Road Tests

Road (and space) Test: Tesla Model X 90D (2017)

Car Wars: My other car's a TIE Fighter

By Rob Gill Published

Tesla Model X

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A LONG time ago, far far away from a Ford Galaxy, there were X-wings, TIE Fighters and Imperial Shuttles.

But this is the future on planet Earth. The Tesla Model X.

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An all-electric, zero-emission SUV that’s warp-speed fast.

The Model X is stuffed with futuristic tech — but we’ll come to that in a bit.

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Because the sci-fi swagger starts with those Falcon Wing doors.

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Not only do they make bystanders dribble with excitement, they work in the tightest of spaces.

Imagine a 30cm ruler. ruler

Now imagine trying to get your little stormtrooper in a car — in that tiny space — when some moron has parked on top of you.

It’s not going to happen.

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You’ve got the width of the door to contend with for starters. And then the width of your bum.

Not even Kylie could manage it.

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But the Model X only needs 30cm of clearance because those rear doors open upwards on hinges and then outwards, using sensors to stop them hitting anything. (Gullwing doors don’t fold.)

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The opening is so large Mrs D Vader can WALK IN and buckle up her little ones without ducking — or braining them on the car roof lifting them out.

And who hasn’t done that before?

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Key facts:  TESLA MODEL X 90D

Price: £90,700

Power: Electric (90kWh battery)

Emissions: Zero

0-62mph: 4.6 secs

Top speed: 155mph

Range: 303 miles

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Now Tesla is well known for its face-melting performance. But a seven-seat SUV that’s quicker than a Ferrari?

A seven-seat SUV that’s quicker than a Ferrari?

Yep, the big-daddy Model X P100D can do 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds in “ludicrous mode”. With luggage stored front and back. And it’ll do up to 336 miles on a charge.

This test car is the semi-skimmed 90D version — 90kWh battery, all-wheel drive — which bangs out 0-60 in 4.8. It’s awesome. Smooth, silent, spacious with instant, uninterrupted speed.

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I tried really, really hard to stop myself pinning it everywhere but I couldn’t. And the regenerative braking is so good it’ll be light years before it needs new pads.

I tried really, really hard to stop myself pinning it everywhere but I couldn’t

The cabin is like a spaceship too. Everything is controlled by that slick 17in touchscreen, there’s a “bioweapon defence mode” air filter system — yep, it’s American, folks — and you’re cocooned by an XL-sized windscreen that rises way above your head.

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But the real beauty of a Tesla is that it’s future-proof. It’ll never go mouldy.

One morning, you’ll go to your car and find that it’s just got safer, faster or smarter, because Tesla pings out over-the-air software updates. For free.

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Topping up at a Tesla supercharger is also free. And you get 170 miles of charge in just 20 minutes.

The only unpleasantness is the price of the car itself. The basic Model X 75D starts at a whopping £82,000.

The Model S saloon, equally as good but without the magic doors, is £59,000.

But in 2018 we’ll see the £35,000 Model 3. It’s the same size as a BMW 3 Series but all-electric. Bring it on.

VERDICT: Out of this world.

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