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Tesla Model X Prototype Photographed in Southern California

A Tesla Model X prototype was spotted and photographed in Culver City, CA recently. This vehicle is the well-anticipated follow-up to the very impressive Model S sedan. It has been designed to be a cross between an SUV and a minivan, meaning all-wheel drive but with the conveniences associated with a family vehicle. In other words, it still will go zero to sixty in less than five seconds, but is roomy enough to seat seven. There are two motors; one for each axle and two battery options. Just to be clear, this is not a hybrid vehicle, it is all-electric, meaning there is no gas tank and no tailpipe emissions. The expected driving range per charge for the larger 85 kWh battery is 270 miles, and 210 for the 60 kWh version.

Doors that open up more than out, “Falcon Wings” provide convenience for getting in and out in tight parking spaces. Also, entering is not the same as climbing into an overly elevated SUV. You step up and in and that is all. Making a crossover vehicle may prove to be a smart decision, rather than a full SUV, because it may be more appealing to a large cross-section of potential buyers. In the spring of 2013, it was reported that crossover sales were surging.

The Model X was developed from the Model S platform and is being built at the Fremont, CA manufacturing facility. Deliveries will begin in 2014, according to the Tesla website. For new reservations, it will be 2015.  Elon Musk has said he wants US Tesla production to grow to 250,000 vehicles by 2020. The Model X probably won’t reach volume production until 2015.

A more affordable third generation all-electric sedan is in the works for 2016 or the year after. This is exciting news for those of us that can’t afford a new, or even a used Model S, Model X or Roadster.

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