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Tesla Model X announced

Tesla has announced a new electrically-powered car, the Model X, at a special event in California.

The official unveiling of the Elon Musk-fronted company’s third electric car was widely expected after a the company sent out invites to the event last week.

Heralded as the world’s first luxury electric SUV, the Tesla Model X essentially takes the power train of the Model S sedan and applies a chunkier chassis that can comfortably seat seven adults, as well as carrying all of their gear.

This means that in its P90D guise, the Model X is no mere kid shuttler. It can do 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds when in “Ludicrous” mode (really), which is supercar-fast. The normal 90D model can ‘only’ do it in 4.8-seconds, which is clearly far too long.

As it’s a Tesla, of course, the main thing to note here is that the Model X runs entirely on its two batteries, which power all four wheels along for 250 miles on a single charge. That charge can be attained in just 30 minutes when done at a Tesla station.

The most visually arresting feature of the Model X, though, is its falcon doors. These operate rather like the gull wing doors of your average DeLorean, but with a far more practical hinge half way up. This ensures that you won’t be trapped in your averag multistory car park, and it also allows you to effectively stand up in the rear of the car.

That latter feature will be of particular use to those with young families.

Another thing that will appeal to families is the Tesla X’s safety features. The battery is positioned low in the car, minimising the risk of roll-over, whilst its support structure provides additional protection from side impacts. Also, as the Model X doesn’t have an engine as such, the front trunk doubles as an impact-absorbing crumple zone.

The Model X also has active sensors with emergency braking and collision avoidance systems. But all that is small fry next to the Model X’s stand-out safety feature.

At the launch event, Tesla CEO (and real life Tony Stark) Elon Musk boasted of the car’s “bioweapon defence mode” button, which cranks up the car’s medical grade HEPA air filter system and creates positive pressure within the car to keep pretty much anything unsavoury out. It seems you’ll be both comfortable and safe during the apocalypse, provided you’re driving at the time.

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The Tesla Model X won’t come cheap, of course. The stand 90D starts from $132,000 (£87,000), while the sportier P90D starts from $142,000 (£94,000).

Tesla has started rolling out its Model X to customers already, but anyone putting their name down now should be aware that the estimated delivery time stretches to the latter half of 2016.

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