Posted on November 28, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Australia's Drive* recently reviewed the Tesla Model X and noted that, "There's nothing on the road quite like this... A seven-seat family car that's faster than a Ferrari, with enough visual drama to rival Lamborghini. It's an idea that seemed impossible a few years ago, but many of Elon Musk's projects fall into that category." Indeed, this is not the typical family SUV — to the end "everyday chores such as dropping the kids off, heading to work and picking up groceries could become much more interesting with the Tesla Model X."
Okay so what about those falcon wing doors? "No other car in its class can match the big Californian's party trick. Tesla laboured long and hard over 'falcon wing' doors that arc skyward with no less drama than a Mercedes-Benz SLS or Lamborghini Aventador — megadollar supercars incapable of handling family duties... [and] It's clever stuff, resulting in a large aperture for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle... [but] well-drilled families coming out of a regular car could be frustrated by the [door opening] process, particularly if they don't like being the centre of attention."
And the Model X interior is remarkable: "The other element that jumps out in front of you is a new panoramic windscreen that extends vertically, well behind the driver's headrest. It's a magnificent feature that lends the cabin plenty of light, as well as an airy, open feeling usually found in glass-heavy helicopters." In addition, "no conventional cars can quite match the Model X's storage space, as the lack of an engine up front lends additional space for what Tesla calls a 'frunk', or front trunk."
Just how fast is the Tesla Model X? "It's a thrill to cut loose on a racetrack with one of the fastest-accelerating cars on sale. I've been lucky enough to experience a few seriously quick vehicles with Drive this year, including three Ferraris, a couple of Lamborghinis, a few Porsches and the latest Nissan GT-R. This Tesla is quicker than any of them... [for context] Ferrari's $690,000, 545kW F12 Berlinetta flagship doesn't make nearly as much torque as the heavy-hitting Tesla, and the supercar can't get its power to the ground as effectively as this intriguing machine. Very few cars can." So can a Tesla Model X P90D outrace an Audi R8? Check out this video to see the race...
So what is Drive's final verdict? "Our day with the Model X reinforced what you might expect surrounding the model's strengths and weaknesses. It's blisteringly fast, with show-stopping design features and electric eco-cred rivals that cannot be matched. But those motorised doors are a novelty that could be a hindrance... [nevertheless] while this isn't the car that will anchor Tesla's future in Australia, it is a compelling model that will reinforce the brand's identity, paving the way for its mass-produced Model 3."