Tesla Model X Pricing: A Safe $132000 Bet

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Tesla Builds A Car To Survive The Coming Apocalypse.

On Tuesday at a warehouse party in Fremont, Calif., Elon Musk spent an hour explaining Tesla’s new Model X to a crowd of hundreds of cheering media, VIPs, and tech geeks. It was worth the wait: that is the main takeaway coming in from the lucky car enthusiasts, consumers and reviewers who have gotten behind the wheel of a Tesla Model X.After many years of waiting, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk last night unveiled the Model X – an electric, zero emissions SUV – and distributed it to the first six buyers in California. The luxury car company’s brand-new Model X has an unusual feature specially built to protect its passengers from the earth’s final destruction: a “bioweapon defense mode” button.

And Musk says the car has the industry’s best air filters, including a “bioweapon defense mode” to prevent bacteria, viruses, pollen, and other pollutants from entering the vehicle. Images from the unveiling were impressive to say the least, but as more behind-the-wheel reviews roll in, it’s clear that viewing the X from afar doesn’t do it justice.

It also has a price tag as shocking (to your wallet) as those doors: The Signature Model X that Musk introduced, loaded with extra features, required a $40,000 deposit and comes with a $132,000 price tag, plus delivery and other fees. (Tesla has yet to announce what financing options will come along with its new ride.) That’s a lot of money—nearly twice the cost of the base Model S sedan—and considerably more expensive than the comparable-in-size Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which costs $77,200. In case of biowarfare, pressing the defense mode button would activate the maximum air filtration, which Musk called “hospital level air quality.” (It was a well-timed brag, coming right on the heels of a major scandal over emissions at Volkswagen.) This third-generation Tesla is the company’s first SUV, and is roughly estimated to cost, at its most basic, $93,000. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, has a top speed of 151 mph, and gets 416 combined horsepower between its electric motor and conventional engine. The car starts at $132,000, and costs $142,000 if you buy the P90D model with a “Ludicrous Speed” acceleration mode (there will likely be cheaper models introduced in the coming months, but details haven’t been released yet). In the meantime, here are the features everyone is most excited about: Tesla got germaphobes as well as doomsday preppers covered with this one: The Model X’s front fascia is designed with a duct that pushes air through “the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile,” Musk said, which allows “medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what is going on outside.” At the launch event, Musk showed the X’s filter, which is huge — about five times bigger than a typical car air filter — plus the X comes outfitted with a secondary filter.

Other Model X perks are the panoramic windshield, which Tesla claims is the largest piece of glass ever put on a car, a massive touchscreen display, and a low center of gravity because of the battery in the floor, which helps prevent the car from rolling over in an accident, according to Mashable. “I think we got a little carried away with the X,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “If we had known the true engineering costs and complexity, we would have done fewer things.” The X, like the top-of-the-line Model S P85D, can be upgraded to the “ludicrous speed” mode, which makes the cars faster — they can go 0-60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds rather than 3.8 seconds. It’s a family car, Musk claimed, and presumably his nuclear relations are apocalyptic preppers who need to flee really, really far and really, really quickly.

According to Edmunds.com, the average transaction price for a large mainstream SUV is $52,497—$20,000 higher than a large sedan—and $82,900 for luxury rigs such as the Cadillac Escalade. Porsche’s $58,300 base-level Cayenne, Audi’s $52,500 Q5 Hybrid, the $57,700 BMW X5 Diesel, and the $52,500 Mercedes GLE 300 Diesel are all far less quick (by as much as 1.5 and 2 seconds) than Model X, with less horsepower. Driving an electric-only vehicle also means you need a network of electric charging stations to enable people to make long trips — a network Tesla is slowly building. They’re “sort of frustratingly slow,” says Andrew Collins on Truck Yeah!, “but not really any worse than the power doors on a minivan.” Patrick George, also on Truck Yeah!, notes: “The rear door setup is definitely complex, and I’d be nervous about long-term ownership costs, but you have to admit they did a pretty good job of thinking it through.” A large windshield sounds nice, but as The Verge’s Chris Ziegler said, it’s hard to really understand how cool this is until you see it in action. They’re part of the pricing upswell that has flooded the luxury SUV market, thanks to American, Asian, and Middle Eastern buyers starving for indulgently large and increasingly cosseted conveyances.

Again, that doesn’t sound life-changing, but the sense of being outdoors, of having the interior of the car basically disappear, is pretty incredible.” Musk said that to get the glass looking like a gradient, from clear in front of the driver to a deeper tint over the driver’s head, the glass was built in layers — “like a tiramisu,” Musk said. “It’s definitely the most complex sun visor in history,” he said. In a head-on collision involving a conventional car, the engine gets pushed back toward the passenger compartment, increasing the risk that the driver’s legs get crushed.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs, which are among those who are a bit more cautious around Tesla and its stock valuation, kept their price target on Tesla’s stock at $234 (19% below the average price target, according to FactSet) on the belief that some key risks for Tesla include disruptions following the X’s launch and ongoing demand for the Model S sedan. A recall “would prove a costly error.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average has suffered a third-straight quarterly decline for the first time since the Great Recession.

Thing is, despite the luxury trappings, innovative design, and performance numbers that earn Tesla’s higher-end variants a slot in the same category as Porsche and even Lamborghini, Musk has said his Model X is meant for mass consumption. In the past, this kind of door has had a big problem: If there’s an obstacle next to the car — like another car — it can block the door from opening. It also helps that the third-row back seat is genuinely as accessible as the driver’s seat and that the double trunk is large enough to hold strollers and a large dog bed with no trouble. That allows the doors to swing upward without swinging out very far: Of course, this approach could lead to another problem: the doors hitting the ceiling if the car is parked in a garage.

In the Dow’s 119-year history, there have now been 20 quarterly losing streaks that stretched at least three quarters, as the following table details: The longest losing streak is six quarters, suffered twice, through the first quarter of 2009 and through the second quarter of 1970. If the current quarterly losing streak were to be snapped in the fourth quarter, the total three-quarter loss of 8.6% would be the smallest of all the other three-quarter losing streaks.

The company only sold a few thousand Roadsters before it stopped taking orders in 2011, and it has only sold around 80,000 Model S vehicles in the life of the product. Supposedly, that will change in 2017, when Tesla plans to release the Model 3 with a much more accessible price tag of around $35,000. (Musk wanted to call it the Model E, so his three car models spelled S-E-X, but that plan ran into trademark problems).

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