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Wheels - 10/1 Edition: Tesla’s New SUV does 0-60 in 3 seconds, Goes 260 Miles on a Single Charge and Will Protect You Against Bio Weapons

Tesla’s New SUV does 0-60 in 3 seconds, Goes 260 Miles on a Single Charge and Will Protect You Against Bio Weapons.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors has mastered the sporty two-seater and the elegant sedan. Now, it wants to conquer the family hauler.
Tesla’s Model X — one of the only all-electric SUVs on the market — was officially unveiled Tuesday night near the company’s California factory. SUVs were delivered to the first six buyers.
“If Tesla’s going to be a more significant player, they need more products, and SUVs are what the market is demanding,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with the car buying site AutoTrader.com. Musk said Tesla expects about half of its sales to be SUVs.
But there are drawbacks. Only a fraction of the sippy-cup set will be able to afford the Model X, even with a $7,500 federal tax credit. A fully loaded performance model is $142,000; exact pricing of the base model hasn’t been released, but Musk said the Model X will cost $5,000 more than an equivalent Model S, or around $93,000. Musk said the company will eventually offer a less expensive variant with a smaller battery.
The biggest engineering challenge was the Model X’s “falcon wing” doors. They’re hinged at the top, so they open upwards, but they also have an “elbow” that bends in the center. The extra joint allows the doors to swing out as little as possible while opening.
The doors have sensors to detect nearby objects, which should keep them from striking objects or limbs that might be in the way. If that’s not cool enough, the driver’s-side door can open and close for the approaching driver without a single human touch.
There’s even more innovation packed into the new model: The Model X’s air conditioning system has a “Bio-weapon Defense” mode that prevents any bacteria or viruses from entering the vehicle. The SUV’s windshield curves up past the front of the roof-line, creating a sort of sunroof over the front seats.
The Model X shares a platform and motor with the Model S, which is made at the same factory. But unlike the S, which has several battery options, the X only has a 90 kilowatt-hour battery and only comes with all-wheel drive. The 90D version will go 257 miles on a full charge, while the P90D performance version will go 250 miles. Tesla’s high-speed “ludicrous mode” is offered on the P90D; it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
Text via NBC News and CNN Money | Images via Road and Track

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