Tesla Model X 2017 preview
Put simply: the future! Tesla, the high-tech electric vehicle company owned by Elon Musk, doesn't officially sell cars in Ireland as yet, but you can be sure it will before long, and that hasn't stopped plenty of Irish 'early adopters' from importing one from the UK. The Tesla Model X is the company's new SUV, a seven-seat car with all-electric propulsion, a useful range, huge power and very cool rear doors Tesla refers to as 'Falcon Doors' that make it way easier to get in and out of the back seats.
What will its rivals be?
That's not an easy question to answer, as we don't have Irish pricing for the Model X for a start and, that aside, there are no other all-electric seven-seat SUVs on sale here. Instead we've got to settle on hybrid alternatives from the premium brands as possible rivals. So, Audi has its Q7 e-tron and BMW sells the X5 in xDrive40e iPerformance guise, but lovely as those cars are, they look incredibly old-fashioned next to the high-tech Tesla.
Any tech info?
Funny, the Model X is nothing but tech. Where to start? One aspect of all Teslas so far that has garnered a lot of attention is the huge capacitive touchscreen infotainment system mounted prominently in the centre of the cabin. It measures 17 inches in the Model X and its software is constantly being updated 'over-the-air'. That's a key aspect of Tesla's cars. Like smartphones, their software is continually being improved and owners can benefit from free updates. For example, collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking is being rolled out in December of this year for the first time.
What will the range be like?
There are different seating configurations available and different battery and motor configurations. The top version has a 100kWh battery pack that, according to Tesla, allows a 465-kilometre range, while the 0-100km/h time is quoted as just over three seconds. That's supercar fast, incidentally. The Model X is well-equipped too, with a huge panoramic glass windscreen, power folding and heated door mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sumptuous interior with heated and electrically adjusted front seats, a high-spec sound system, Bluetooth and much more all included.
The Model X won't be cheap to buy, but it will be an exceptional all-rounder, marrying seven-seat SUV practicality with sports car performance and an all-electric range that surpasses anything else on the market. Irish buyers will welcome Tesla to the market with open arms.