Tesla Model X
AutoVolt Magazine|May-June 2017

Tesla is a remarkably ambitious company. When they first launched the Roadster, way back in 2010, nothing could have prepared the world for the Model S that came just four years later in 2014. While some say Tesla has only been a success because of the amounts of money being ploughed into it, that’s only half the story. The truth is they’ve rewritten the rule book of what’s possible with a car. It used to be simple. You buy a performance car, and expect some form of compromise, be it poor fuel economy or a lack of gadgetry. Maybe it had a compromised boot, because there was a dirty great big engine in it. With Tesla you can have it all. Want super high-performance and tech like no other? You can have that and throw in seven seats too. That Tesla, a relative start-up, has been able to show up the established motoring elite is impressive.

Jonathan Musk

Approaching the Model X, the door pops open by itself. Jumping up and in for the first time, I’m wowed by the immense windscreen, the biggest in the business. The instrument display lights up, as does the massive 17” central touchscreen. I’m now a child in a sci-fi adventure. Everything about this car shouts ‘wow’ and impresses. Why aren’t all cars like this? I fasten my belt and press the brake. The door shuts automatically and pulls itself tight against the car’s body. Hang on, what? So I’ve not had to open a door, not had to plug a key in and not even had to close the door. This is ostentatious beyond expectation. The automation doesn’t stop there. With the doors closed and the car ‘on’, I select drive from the Mercedes-Benz sourced steering-mounted gear-shifter and gently prod the throttle. Yes, there’s no need to muck about with Tom-Foolery like hand brakes either. Now on the move I do, however, have to drive. On this particular car, Tesla’s Autopilot system is not active but the car does have all the gear on-board to turn it on, should sir desire.

On the road the X’s only real discernible noise emanates from the massive 22” alloy wheels. Model X is extremely slippery. Its sleek design has a drag coefficient of just 0.24cd. A meaningless number? Many sports cars are unable to match this, for example the BMW i8 only manages 0.26cd. In practice this means Model X glides through the air and keeps a tomb-like silence inside.

Acceleration is explosive, even on this 90D model, which is hardly the fastest on offer. The spec reads like the Millennium Falcon’s and that’s enough to keep even the most die-hard petrol fan happy. Believe me, the 90 is plenty fast enough but if you want terrifying power the P100D offers it in spades. There’s really no need for more performance or for that matter battery size. More than 250-miles is more than enough, especially thanks to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger and destination charger network.

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