Tesla is not only about luxury performance cars. It's an electric SUV provider too. But in typical Tesla style this can't just be an SUV with electric drive. It goes way above and beyond.

The Tesla Model X is fast, the top end can hit 60mph from standing in just over 3 seconds. Yet still manages 250-miles on a charge. Plus there's more intelligent storage options than ever. 

When it comes to safety, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is clear this is the safest SUV out there. There's even a biohazard defence mode button for filtering the air inside. Really.

But what else can it do? And is it enough to convince families that going electric is worth the initial cost?


Even the standard Model X can manage a 257-mile range on a charge with all-wheel drive. It'll accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 4.8 seconds and tops out at 155mph.

The P90D Ludicrous model, with 90kWh battery, manages 250-miles on a charge, is also all-wheel drive but can do 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds topping out at 155mph. That's thanks to 762hp: 503 in the rear and 259 in the front and 713lb-ft combine torque. All that and it equates to 80MPGe for mileage.

These numbers are likely in part thanks to an intelligent spoiler that makes this the lowest drag coefficient SUV ever at 0.24. This retracts at speed and has a total of three different positions.

The safest SUV on the road

Tesla is adamant that its Model X is the safest SUV available. This comes down to the way it's built and is also thanks to it being electric. In terms of NHTSA safety ratings this is beyond 5 star, with just 6.5 per cent chance of injury if in a high speed crash.

This level of safety is largely thanks to a lack of engine in the front, something that would usually compact into the driver causing injury. Instead, the Model X has a longer crumple zone with what looks like a battering ram under the hood to stop anything getting to the passengers. The low centre of mass, because of the batteries at the bottom, means the Model X has 50 per cent less chance of rollover compared to normal cars.

But, of course, not getting in an accident is better. Thanks to Active Safety, auto braking and side collision avoidance should be avoided. The cameras and ultrasonic sensors will brake or steer away from front and side collisions.

Even the air is safe with this car as it features the "first true Hepa filter". It's ten times larger than a normal car air filter and features a secondary air filter that's bigger than the primary on a normal car. This means 300 times improvement on filtering bacteria, 500 times for allergies, 700 times for soot and smog plus 800 times better for viruses. The result is air quality that's comparable to a hospital operating room, in the car. There's even a button for Bioweapon Defence Mode, yup, it's apparently that good.

The doors and windows are smarter than others

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The car will detect when the driver is approaching. But it'll also detect the angle of approach and speed. Using this it's able to open the door in time to sit straight in, then it will even close it, like a virtual chauffeur.

There is also a panoramic window, this isn't just a sunroof. The front windshield actually continues on over the roof of the car, offering an expansive view in front, even from the second row. How much a broken windshield will cost to fix hasn't been mentioned.

But it's those Falcon Wing doors that are getting a lot of attention. It's only the rear ones but these wing doors that open upwards. Why? Access to the third row of seats while there are people sat in the second row. At the touch of a button the mid-row seats lean forward so there's enough clearance to step right into the back. Also for access to a child seat it's easier as there's no door in the way.

So what happens when there are cars parked closely either side? The wing doors open at a tight upward angle so even in really small spaces, that are hard to walk down, the doors will be able to open. The doors can move up and over rather than just out and up, making it even more efficient than sliding doors. The same works for low ceilings, opening based on the ceiling height and side obstacles, ideal for a garage. To do this Tesla developed a new ultrasonic sensor that can see though metal, allowing it to sit in the doors.

SUV pulling power

The Model X can tow 2.23 tonnes of weight, plus 7 people in its many seat and luggage. Thanks to the front storage compartment there's even more space for stowing things away. Plus with space under seats finding a place for things shouldn't be an issue.

Those little extras

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You can blind-holster your phone. This applies to all phones thanks to adapters and means your handset has a perfect place to live and charge in the car.

The second row of seats are super slim and angular for a good aesthetic, ideal since they're on display with those Falcon Wing doors open. It also means a flat floor for under-seat storage.

An accessories hitch can be attached to the rear in a few seconds, it appears to simply clip to the rear of the car. This can then be used to mount items like bikes or skis, with up to four bikes or 6 sets of skis. The boot can also be opened and closed with these items attached.

Inside the car is a sound system that pumps out through 17 precisely placed speakers for some seriously immersive audio.

Everything is controlled from that now famous 17-inch touchscreen centre console. Lots of features can also be controlled on the instrument panels or via voice.

Getting a Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X can be reserved now but delivery isn't expected until the "latter half of 2016". This is on the main Tesla site so presumably applies to the US, but hopefully to international markets too. Since Tesla is now setup all over the world, rolling out new cars internationally should be the way forward.

READ: Tesla Model S P85D first drive: Luxury meets insane acceleration and handling