By Nat Shirley
Monday, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:44 pm
 
Nearly a year after it was revealed online, Tesla's Model X seven-seat crossover has finally made its auto show debut in Detroit.
While its overall shape instantly defines it as a crossover - albeit a sleek one - the Model X shares a number of styling elements, including the basic look of its front fascia and the elegant upward slope of its side windows, with its Model S platform-mate.

What really sets the Model X apart, however, is the unique use of DeLorean-esque doors that Tesla refers to as "Falcon Wings." These doors open upward, like a gullwing door, but the EV automaker says they will function in any normal parking spot or garage, with the added benefit of improved ingress and egress from the vehicle.

It is because of these doors that Tesla was able to package this CUV in a way that made it much more like a minivan than a crossover from a functionality and space efficiency perspective. In fact, the Model X seats seven occupants plus luggage, despite looking similar in size to a five-seat CUV.

Inside the Model X blends both nature-inspired wood accents, as well as cutting-edge electronics. Notably, the interior of the Model X that Tesla is displaying today differs slightly from the concept that was unveiled last year - along with unique colors and materials, the center-mounted touch-screen is now mounted above - rather than flush with - the dashboard.

Model X buyers will have three versions to choose from: Two-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive and a special all-wheel-drive performance model with dual electric motors for additional power. The result? A 0-60 mph sprint that can dip below 4.5 seconds.

Available battery packs include the base 60 kWh pack (not the 40 kWh pack from the Model S), as well as an optional 85 kWh pack. Opting for the bigger battery pack will extend range to a healthy 300 miles, but at a total of nearly $90,000, compared to $57,400 for the base model. For now, buyers can also qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit and possible state credits as well.

Tesla plans to begin producing the Model X in late 2013, with delivering taking place in early 2014. Want one for yourself? The electric automaker is currently accepting reservations.

We'll be attending Tesla's Detroit show press conference tomorrow and will relay any new details on the Model X to you posthaste.