Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, has justified the Model X’s delayed launch by explaining that the SUV will be perfect on a number of levels. First deliveries were originally expected this year, but will now commence in the spring of 2015.
Speaking at the company’s annual stakeholder meeting, Musk reiterated his philosophy that production cars should be more exciting than the concepts on which they are based, and not the other way around, as is the status quo. As such, the showroom Model X will not look the same as the seemingly production-ready prototype spotted in California earlier this year.
“One of the things that drives me crazy about cars is that very often you’ll see kind of a car or demo car and then the production version is some much worse version of that,” he said. “At Tesla, whenever we show off a car as a demonstration item the production car will always be better.”
“Sometimes that takes a lot of effort and it’s very difficult and that is certainly the case with the Model X, but we have two choices which is either [to] produce an amazing car that I think is going to blow people away or produce a pretty good car.”
The Model X’s ‘falcon-wing’ doors will still be a highlight of the updated design, adding a heavy dose of glamour to an otherwise conservative segment. Tesla is keen to exhibit real artistry with the way the roof-mounted rear doors open, particularly in the way the second-row seats are framed by the bodywork. Musk says that opening up the door should be an “amazing experience”.
It is not yet known whether the car will feature conventional side mirrors or the door-mounted cameras favored by the automaker. Current legislation prohibits this technology.
If the Model X lives up to the hype, however, it will certainly ‘blow people away’. Four-wheel drive and the ability to seat seven passengers in comfort will be standard on all variants, while the top-spec Model X is expected to boast a range of around 260 miles yet enough performance to sprint from 0 to 60mph in fewer than five seconds. With its zero-emissions powertrain, the curvaceous SUV really will be in a class of one.
Musk also said that his designers would be paying “more attention to the needs of women” with Tesla’s crucial third car, after criticism of the Model S sedan’s interior dimensions.
“We’ve probably got a little too guy-centric on the [Model] S, so we’re hoping to correct that with the [Model] X,” he said, suggesting that shorter drivers would be able to move their seats closer to the pedals and that forward visibility will be improved.
Built on the same platform as the Model S, the Model X will be a large car, despite the agility that its electric powertrain will undoubtedly afford it. Tesla and Musk know that at as family car it’s important that all drivers feel comfortable at the wheel.
Tesla has already taken more than 15,000 deposits for the Model X SUV, which will go up against a number of electrified SUVs when it arrives next year.