“At what point do you tip over from visionary to supervillain, and where are you building your secret mountain lair,” Stephen Colbert jokingly asked Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk earlier this month during a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Well, now we know the answer… Elon Musk is truly a supervillain!
After all, who else but a supervillain would unveil an all-new electric vehicle that features a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” button? Well, that’s exactly what Musk has included in the new Model X crossover, and it’s designed to protect your lungs if you ever find yourself in “an apocalyptic scenario of some kind.” The Model X’s HEPA filter, which is roughly 10 times larger than the the cabin filter you would find in typical automobiles, is supposedly capable of scrubbing harmful bacteria, allergens, smog, and viruses 300x, 500x, 700x, and 800x better respectively than what’s possible in your current vehicle.
"We’re trying to be a leader in apocalyptic defense scenarios," added
Ernst Stavro Blofeld Elon Musk. Yup, definitely supervillain.
But that’s not all that the Model X has in store for customers; the crossover EV was built from the ground up to be “the safest car on the road” and is projected to earn a 5-star safety rating in all categories. This is made possible due to the fact that the Model X’s front-mounted electric motor is incredibly compact, allowing for larger crumple zones to absorb energy during a crash. And given that a large portion of the vehicle’s weight — which just so happens to be the massive lithium-ion battery pack — is mounted low in the chassis, this greatly reduces the likely hood of the vehicle rolling over during an accident like traditionally top-heavy SUVs and crossovers.
The most outrageous feature of the seven-seat Model X, however, is its rear Falcon Wing doors. They Falcon Wings are double-hinged and only require 12 inches of clearance along Model X’s sides to open and swing upwards. They provide easy, unhindered access to the second and third row seats and make installing a child seat a simple affair. The Falcon Wings also incorporate sonar, capacitive and inductive sensors to detect obstacles. And if that’s not enough, Tesla has included an “auto presenting” feature that automatically opens the driver’s side door as you approach the vehicle, and will close it back for you when you put your foot on the brake. Look at how pampered we’ve become!
Other outrageous features include a 17-inch touchscreen display on the dash, a 17-speaker 560-watt sound system, a massive windshield that stretches up and over the front row seats and gives second row passengers “a first row vantage point with an expansive view ahead,” second-row seats that are mounted on single posts, and ginormous 22-inch wheels and tires.
When it comes to performance, the Model X doesn’t disappoint. Using the same powertrain available in the epic Model S (259hp front motor, 503hp rear motor, 713 ft-lb torque combined), the 5,441 lb Model X P90D (with the Ludicrous Mode option) is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and runs the 1/4 mile in 11.7 seconds. The Ludicrous-less P90D accomplishes those feats in 3.5 seconds and 12.2 seconds respectively. Top speed is electrically limited to 155 mph and the vehicle has a driving range of 250 miles per charge (the less outrageous 90D will go 257 miles on a charge). The Model X is also the first EV capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds, although we’d assume that the vehicle’s range would take a serious hit with the extra junk in the trunk.
For now, customers can only purchase the high-end trims of the Model X, which means the $132,000 Model X 90D and the $142,000 Model X P90D. The lesser models, which will start around $80,000, will come sometime in 2016.