Tesla Model X Launch — Videos, Pics, Facts, & Fun

Via EV Obsession:

Tesla Motors and CEO Elon Musk announced a little more than a week ago that a Tesla Model X (Tesla page here) unveiling event would take place at 7pm Pacific Time on September 29. That’s today if you’re in the US, or yesterday if you live in Europe like I do. Earlier today (going by California time, not my own), the time was changed from 7pm to 8pm. It’s now 8:21pm. There are plenty of tweets making essentially the same joke/comment, but here’s one that captures the point well enough:

Typically, I don’t think Elon does it to be fashionable, but maybe that is the case tonight?

Anyway, I will be live blogging once this thing gets going. In particular, I’ll update the post with key facts, quotes, and pics when they catch my attention. At the bottom of the page is a Twitter stream for #ModelX, but that includes numerous useless tweets, so I’m trying to save you save time and frustration by curating them myself. Let’s get going!

Someone has enjoyed a sneak peek at the beast and part of the show:



This one was too good to skip:

Tesla Model X Launch

Shortly… indeed. This is like when I tell my wife that I just need 5 minutes to finish an article, some editing, email, some forum discussion, etc.

8:53pm: It’s starting!

Safety: The Model X (as expected… and leaked) is rated the safest SUV in history. It is the only SUV that has achieved 5 stars in every category from the NHTSA. The stars, btw, indicate “the probability of a serious injury in a high-speed accident,” as Elon summarizes. 4 stars = 15% of probability, and 5 stars = a 10% or lower probability of injury. Tesla is expecting an overall rating of 6.5%.

The side impact rating of the Model X (and Model S) performs about twice as good as the world’s “next best-rated SUV.” As Elon says, “this is the difference between life and death.”

The probability of a rollover injury is also twice as good as or better than any SUV in the world.

Let’s just say it: if you want an SUV (or any car) and care much about safety, nothing comes close to the Model X (and Model S).

Automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance (steering) are also standard on the car.

The air filter in the Model X is also top of the line — way above the top of the line, in fact. It is the “first true HEPA filter” in a car. There are actually two filters, and they are hundreds of times better at filtering various things you don’t want entering your car. Insane. In the best possible way. The net effect: “you have air cleanliness levels that are comparable to hospital operating room in the car.”

Tesla Model X air filter

The results compared to standard cars:

  • 300 times better filtering bacteria (2.0 microns)
  • 500 times better filtering allergens (1.0 microns)
  • 700 times better filtering soot/smog (.1 microns)
  • 800 times better filtering viruses (.01 microns)

To top it off, there is actually a “bioweapons defense” button in the car… for those special apocalypse scenarios…. 😀

Nose: The nose of the Model X is indeed almost fully covered, as some enthusiasts had presumed.

Doors: Well, Tesla didn’t miss surprising us, though. The front doors will open for the driver as she or he approaches, and then close automatically as well. In case you weren’t special enough.

The falcon-wing doors open beautifully.

Entry into the 3rd row is a cinch even after loading a car into the 2nd row. It’s also much easier to load a baby or kid into the 2nd row than in a typical SUV thanks to the falcon-wing doors.

Phones: Don’t like messing with the cords and plugs when trying to charge your phone in your car? Well, you can quickly stick the phone on a dock next to your seat and be done with that in no time! It works with all popular models, Elon says.

Panoramic windshield: It’s for real. More here. And some good shots of it here:

Parking nightmares: Tesla has you covered. At the event, they parked the Model X very tightly in between two large (competing) vehicles. Crazily, the falcon-wing doors could open (specifically because they are hinged, falcon-wing doors rather than gull-wing doors). Not only could they open, but they left you room to walk out, whereas even a sliding minivan door blocks you from walking in one direction.

Within a garage, the Model X has sonic sensors on the doors that keep them from touching the ceiling, walls, or basically anything else. “We actually developed an ultrasonic sensor that can actually see through metal.”

2nd-row seats: There’s a lot of space under the seats for storing bags, etc.

Towing: The Model X can tow ~5,000 pounds, as demonstrated by an X pulling an Airstream onto the stage.

Bikes & skis: Tesla again wanted something that fit its vehicle better than what was on the market, so it developed an accessory hitch for up to 4 bikes & 6 sets of skis that even a kid can connect to the car in ~5 seconds.

Acceleration: As we’ve reported previously, the P90D with Ludicrous Mode will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, faster than almost every other production car on the market, and certainly faster than any SUV. It’s still a wicked fast 4.8 seconds for the standard P90D.

Giving away the cars: Founder reservation holders Vin #6, Vin #5, Vin #4, Vin #3 (love the blue), and Vin #2 (Steve Jurvetson) received their beautiful Model X SUVs on stage at the unveiling. Elon’s X is Vin #1 (a solid black one with white seating). Note that these are “Founder” cars. “Signature” reservation holders will also start receiving their vehicles shortly.

That’s it! The event is now promptly over at 6:23am my time (or 9:23pm California time) — basically 30 minutes long on the dot. We’ll share more videos from the event as they appear on YouTube. Drop us a note in the comments if you create or find any good ones!

For much more on the Model X, see our Model X archives.

Curated tweets and instagrams still coming as I find them…



And am calling it a night… er, early morning… with that one.


Twitter #ModelX Stream:

Top GIF by scottf200

Zachary Shahan

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.