Tesla has revealed that they are planning on building an electric SUV – the Tesla Model X – based on the same platform as the yet to arrive Model S.
Tesla is a strange amalgam of a Silicon Valley company and a car maker. With a distinct leaning to the Silicon Valley side of the equation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In many ways it breaks down the traditional constraints of a manufacturing business and allows impressive technical progress. But often at the expense of reality.
Tesla has not managed to make money yet, as far as we can tell. They currently have just one car – the Tesla Roadster - which is effectively a Lotus Elise with a huge pack of daisy-chained laptop batteries and a thumping great electric motor.
All of which makes for a niche car that is a hoot to drive. The torque is instant and the power delivery immense. The handling is a bit iffy – mainly due to all the weight and distribution of the batteries – but in a straight line it is awesome. But the it ought to be. It costs more than the Jaguar XKR we have in for review this week. And it’s just an electric Lotus.
But Tesla intends going mainstream with the Tesla Model S which is due to hit showrooms in 2012. Tesla has said the Model S will come in at under $50,000, which seems impossible for what they’re intending to offer. But we can’t say they can’t do it because the car isn’t here yet, so I guess we have to wait and see.
And now Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla – has confirmed that Tesla intends to follow up the Model S with an SUV based on the same platform. According to Musk the Model S will utilise a more sophisticated battery setup than the Roadster which will also be used in the Tesla SUV, which Tesla are referring to as the Tesla Model X.
The plan is for a prototype Model X to be up and running around by the end of 2011, with production scheduled to start two years after the Model S. Which will make the Model X ready to hit the roads in 2014.
Source: Green Tech Media