Tesla reveals prototype Model X electric crossover

10 Feb 2012

Tesla Roadster

Tesla has just debuted its latest all-electric vehicle, a crossover it’s calling the Model X. The SUV-type vehicle will feature futuristic falcon-wing doors and is set to go into production in 2013.

Tesla unveiled the Model X prototype yesterday at its design studios in Southern California. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the vehicle will enter production in late 2013. Speaking to media, Musk described the Model X as being more suitable for families and said it would have “more utility than a minivan” and better performance than an SUV. The vehicle will be able to seat seven people.

The Model X SUV will be the third all-electric vehicle type to be spawned by the Palo Alto, California, company.

Set up in 2003, so far Tesla has pioneered the all-electric Roadster (pictured), which hit the streets in 2008. Now there’s 1,800 Roadsters whizzing around in 32 countries. In 2008, the first Roadster arrived in Ireland after it was purchased by a couple in Co Cork.

The Model S, Tesla’s foray into the all-electric premium sedan marketplace, will start deliveries in mid-2012. Musk is aiming to deliver 20,000 of its Model S sedan by the end of 2013. Last year, Tesla said the car would have a base price of US$49,900, which would include a US$7,500 federal tax credit.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also venturing into space via his company SpaceX

Tesla also announced it is revamping the Roadster with new innovations. However, the updated Roadster will only be available in Europe, Asia and Australia. For those in a position to fork out for the latest Roaster, you’ll now be able to choose from some new colours, including cosmic black, galactic gray and magma orange. The updated Roadster will also feature Xenon headlamps, which Tesla said will make the car more suited for night driving in rural areas.

Tesla went public in 2010. The company has yet to make a profit, however.

In the summer of 2011, Tesla signed a US$100m deal to build the powertrain for Toyota’s electric Rav4, which Toyota plans to bring to market in 2012. In 2010, Toyota made a US$50m investment in Tesla.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic