New Tesla Model X SUV: pictures, specs and performance

Electric Tesla Model X SUV faster than most supercars, but with low running costs and zero emissions

Further details - including new models - of the new Tesla Model X SUV have been revealed, including an all-new P100D high performance version. With a bigger battery and more power, it'll do 0-60mph in under three seconds, while its range has been increased to over 330 miles.

It's designed to be a luxurious people carrier for those who need more space than the Tesla Model S offers. The Model X has few direct electric-driven competitors, save for the van-like Nissan e-NV200 Combi.

However, unlike any of its conventionally powered rivals, the fastest Model X can do the 0-62mph sprint in just 2.9 seconds – a tenth of a second slower than the Ferrari 488 GTB supercar's time.

Another of the Model X’s party pieces is its ‘falcon wing’ doors, which open upwards and fold slightly to making getting in and out in car parks easy – not to mention giving owners an opportunity to show off.

Pricing starts at £64,100 for the entry-level 60D version, while next up, the 75D model costs from £71,900. Meanwhile the quicker, longer-ranged 90D will start at £82,400. Next up, the exceptionally fast P90D (with 'Ludicrous' mode) will cost at least £99,800 when it goes on sale late in 2016. Later on, an even more powerful version will arrive. Called the P100D, it'll boast four-wheel drive and a 0-60mph of just 2.7 seconds and is likely to cost well over £110,000 when it arrives.

Tesla Model X performance and range

One of the biggest talking points surrounding the new Model X is its frankly staggering performance. Thanks to a 90kWh battery, separate electric motors driving the front and rear wheels separately and a very aerodynamic design, the seven-seat MPV can do 0-62mph in just 3.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 155mph.

The Model X uses a very similar ‘architecture’ (its chassis and floor) to the Tesla Model S saloon. A 259bhp motor drives the front wheels, while a 503bhp motor drives the rears, giving a total output of 762bhp. This is a rather heavy car, though: at a little under 2,500kg, it weighs around the same as the large Bentley Bentayga luxury SUV.

As with the Model S, Model X trim levels include a very fast P90D model, with a ‘Ludicrous’ Mode’ for achieving that 3.2-second 0-62mph time. Alongside this supercar performance, Tesla claims the Model X can drive for up to 290 miles before needing recharging. The entry-level 60D will only manage a range of around 220 miles, with the 75D capable of covering 259 miles between charges. Both manage the same six-second 0-62mph time and 140mph top speed. It's the 90D (not the P90D) that's got the longest range, however, with Tesla claiming that it's capable of 303 miles between charges.

Topping the range, however, is the new P100D version, that's set to arrive early next year. It benefits from a new 100kWh battery (as opposed to the 60D's 60kWh and 90D's 90kWh batteries) which increases performance significantly, while the car's range has also gone up. It'll now do the 0-60mph sprint in just 2.9 seconds - faster than most supercars - while its range is claimed to be around 337 miles.

'Falcon Wing' doors

Many MPVs boast innovative ways of getting in and out, such as the sliding rear doors on the SEAT Alhambra and Ford Grand C-MAX or the outward-opening rear doors on the Vauxhall Meriva.

Tesla has gone one step further with its ‘falcon wing’ doors, which need just 30cm to open outwards before rising up and folding. To make sure they don’t hit another cars while opening, they’re fitted with “capacitive, inductive and sonar sensors” to monitor their surroundings.

The doors also open automatically when you come into range of the sensors. As Tesla puts it: “Why should the driver ever need to touch the door?”

Interior and space

Inside, drivers will find a dashboard very similar dashboard to that in the Model S saloon. There’s a 17-inch touchscreen that controls almost everything you need: Tesla says it “seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface”. A 17-speaker stereo offers what Tesla calls “concert hall-like sound”.

Tesla also says the Model X has plenty of storage options, including side pockets, a centre console and a place to store your iPhone. There’s also a small boot located under the front bonnet and room under the rear seats for bigger items.

All of the seven seats move independently from one another for additional versatility and they can be folded flat to maximise luggage space. Long items like surfboards can be stored inside easily and the Model X’s 2,200kg towing capacity means you can bring a big caravan, too.

Another clever feature is the first truly HEPA-friendly air system, which allows "medical-grade" air to be blown into the car. A slightly tongue-in-cheek 'Bioweapon Defence Mode' engages the car's full air filtering capabilities, to keep all the coarse and dirty air of the city out. this will be a pricey option, however, costing as it does, £3,900.

Safety

With family buyers in mind, Tesla has put a particular focus on safety with the Model X. The lack of a combustion engine up front has allowed for a massive crumple zone to absorb impacts. The brand expects a five-star Euro NCAP rating when the car gets crash-tested.

Active safety systems include an autonomous emergency braking system that works at a higher speed than any other currently on the market. A unique ‘side collision avoidance’ system helps to avoid crashes by steering the car away when it can, while ‘Autosteer’ and ‘Autopark’ are Tesla’s names for lane-keeping assistance and active parking assistance respectively.

Price and release date

Set to be launched towards the end of 2016, prices for the entry-level 60D model start at £64,100, while the 90D (which comes with the longest range out of all three models) starts at £82,400. Step up to the top-of-the-range P90D (which can be had with 'Ludicrous' mode) and you'll have to fork out at least £99,800 before any options. If you've ordered the P90D with the Ludicous package, you can upgrade to the new P100D for an extra fee, which pushes the asking price of the car up to £117,200.

For more information on Tesla’s current car range, check out Carbuyer’s reviews page.

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