Tesla Motors follows up on the Model S with the Model X

Tesla Motors made a big splash onto the electric car scene with its Roadster. While pricey at roughly $100,000, the two-seater was praised for its peppy performance, excellent handling, and sleek styling.
Tesla Motors' second entry into the electric vehicle market isn't even publicly available yet, but its 2012 production run is already sold out. The Model S is a gorgeous sedan that ranges in price from $57,400 to $87,400 (before a $7,500 tax credit). The base model has a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and has a 160-mile range. The top-end model comes with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery and can travel up to 300 miles on a charge.
With development of the second generation Roadster currently underway and the Model S gearing up for a Summer '12 public introduction, Tesla Motors is turning its attention to a hot segment in the automotive space: crossovers.

Tesla Model X [Source: Automobile Magazine]
The company today unveiled its Model X crossover which is based on the Model S' chassis (albeit with a 4-inch longer wheelbase). Given its roots, it should come as no surprise that the Model X looks like vertically stretched Model S with increased ride height.

However, the most interesting design feature of the Model X is its rear "Falcon Doors". Instead traditionally hinged doors mounted in the B-pillar, the Model X's rear door hinges are in the roof. This allows the doors to swing upwards, and should draw quite a few stares on the trip down to the local Target.

 [Source: Automobile Magazine]
According to the New York Times, the Model X will be available in three battery capacities (40, 60, and 85 kWh) and will make the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds. Automobile Magazine adds that the Model X will come standard with a rear-mounted 300hp electric motor, but a 150hp front-mounted motor will be optional to make the vehicle AWD. In addition, the maximum driving range for the Model X is said to be between 214 to 267 miles.

Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the pricing for the Model X will be similar to that of the Model S. Tesla Motors will begin taking pre-orders for the Model X this Friday at Noon PST.

Holy sunlight glare, Batman! [Source: Motor Trend]

Sources: New York Times, Automobile Magazine

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