By Ronan Glon
Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2015 @ 1:20 pm
 
Tesla's highly-anticipated Model X SUV has been spotted undergoing shakedown testing with little in the way of masking camouflage. The Model X, which will join the Model S sedan in Tesla's lineup, is expected to finally hit showrooms during the second half of the year.
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. Although technically a crossover, the Model X appears to borrow a shape more along the lines of the BMW 5-Seires GT.

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. This prototype confirms that the Falcon Wings will indeed make the transition to production.

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

Inside, the Model X will offer a premium cockpit that will blend nature-inspired wood accents with cutting-edge electronics. The dashboard will be dominated by a huge touch screen borrowed from the Model S and a smaller configurable color screen will replace the traditional instrument cluster.

Technical details are being kept under wraps but, but the Model X will be offered with Tesla's dual-motor all-wheel drive technology.

Tesla first introduced the Model X as a thinly-veiled concept at the 2013 edition of the Detroit Motor Show. The automaker initially planned to kick off production in early 2014 but the latest reports indicate that the first Model Xs will be delivered towards the end of the third quarter of this year.