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Tesla Model X order book opens in Australia

Not Falcodore: Tesla’s innovative 'falcon' doors might cause trouble in areas with restricted headroom but the EV specialist claims they offer unprecedented access to the interior and make fitting child seats easier.

Local buyers can already put their hand up for Tesla’s Model X crossover

Tesla logo23 Jan 2014

US ELECTRIC car start-up Tesla has opened up the order book to potential Australian customers keen to jump into its all-new battery-powered crossover, the Model X.

The only problem is, you’re going to have to wait until some time in 2015 to take delivery.

Australian customers are already able to pre-order a Model S five-door liftback, which is already on sale in the US and Europe, via the car-maker’s Australian portal.

However, they are now also able to pre-order one of two versions of the Model X, previewed at this month’s Detroit motor show in pre-production form.

Local costs for the $US80,000 Model S and as-yet unpriced Model X are still to be determined, as is the way that Tesla will sell its cars in Australia through either a bricks-and-mortar retail showroom, or strictly via an online-only portal.

Tesla public relations communications associate Alexis Georgeson told GoAuto that the first Model S deliveries to Australian customers were slated for late this year, while the arrival of the Model X was still a year away.

“Australian customers may place a reservation for Model S or Model X at this time,” she said. “Deliveries of Model S will begin this year.”

55 center imageExpectations are that the new-age Tesla models will be priced well below the huge premiums commanded by their predecessors. The base-model two-seat Roadster sold in the US for $US109,000, but the same car in right-hand drive sold here between 2010-11 for $206,188 before on-road costs.

Ms Georgeson said Tesla would reveal more details about the aluminium-bodied Model S, including pricing, closer to the car’s launch here. However, GoAuto believes the price of the Model S will soar past $100,000 by the time it lands.

The Model X is expected to cost about the same price as the sedan-based Tesla model.

Reserving a Model S will require a $6000 deposit, while customers seeking a Model X slated to arrive in 2015 will need to pay either a $6000 deposit to join the end of the queue, or $40,000 if they want a more richly equipped Signature edition that ensures their car will come from the first 1000 made.

The Model S sold in the US is a five-seat liftback sedan with the option of an extra pair of rear-facing seats that fold into the boot floor.

The vehicle has a battery-powered range of about 500 kilometres on an 85kWh battery according to the European testing cycle, although a cheaper 60kWh battery with less range is available. The Model S includes an on-board charger.

The car sold in the US includes 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and dusk-sensing Xenon headlights, 12-way power adjusting heated front seats, a 17-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone connection, storage space under the bonnet and the boot, keyless entry and a 200W, seven speaker audio system.

The Model S even has an in-built wireless internet connection via a connected smartphone.

It’s no wilting flower, either, with the 2.1-tonne sedan making the 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.4secs, about the same time as a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.

The Model X features special gullwing doors giving access to the second- and third-row seats.

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