In case you missed it, last night was an auspicious one for fans of eco-conscious motoring everywhere, as Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk took to the stage at a special event in California to officially launch the Tesla Model X pure-electric SUV. You can watch full video from the event above.
At the event, Mr. Musk spent a sizeable amount of time talking about safety. The Tesla Model X, he says, is the “safest SUV ever made.” It’s the only SUV to achieve five stars in every single crash test category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thanks largely to its lack of a heavy, front-mounted internal-combustion engine situated directly within the front crumple zone. The floor-mounted battery pack on the Tesla Model X also lends the vehicle an extraordinary source of rigidity, and keeps the center-of-mass low, making roll-overs all the more improbable.
But more impressive than all of that is the care that went into maximizing the Tesla Model X’s practicality and ease of use. The falcon wing doors are the most obvious example of this, making ingress and egress a simple matter, regardless of how tightly the SUV is parked-in. But there are other touches, too, such as middle-row seats which tilt forward automatically at the press of a button to allow for easier entry to the rearmost row, and a driver’s door which can open itself automatically as the driver approaches the vehicle, shutting itself automatically once she has sat down.
It’s “like an invisible chauffeur,” says Elon Musk of the Tesla Model X’s auto-presenting front door feature.
Some other relevant details: the Tesla Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds, according to Mr. Musk, and as we reported, it will only be available with a 90-kWh battery pack, in either “90D” or “P90D” trim levels – for now. Be sure and watch the full Tesla Model X launch event above for all the details.