Reservation holders for the Tesla Model X received notice today that the electric SUV will hit the production lines early next year. Best of all, Tesla confirms in this email that the gull-wing doors will make the production model and all models will feature all-wheel drive and there will be an option for a third row of seating. These are big updates, but they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because, you know, Tesla.
Tesla is the master at under-promising and over-delivering. Generally, in the automotive world, car companies load concept cars with pie-in-the-sky features — like gull-wing doors — and then remove them from the production model. But not Tesla. With the Model S, the company showed off rear-facing seats and few automotive pundits expected the option to be available on the production model. Yet they are. And now, with the Model X, the gull-wing doors were the marquee feature of the concept car and, surprisingly, will be the marquee feature of the production car.
What wasn’t announced is when the Model X will ship, only that models for reservation holders will be produced in early 2015. Historically, Tesla has taken a conservatively approach to manufacturing as the company was much more lean when the Roadster and Model S first hit the lines. Still, spinning up a manufacturing facility to full capacity takes time, so the Model X might not be available for general purchase until much later in 2015. But gull-wing doors!