Tesla Model X to feature gullwing doors

Article by Anita Panait, on February 8, 2012

Tesla Motors will unveil a prototype of a new electric car model on Feb. 9 at its design studio in Hawthorne, California, even before it rolls out its Model S all-electric sedan this summer. The new electric car, the Model X, will be unveiled at 7pm to journalists, the investment community and customers who have reserved the Model S Signature series.

In a regulatory filing, Tesla described Model X as having "the functionality of a minivan with a design as cool as an SUV." The Model X is based on the Model S platform except that it carries several SUV design features.

The new model is expected to be available in three battery range options and will be assembled at Tesla's Fremont site. The company has yet to announce details on the pricing and exterior finish but expects to roll out the Model X in late 2013.

“It's pretty revolutionary for the SUV segment," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Andrea James of Dougherty & Co said the Model X targets the family demographic or “the adventurous single guy who wants to drive up in the mountains."

The model’s doors, which lift up and fold like wings of a bird, is something that some customers want to experience. Theo O'Neill of Wunderlich Securities likes the concept of the doors, which he describes as “the ideal solution for disabled children, or any parent who has to lean over to buckle a car seat."

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