NAIAS 2013: Tesla Model X, Supercharger Make Auto Show Debut

It has been almost a year since Tesla Motors unveiled its Model X SUV to a select group of journalists and bloggers. This year at the North American International Auto Show, Tesla finally trotted out the Model X for consumption by the rest of us lowly peons, and they brought out one of their new Supercharger charging stations as well.

Just don’t call it a concept car or a production vehicle; Tesla calls this Model X a “design prototype”, which means they are wedded to the overall design (including those sweet falcon-wing doors) though details can change. Based on the Tesla Model S platform, some key changes to the Model X include all-wheel drive thanks to an additional electric motor mounted at the front wheels. 0-60 mph time is said to be in the 5-second-or-less range.

Like the Tesla Model S, the Model X gets a front-mounted trunk called a “frunk” and a massive LCD touchscreen control center. Most impressive though is the amount of room those awesome falcon-wing doors afford when fully-open. Tesla claims these doors open in less space than a minivan, though we wouldn’t try opening them in a parking garage. Just sayin’.

We couldn’t get the best of shots because of the constant crowd around the Tesla booth, but we did get a chance to check out the Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system. The 480-volt system can deliver a 50% charge in an hour around 30 minutes…and it looks pretty neat as well.

No word on when the Model X will be available, or what it will cost. But with a backlog of Tesla Model S orders in the tens of thousands, the Model X probably won’t come to market until 2014 or later, though there are reportedly close to 2,900 of these electric SUV’s already on reserve. In other words if you want a Tesla Model X anytime in the next couple of years, you might want to plunk down a $5,000 cash deposit sooner rather than later.


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.