With the exception of a handful of plug-in hybrids on sale in Europe like the Volvo V60 PHEV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Volkswagen Golf GTE, the majority of plug-in cars on sale around the world aren’t designed to tow.
In fact, not a single all-electric car on sale anywhere in the world today is officially sold with towing capabilities at point of sale, but that’s about to change, says Tesla Motors.
In an official letter sent to its 2016 Tesla Model X Reservation holders last night, the Californian automaker has confirmed that the recently-delayed 2016 Tesla Model X will be offered with an optional tow package, allowing customers to take advantage of the Model X’s dual-motor drivetrain system and ‘unprecedented level of aerodynamic efficiency’ of any vehicle of the Model X’s size.
“Thank you for your continued patience in the Model X reservation process,” the letter began. “We are making steady progress towards delivering a phenomenal car that defies comparison.”
Highlighting its desire to produce a production car that was better in every way to its original show prototype, Tesla promises reservation holders that the finished Model X will live up to “or surpass the prototype we initially unveiled.” It also takes great pains to emphasise that the Model X wont’ simply be a scaled-up version of the Model S, adding that “every detail of the car has been optimized for the unique mission of Model X.”
Already building beta vehicles in its Fremont production facility, Tesla says it will soon be sending cars for crash testing, and has already completed all the aerodynamic wind-tunnel tests of the final design.
Of towing, Tesla says that it is already working with some of the world’s finest rack and accessory companies to ensure that the Model X can carry everything from skis to bicycles with the minimum effect on range and performance as well as doing so in an elegant and well-thought out manner.
While Tesla doesn’t specifically detail any towing specifications, it’s worth noting that Tesla seems to be targeting the two hitch use towards carrying additional luggage and sports equipment on specially-designed hitch-mounted racks rather than physically towing a large trailer. Given the Model X’s unique design — namely the upward-hinging second-row falcon wing doors — the Model X can’t accommodate a roof rack, so that particular design use seems the logical choice.
Although that might be Tesla’s intent however, we’re sure that the powerful dual-motor drivetrain of the Model X will have no problems towing larger items too. The question is just how large you’ll be able to go — and if Tesla will officially condone towing larger items like caravans or horse trailers too.
And in case you’re wondering why we said no fully-electric car to date is officially sold with towing capabilities, that’s because while many enterprising individuals and companies offer towing solutions for pretty much every plug-in on the market today, they’re aftermarket options not condoned by the original automaker.
That said — as we’ve seen in the past — many of them, including the EcoHitch from Torklift Central in Washington State, are designed to live up to some pretty impressive tasks.
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