Instead of paying the record-breaking $4.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl XLIX ad in hopes of going viral, Tesla apparently leaked a cell phone video of its blazingly fast Model X crossover, ripping it on a California pier and dominating downloads over the weekend.
Elon Musk has been hyping that late this year Tesla would go to market with an all-electric “truckster” that would share about 60% of the content and achieve similar performance as the award-winning Model S sedan.
In early January, Musk previewed what was supposed to be a pre-production Model X on the Panasonic stand at the Consumer Electronics Show. The sleek, Maserati-looking five-passenger utility vehicle sporting gull-wing doors was described by the ultra-tech savvy crowd as a “work of art.”
It is tough to make an SUV with minivan-like qualities look sexy. But other than being about 10% taller and slightly less aerodynamic, the Model X will have the same wheelbase, length and width as the very sexy Tesla Model S.
Musk promised that the Model X would meet the same National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rating that has allowed the Model S to be awarded the top notch 5-star rating every year. The SUV will utilizing the same eight airbags, four-wheel ABS and disc brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control.
The leaked video confirms that the despite having a larger and heavier body than the Model S, the powerful torque of an electric all-wheel drive system gives the Model X a zero-to-60 mph boostin less than five seconds. That is faster than any other SUVs on the market, and better than many sleek sports cars.
Tesla has accepted $5,000 deposits on 13,000 reservations for the Model X. Despite several delays, the expected delivery date is now the third quarter of 2015.
Model X pricing has not been released, but it is expected to be in line with the Model S sedan, which starts at $69,000 for the 60-kilowatt-hour version and $79,900 for the 85-kilowatt-hour. Most buyers will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Here is the January 28, 2015 supposedly pirated video of the Model X going through its paces at the Port of Long Beach: