Tesla’s Model X Page Updated With New Pics & Info

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Elon Musk’s Regret: Tesla’s New SUV Might Be a Little Too Good.

Tesla has—finally—built a car to ride out the apocalypse in. 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.

Elon Musk will confess to just one regret about Tesla’s new Model X, the dazzling full-size luxury SUV that it unveiled to the public Tuesday night. “I think we got a little carried away,” he said. “There’s far more here than is really necessary to sell a car.” As regrets go, it’s a rather self-flattering one, reminiscent of the unctuous job-seeker who cops to being “too much of a perfectionist” when asked about his greatest weakness.Tesla Motors launched its all-electric Model X crossover Tuesday night, delivering cars to six customers — well, five, if you subtract the one Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is keeping for himself — but the glitzy event left key questions about the car unanswered. 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.

Musk has said the regular X will start at about $5,000 more than a comparably equipped Tesla Model S electric sports sedan, but there’s no public price sheet. 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. Packed with wild features like autopilot mode, gullwing—er, “Falcon Wing”—doors, and a “bioweapon defense” button, the X is an awful lot of vehicle. The base model of the all-wheel-drive Model S starts at $76,200 before a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars and California’s $2,500 rebate.

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. The Model X certainly competes with the likes of other ultra-luxe SUVs like Bentley’s Bentayga, but all of its crazy — some downright whacky — features leaves the world with what just might be the coolest SUV on the planet.

The battery instead lies beneath the floor, giving it a center of gravity that should make it immune to the rollover problems that have plagued SUVs past. It also could be that Tesla is still so far away from putting the model into meaningful production and sales that Musk doesn’t yet know what the price will ultimately be, said Mark Spiegel, a hedge fund manager for Stanphyl Capital Partners who is shorting Tesla’s stock, a bet that pays off if Tesla shares fall. (Tesla stock was up 2 cents to $246.67 in midsession trading Wednesday.) The automaker’s website doesn’t reveal much about the vehicle. 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.

And like the Model S, it boasts almost unbelievable performance for an object of its size, rocketing from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds (or 3.2 in the optional “ludicrous” mode). Tesla says it would deliver cars ordered now in the second half of 2016, but declined to provide any further details on its manufacturing schedule or the timing of more deliveries. Analysts say one of the car’s signature features — falcon doors that open upward instead of outward — could either be a huge selling point or an Achilles’ heel, depending on how well they work.

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. Audi revealed an electric SUV concept, the E-Tron Quattro, at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, promising a range of over 300 miles when it goes on sale in 2018.

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. General Motors (GM) reportedly plans to launch the hatchback-style Chevrolet Bolt, a $30,000 car that can travel 200 miles on a single charge, sometime in 2017. The other is functional,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “More volume goes to functional crossovers, and less to coupe-like crossovers. Meanwhile, the company’s target release date for the Model 3 is now 2017, and it still has a long way to go to achieve that. (I’ve written in the past about the immense challenges involved.) The upshot is that Tesla has spent three years building a vehicle that does nothing to broaden the market for its vehicles beyond the ultra-luxury segment. 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.

Worse, the attention paid to the X’s groundbreaking design, gee-whiz gadgetry, and gobsmacking performance could solidify the popular image of Tesla’s vehicles as status symbols for our new tech overlords. 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.

But it’s less than ideal for a mission-driven startup that has positioned itself as an underdog disruptor while relying heavily on government tax breaks. Musk has firmly maintained from the start that the company’s luxury vehicles are a mere means to another end: building the $35,000 Model 3 and taking electric vehicles mainstream.

Now, with all that said: The experience of driving a Tesla—with its ghostly quiet engine, sleek design, radically spacious interior, ground-hugging handling, and otherworldly acceleration—has a way of making one forget to quibble. 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. 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.

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