcon wing doors from hitting nearby objects when opening or closing. Musk claims the car features the first true HEPA filter in a car, with medical grade cabin air cleanliness comparable to that of a hospital operating room. When the car operates at maximum capability (enabled with a "Bioweapon Defense Mode" button), Tesla claims that no viruses, bacteria or spores can be detected in the cabin.

The Model X features double hinged falcon wing doors, which open upwards allowing the leading edge of the door to remain tucked close to the body, unlike traditional gull-wing doors. Tesla claims the falcon doors make access easier. The Model X offers room for seven adults and their luggage in three rows of seating and front and rear trunks.

Specifications

The Model X weighs about 8% more than the Model S and shares about 30% of its parts content – down from around 60% expected when development began.

The Model X has a choice of three lithium-ion battery packs, rated at either 75, 90, or 100 kW·h. The highest performance version of the model P100D goes from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 2.9 seconds and the 14 mile (400 meters) in 11.4 seconds, outperforming the fastest SUVs and most sports cars. The Model X's all-wheel drive system uses two motors (one for the front and the other for the rear wheels), unlike conventional AWD systems that have a single source of power. The Tesla Model X features an official EPA rated range of up to 295 mi, and a European NEDC testing cycle estimated range of 565 km.

The company planned to offer rear-wheel drive models, but instead all models incorporate all wheel drive. The standard AWD has 259 horsepower (193 kilowatts) on both the front and rear motors, while the performance edition has 259 hp (193 kW) front and 503 hp (375 kW) rear. With an optional towbar, the Model X has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). At the 55 mph (89 km/h) towing speed limit in California, a Model X may have 70% of the 257 mi (414 km) EPA-registered range when pulling a 2,300 lb (1,000 kg) travel trailer.

Energy consumption

The following table shows the EPA's official ratings for fuel economy in miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) and EPA's estimated out-of-pocket fuel costs for the variants of the Model X rated as of 30 September 2015 and as displayed in the Monroney label.

Production and sales

Tesla started taking reservations for the Model X in February 2012 without announcing prices. The standard Model X required a US$5,000 deposit, while the no longer offered Signature model required a US$40,000 deposit as of 2013. More than 20,000 Model Xs had been reserved by September 2014. In August 2015, user groups estimated around 30,000 Model X pre-orders had been received, compared to 12,000 for the Model S.

The first six Founders Series models were delivered at a market launch event in the Fremont factory on 29 September 2015. The first Signature edition was delivered on 18 December 2015. Pricing for the limited edition Signature version of the Model X varies between US$132,000 and US$144,000, while the standard production version of the Model X will be priced at US$5,000 more than a comparably equipped AWD Model S that is priced at US$75,000 for the base Model 70D.

After the first quarter of 2016 all Tesla Model X deliveries had gone to US customers. Nevertheless, in January 2016 a Tesla car other than the Model S was registered in Germany and a Tesla Model X was sighted driving there with a license plate from Ingolstadt. Since the Audi headquarters are located in Ingolstadt, this led to speculation that Audi has acquired a Tesla Model X as part of its effort to develop its own battery-electric SUV.

Tesla produced 507 Model X in the fourth quarter of 2015, of which 206 were delivered to customers. Model X sales totaled 2,400 units during the first quarter of 2016. According to Tesla Motors, deliveries were lower than expected because production was impacted by severe Model X supplier parts shortages in the first two months of 2016, and because Tesla had been too ambitious in wanting advanced features (committed "hubris"). The first Model X that didn't need corrections was made in April 2016.

Sales during the second quarter of 2016 totaled 4,638 units. Although production was up 20% from the previous quarter, the number of vehicles in transit at the end of June 2016 was much higher than expected (5,150 including Model S cars), representing 35.8% of the number of cars delivered in the quarter (14,402 vehicles including the Model S). Global sales passed the 10,000 unit mark in August 2016. A total of 8,774 units were delivered in the third quarter of 2016, totaling 15,812 Model X cars sold during the first nine months of 2016.

The Model X ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in Norway in September 2016. However, when Volkswagen Golf nameplate registrations are broken down by each variant's powetrain, the all-electric e-Golf registered 392 units, the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid 358, and the internal combustion-powered Golf only 242 units. Therefore, the Model X also ranked as the top selling new car model in September 2016. Norway was the world's first country to have all-electric cars topping the new car sales monthly ranking. Previously, the Tesla Model S had been the top selling new car four times, and the Nissan Leaf twice.

According to Tesla, with 5,428 units sold in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2016, the Model X captured a 6% market share of the luxury SUV market segment, outselling Porsche and Land Rover, but behind seven SUV models manufactured by Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, Volvo, Audi, and Lexus. With an estimated 9,500 units delivered worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2016, global sales in 2016 totaled 25,312 Model X cars, allowing the Model X to rank seventh among the world's top ten best-selling plug-in cars just in its first full year in the market. As of December 2016, cumulative sales totaled 25,524 units since its inception. The United States is its main country market with 18,240 units delivered through December 2016. An estimated 18,028 Model X vehicles were delivered in the U.S. in 2016, making the electric SUV the third best selling plug-in electric in the American market that year after the Tesla Model S and the Chevrolet Volt. Registrations in California totaled 6,289 units in 2016, representing a 7.0% market share of the state's luxury mid-size SUV segment, ranking as the fifth best selling car in this class, which was led by the Lexus RX with 20,070 units. Retail deliveries in China began in June 2016, and a total of 4,065 Model X vehicles were sold in 2016.

Reception

Consumer Reports wrote that the all-wheel drive Model X 90D largely disappoints, as rear doors are prone to pausing and stopping, the second-row seats that cannot be folded, and the cargo capacity is too limited. Even its panoramic, helicopter-like windshield was disapproved of as it is cranky-sounding and it is not tinted enough to offset the brightness of a sunny day. And added that overall "the ride is too firm and choppy for a $110,000 car".

Known issues

On April 11, 2016, Tesla voluntarily recalled 2,700 Model X due to safety concerns. During collision testing, it was found that the third-row seats would unlatch and fold over to the second row. Tesla urged customers to avoid using the third-row seats until after repairs.

The falcon-wing doors sometimes do not open or do not latch when closed and occasionally the windows do not open or close all the way. Tesla addressed these issues with several updates. No known issues remained with the latest 8.0 firmware.

On June 27, 2016, Tesla settled on a lawsuit over usability concerns, accepting that the Model X was rushed to production before it was ready for prime-time. By October 2016, the problems had been reduced by 92%.

Controversy

On December 30, 2016, a South Korean celebrity named Son Ji-chang filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claims of a sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) of Tesla Model X. The lawsuit cites seven other complaints registered in a database compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) dealing with sudden acceleration without warning. "The evidence, including data from the car, conclusively shows that the crash was the result of Mr. Son pressing the accelerator pedal all the way to 100 percent," a Tesla spokesperson said in an emailed statement. The US NHTSA estimates 16,000 accidents per year in US, when drivers intend to apply the brake but mistakenly apply the accelerator.

Awards

On November 8, 2016 the Model X was awarded the Golden Steering Wheel (Das Goldene Lenkrad), one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the world, in the "Large SUV" category. Candidates for this award are nominated by hundreds of thousands across Europe for excellence across six categories. The Golden Steering Wheel jury, composed of professional race car drivers, accomplished technicians, editors, designers, and digital and connectivity experts, then spent three days judging Model X.

References

Tesla Model X Wikipedia


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