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Model X won't cannibalise Model S: Tesla

X appeal: Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV will feature special double-hinged doors, making rear entry easier in tighter spaces.

Tesla's Model X SUV confirmed for local arrival late next year

Tesla logo11 Aug 2015

*Updated 18/8/15*TESLA has confirmed its Model X SUV will launch in Australia in the third quarter of 2016, with deliveries in the United States being taken as early as next month.

The Model S-based SUV is expected to arrive with similar specification and powertrain options as its sedan sibling, including 70, 85, and 90kWh batteries available with the option of all-wheel drive via a second motor powering the front wheels.

Speaking with GoAuto at the local launch of the Model S Dual Motor at Avalon airport in Victoria this week, Tesla Motors senior public relations and communications representative Alexis Georgeson said the Model X is expected to be “similarly priced” to its Model S stablemate, but the uniquely designed doors and additional space will set the vehicles apart.

“You can access your kids in the back without having to squeeze through a small opening, that’s one of the major reasons we designed them in the way we did,” she said.

“The falcon wing doors are doubled hinged, so they actually open up and out.

“You only need 10-inches on either side, so it has all the functionality of a mini-van it’s actually wonderful in a tight parking space.”

For comparison, the Model S range opens from $106,100, before on-road costs, for the single motor 70 variant, and tops out at $148,000 for the P85D, which is available with an optional 90kWh battery for $4100 granting access to Ludacris mode, helping push the two-tonne sedan from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds.

Although the electric vehicle start-up does not divulge sales figures, Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker told GoAuto that the introduction of the new SUV will not cannibalise sales of the Model S.

“We’re a ripe market for it [Model X], but I don’t think it [demand] will necessarily change from Model S,” he said.

“I don’t think it will pull any customers across, it’s a different audience.

“Model S people are buying for performance, and sedans are always going to provide better performance than an SUV.

“What Model X provides is seven seats, great design, innovation within the vehicle, and the ability for a new audience to take part.”

Production of the Model X will come from the same factory as the Model S in Fremont, California, with the company forecasting earlier this month that it was “highly confident of a steady state production and demand of 1600 to 1800 vehicles per week combined for Model S and Model X” during 2016.

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