The electric car has been a reality for a little while now, and Tesla has largely positioned itself as the poster-child for this technology. Since their initial production of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, we’ve seen the Californian based company produce some truly impressive cars that rely solely on their batteries.
Tesla Model X P100D
In 2017, Tesla has three models in their range, the Model S, 3, and X (see what they’re doing there?), with numerous iterations available for each. Taking the latter out for a spin, we were left in awe of what is one of the most advanced SUVs in its class, the Tesla Model X P100D.
At first glance, the Model X is stunning. Its sleek, aerodynamic shape not only looks beautiful but adds to the car’s ridiculously long-range capabilities from just a single charge (a little under the 600km mark). Seating six to seven people comfortably, it’s by no means a small car, however, the Model X is designed in a way that it doesn’t drive like a cumbersome SUV.
We couldn’t get over how cool the door opening features were. The driver’s side door will open automatically as you walk toward it, just slightly, and then a lot more once you’re at a suitable entry point. This was neat, however, it was the falcon wing doors, which provided access to the second and third rows of seats that really turned heads. Other than wowing onlookers, there was another great benefit to the winged doors; they provided easy access to the rear seats even when parked closely next to other vehicles. Given their point of articulation was in the centre of the car’s roof, you could basically get inside even if there were only a few inches between the Model X and the car parked beside it.
Inside, everything is as modern and refined as you’d expect. The leathers are rich, yet rugged, and the carbon fibre detailing somehow didn’t feel dated at all. Immediately noticeable, other than the large centre display console, is the large windscreen, one of the largest available in any current car, in fact. The panoramic views are so impressive that they’re almost distracting. While the massive windscreen is quite a striking feature in the Model X P100D, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. On sunny days, even the gradient tint – which got darker toward the roof – let too much heat through. This made the air-con less effective and the cabin less comfortable than otherwise… but I guess you can’t have everything, right?
The Tesla Model X P100D drove ever so smoothly for a larger SUV. The famed heart of the car, the Tesla batteries, sit centrally at the base of the vehicle. This keeps the heaviest part of the car in an ideal place for a centre of gravity similar to, say a sports car.
It’s not just the tactful battery placement that makes this car such a pleasure to drive, though. Its completely electric motor, like most battery-powered cars, just has so much grunt. Being electric, the Model X P100D runs basically silent. The sensation takes a few moments to get accustomed to; once you do though, it’s an absolute dream being behind the wheel.
The hulk-like 100kWh battery really comes into play with the Model X P100D’s Ludicrous Mode. The flick of a (virtual) switch will have you accelerating from 0-100kph within 3.1 seconds, which makes this the fastest accelerating SUV available on the market. And if you’ve ever wondered what that feels like, just think back to the last time you sat in a roller coaster on a downward roll. Even when pushing the Model X to its limits, the motors once again produced almost no noise or vibration.
Taking the car from 0-100kph does take its toll on the battery life, and you’d expect to get a little less mileage from a standard charge if you’re switching in and out of Ludicrous regularly. Either way, Tesla have you covered with the Supercharger network. For anyone travelling along the east coast, there are currently 12 charging stations in operation between Melbourne and Brisbane with more set to open soon. If you fancy a trip to Adelaide, the five stations should get you there without a hassle. You won’t be recharging across the Nullarbor just yet though, so any east to west road trips may have to wait while Tesla Powercharger stations continue to populate Australia.
Regardless, the Model X P100D’s navigation system will automatically route you to the most appropriate Power-chargers on those interstate journeys. Aside from the sat nav improvements, the interface and touch display haven’t seen any major updates from the Model S we trialled a couple of years ago. Autopilot not being available in our test car left us a little high and dry, although we’re confident that it’ll be awesome when it is.
The Wrap-Up – Tesla Model X P100D Review
The Tesla Model X P100D comes in just over the $250,000 mark, give or take depending on your customisation preferences. It’s also available in the 75D or 100D with less range and power if your budget doesn’t allow for the top of the range. While procuring one of these beauties will more than likely be one of life’s most substantial purchases, it’s most definitely worth the price tag. Tesla are pioneers of their trade, and this car should be considered a feat in engineering mastery.
It’s beautiful, fast, and unbelievably enjoyable to drive whether you’re simply heading across town, or on a longer journey.