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Tesla Unveils New Details on Its Next Big Project

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) exploded onto the scene this year, taking the large luxury car market by storm. As it turns out, fully electric cars can compete with the big dawgs -- at least when they're built the Tesla way. Leading the charge was Tesla's Model S. But the Model S will soon have to make room for Tesla's next project: the Model X. Straight from CEO Elon Musk, new details about the SUV have surfaced.

Model X. Source: Tesla.

The details
Musk recently visited London for a store opening reception and was asked about Model X pricing. He didn't hold back:

The Model X price will be very similar to the Model S. It's probably going to be a slightly higher starting price because the Model X will only be offered as all-wheel-drive. So it'll be dual-motor all-wheel drive.

There are two new tidbits in Musk's comments here.

One, the Model X will only be available in all-wheel drive. The company's website currently claims that Tesla will offer a rear-wheel-drive option, but it appears Musk has adjusted course.

Two, we finally have a price range. Musk even clarified further: The "slightly higher starting price" will be higher only by a "low-single-digit percentage," said Musk (via AutoblogGreen). With the Model S starting at about $70,000 before any tax credits are applied, that means the Model X will probably have a starting retail price at about $74,000 (an estimate based on an approximate 6% price increase) -- maybe even less.

The timeframe
This new information adds to already limited comments from the company on the Model X. Though there is a fairly detailed product page on the company's website outlining the vehicle specs, information on the timeframe of the rollout is less certain. Here's what we know about the vehicles progress based on our most recent update from Tesla's second-quarter earnings call: 

  • The Model X will reach the market in late 2014.
  • Production in 2014 will be limited.
  • Production will be "bigger" in 2015.
  • Analysts should build the Model X into their 2015 models -- not 2014.
  • "From a product standpoint," the Model X is currently Telsa's main concern.
  • The Model X is taking up a large chunk of executive time.

More updates on the Model X tomorrow?
Telsa reports third-quarter results tomorrow. Will we hear more about the Model X? Given all the details covered in Tesla's second-quarter earnings call, chances are we'll get a solid update in Q3, too. Make sure you tune in to Tesla's third-quarter earnings call after market close tomorrow.

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Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 04, 2013, at 7:35 PM, prginww wrote:

    My god! It looks like Mary Poppins in the guise of a fake automobile! What is this fool Musk thinking?

  • Report this Comment On November 04, 2013, at 8:51 PM, prginww wrote:

    and what happened to the removable batteries? May they be ejected in case of fire and made my some-one like BP so the issue of recharging is merely just a battery swap and a credit card swipe all in less than 30 seconds (and may there be more than one battery, so that you can keep the one you paid for and swap the one you lease)..

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 12:07 AM, prginww wrote:

    agsimian, the swappable/removable batteries is already part of the Tesla capabilities/design (its more like 90 seconds to swap though, not 30 seconds).

    I actually like the look of the Model X, but I'm confused by the price point, I thought the goal of Tesla was to introduce subsequent models at lower prices. I was expecting this to fall more in the 50,000-70,000 range. Hearing its coming in at MORE than the Model S is a bit confusing and dissapointing.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 12:34 AM, prginww wrote:

    A base price of $74,000 seems kind of high to me, but I know there are a lot if Tesla fans who believe the price of new technology always comes down in time....just no evidence of that yet with Tesla.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 7:04 AM, prginww wrote:

    The reason you thought the Model X would be less expensive is because, although Musk never said it there were presumptuous news stories that erroneously stated it. The truth is, the patents have already been filed on the Model E sedan which is slated for production in 2017. It is reported to have proportions similar to the BMW 3-series and will be half the price of the Model S. The Model E will be the game changer.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 7:41 AM, prginww wrote:

    Model E is just a rumor right now - the pricing is a goal but there is no reality to it yet. Raw materials (e.g. battery) prices need to drop for it to become a reality at a lower price point. We will have to wait and see in three years if a lower price is possible or not. For now, this is for the wealthy - and in the USA warm weather cities (the current lineup is not selling in the top zip codes in NY state very much at all - penetration rates of less than 1% compared to Beverley Hills penetration of 15%+).

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