If you’re an enviro-friendly urban warrior who has been crossing your fingers for somebody to build an all-electric, all-wheel drive SUV, your wait is officially over.
In early February, Tesla Motors announced that it was taking preorders for its brand new Model X electric SUV, which comes in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive versions, costing from $60,000 to more than $100,000. Just days later, the company had already taken orders for $40 million worth of the plug-in SUV. To get their hands on one, folks had to put down deposits of $5,000 for the base model and $40,000 for the top-of-the-line Signature model.
Speed is an important consideration for Tesla, which has built its brand on the idea that fast can also be green. Tesla claims top end versions of the Model X will go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which is the sort of acceleration you’d normally associate more with a Porsche than an SUV.
But the car’s cool factor, at least visually, may be the “falcon wing” back door design, which allows the doors to go almost straight up and channels the way-before-its-time DeLorean. With these visually striking and functional doors, passengers and cargo can easily get in and out in tight spaces, such as parking lots.
As an extra feature, Model X buyers will be able to choose from a variety of battery pack sizes to customize their driving range.
In addition to the Model X, Tesla makes the Model S, an all-electric sport sedan, and the Roadster, the all-electric sports coupe that launched the brand. Tesla is also building battery packs and motors for an electric version of the Toyota RAV4, battery packs for an electric version of Daimler’s Smart Fortwo and a full powertrain for an all-electric Mercedes-Benz.
“Tesla Racks Up $40M Worth of Model X Orders,” CNN Money, Feb. 15, 2012.