Thursday, January 22, 2015

Can Tesla Model X Be The Quickest People Mover Ever?

Bentley is about to do it, Rolls-Royce is thinking about it, Mercedes has all but confirmed it with a Maybach, Porsche reinvented itself with one and Range Rover is ready to match any newcomers. Lamborghini has concepted it and Ferrari is experimenting on a smaller scale with the FF. All of a sudden the ultra luxury and performance SUV is no longer an oxymoron but a reality and the hottest new six figure segment. Not to be left out Tesla is on pace to join, after a few delays, as a more performance oriented rather than pure luxury entry. With a unique powertrain and falcon doors as its calling card. As the Model S P85D has shown there is potential for a special level of performance with the Model X that could be described as exotic, so let's virtually run the numbers on the Model X as with the P85D and Model 3 before. Given that the Model X figures to be more of a BMW 5GT type rather than a traditionally SUV design, it should not end up more than 500 pounds heavier than the S. The base Model S all wheel drive dual motor setup should give the X enough power to keep up with forced induction six cylinder competition, figure a 0-60 in a little under 6 seconds with  the1/4 mile in about 14.5 @ 95. It is the P85D setup that will make things truly interesting and place the Model X in the aforementioned realm. A combination of 691 horsepower, all wheel drive grip coupled with instantaneous torque should pull the X P85D ahead of any current hyper SUV to 60 in a sprint just a blade's edge short of 3.5 seconds. As things stand right now the Model X should keep its edge all the way through a barely over 12 second quarter mile at a little over 110 miles per hour. The latest X5M and subsequent future generation of the Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes GLE 63 AMG will get closer but still trail off the line and just begin to catch the Model X at the quarter mile. They will pull ahead then but it's rare to find enough room to push that far. Bentley's forthcoming Bentayga will fall short by over a second unless it too approaches the 700 horsepower plateau, but so far it looks like 650 horsepower will be its limit. Only a relatively light Lamborghini Urus* will stand a chance to match or edge the X in the mile a minute sprint but should proceed to put a gap at the quarter mile accounting a perfect launch. As seen recently that's not as easy as it seems at times and Lamborghini has been quiet on the Urus front lately. When it hits the streets the Tesla Model X P85D will very likely take the tittle of the quickest three row people mover around and even that of the quickest utility.

 *The powertrain choice for the Urus is intriguing as the Huracan's V10 seems a bit out of character for an SUV while the Aventador's V12 will have more than enough power but likewise out of character somewhat for an SUV and harder to fit upfront. A 4 liter twin turbo V8 makes the most sense but that engine would need to be turned up a little to over 650 horsepower to get closer to 3.5 seconds to 60 and a 11.5 second 1/4 mile pass at almost 125. That would be quite the crossover though with 675 or so horsepower.

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