Tesla’s all-electric Model X SUV is on track to begin deliveries in Q3 of this year, it will be a better SUV than the Tesla Model S is a sedan, and the long wait for its eventual arrival will be well worth it.
That’s according to Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk, who made the comments on Tuesday during Tesla’s Annual General Shareholder meeting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
Detailing Tesla’s progress over the past year, Musk described the introduction of the dual motor all wheel drive variants of the Tesla Model S as having increased Tesla’s addressable market “quite significantly” due to the number of people who will only buy an all-wheel drive car, but admitted that the way Tesla introduced the dual motor Model S could have been better.
“I think actually I’d like to admit, I think in introducing it, we probably didn’t do an ideal job of explaining that dual motor meant all wheel drive. So, I mean there are two motors and they’re connected to the four wheels but that connection was not clear for a lot of potential customers,” he said. “And our fault really because we should always quote really the all wheel drive model S and it’s really, it’s the best all wheel drive architecture that’s ever been done because of the fact that there are two motors and we can dynamically shift the torque front to rear at the millisecond level.”
Using the same drivetrain in the Model X he said, made a lot of sense. “It also helps retire a lot of risk with the Model X since the Model X will be using the same drive train,” he said.
But despite his pleasure with the latest generation of the Model S and Tesla’s autonomous driving features due to come later this year in an over-the-air software update, Musk reserved the most enthusiasm for the Model X.
I am looking at the latest iteration of the Model X every week. And it really is — it’s turning out to be a really great car.Tesla CEO Elon Musk
The crossover SUV, first unveiled by Tesla as a concept car back in February 2012, has taken a long time to reach the marketplace. Originally aimed to enter production by the end of 2013, the Model X has been delayed multiple times. In fact, for those who placed a reservation back in February 2012 after the official Model X reveal, the wait to finally get behind the wheel has been more than three years. Luckily, that wait is about to end.
“So, with the Model X, the long-awaited Model X,” Musk said. “We’re expecting to begin our first deliveries in probably about three or four months. And as with the software, I am looking at the latest iteration of the Model X every week. And it really is — it’s turning out to be a really great car.”
“I think the Model X may arguably be a better SUV than the Model S is a sedan,” he continued. “So that I think is really exciting.”
With its impressive falcon wing second-row doors and seating for seven adults, the Tesla Model X is expected to redefine the luxury SUV market both with its zero emissions, sporty drivetrain but also its in-car tech. Like the Model S, it will likely offer autonomous driving capabilities as well as always-on Internet connectivity and Supercharging at Tesla’s rapidly-expanding network of Supercharging stations across the world.
As such an influential vehicle, Musk says that Tesla is keen to ensure it gets things right straight off the bat.
“We want to make sure, obviously, that some of the key features of the Model X — particularly the Falcon Wing door and the way with the second row seats are done and a few other things that people are unaware of are done just right, and provide true functionality and true value improvements versus just sort of feeling gimmicky,” he explained. “It’s got to be a genuine improvement in utility and aesthetics I think for it to be right. So getting those final nuances right for the Model X is what we’re focused on right now.”
We’ll be bringing you more from the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting, but we’re curious as to what you’re expecting the final specifications and pricing for the Model X to be when it goes on sale this fall. To date, Tesla has declined to provide details of either, and we’d like to know your predictions for both in the Comments below.
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