You don’t often hear the words “fastest and safest” in the same sentence, especially in the automotive industry. That, however, is exactly how Tesla describes its 2016 Tesla Model X P90D AWD Sport Utility Vehicle. To quote Tesla exactly; “Model X is the safest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history.” If safest and fastest doesn’t get your attention “in history” should. History, after all, is a pretty long time.
Let’s Talk About this “Fastest” Stuff
Zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. That’s a Porsche-like number. Tesla loves being innovative and it quickly recognized that reducing drag would not only improve efficiency but speed as well. The Model X has a .24 drag coefficient. That is a full 20% lower than any other SUV. A spoiler will even be deployed to improve efficiency and stability when on the highway. Yes, without question the 2016 Tesla Model X P90D is fast and it is very smart about it.
So What about the “Safest“ Part?
There have been SUVs through the years that have been prone to rollovers. This is not one of them. The Tesla has a floor mounted battery which lowers its center of gravity, providing a risk of rollover that is about half of that of other vehicles in its class. The battery structure also provides substantial added side collision protection. That space where a gas engine is in most cars, now effectively serves as a crumple zone in front end collisions. The Tesla Model X has emergency braking sensors and a collision avoidance system. How far have Tesla engineers gone to keep occupants safe? The Model X comes with a medical grade HEPA filter system that removes pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution from the air in the vehicle’s cabin.
Let’s Discuss Everything Else.
Tesla is building its brand on an efficient, yet powerful power plant and its self-driving feature that has gotten a lot of press. The self driving feature is interesting and attention getting, but driving the Tesla Model X yourself is where the joy lies. Its fully charged range exceeds 250 miles. It can get from zero to 100 mph in just about 8 seconds. The 2016 Tesla Model X P90D is also ultimately practical. It is the first electric car with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. It gets fuel mileage estimated to be about 90 MPGe. It seats 7 passengers in three rows of seats. The second row seating is a work of art, with single pedestal mounts and aircraft styling. Access to second and third row seating is through what Tesla calls “Falcon Wing” doors that swing up and out like a Delorean.
Upfront, the large 17” mounted touch screen controls just about everything about the Model X. It is more of a control room than cabin.
The Model X features an expansive windshield that stretches through the roof, giving unprecedented views above you. A window tint starts about where the roofline would be, providing protection from the direct sun.
A Different Kind of Supercar
While you can spend a great deal more more on a supercar, it would be hard to spend it on a smarter one. This giant smart-phone-of-a-vehicle can update its own software system and redefines how we may look at SUVs in the future. It is pairing words we wouldn’t have associated with an SUV including adjectives like fast, efficient and safe. It combines our love of cars with our need for connectivity and technology.
The 2016 Tesla Model X P90D AWD Sport Utility is exciting to witness and to drive. Tesla may not have exactly started with a blank sheet of paper in its design of the Model X P90D but it certainly had an open mind. The Falcon Wings, expansive windshield and 17″ touch screen aside, the Model X P90D still impresses.