The Tesla Model X all-electric SUV, which first debuted in concept form complete with “falcon wing doors” all the way back in 2012, will finally see production early in 2015, bringing a second model to join the wildly successful Model S sedan in the Tesla Motors product portfolio. The Model X will reportedly seat 7 passengers, offer competitive cargo capacity to other luxury SUVs, and feature all-electric AWD.
While the prototypes sure look great, Tesla has run into some struggles along the way, with multiple delays to a vehicle that was supposed to see production in 2013. CEO Elon Musk says that demand for the Model X should even exceed demand for the sedan, but notes that Tesla needed further time to refine the vehicle’s styling and capabilities as an SUV, including crafting an AWD system that was up to the company’s high expectations.
Always the perfectionist, Musk takes some of the blame for delays, stating he was personally not all the way happy with the product.
“It’s damn hard to make an SUV in particular that is beautiful and yet incredibly functional at the same time. It’s a harder design problem than the Model S. I don’t want to come out with something where the production version is in any way inferior to the prototype,” Musk says.
The Model X will reportedly at least equal the Model S’s 300 miles of range, as estimated by Tesla, despite its larger package. In other news, the company has begun work on a “gigafactory” to meet rising battery demand, and is also working on a new smaller sedan that will be significantly cheaper than the Model S. Until that point new 3rd-generation sedan hits the market, Tesla is not entertaining offers to sell the company as stock prices continue to rise.