With Tesla delaying the production of the Model X to the third quarter of next year and pre-order projections topping 20,000, it's going to be a while before even the first round of owners will get their hands on the electric SUV. And in a letter to Model X reservation holders, it's even worse if you're putting an order in now.
Tesla sent out its second letter to Model X early adopters this year to assuage fears and update them on the progress, and in addition to confirming the same Dual Motor all-wheel-drive system fitted to the D, it states that "anyone ordering the car today should not expect delivery until well into 2016" and more interestingly, that the "Model X will be the first electric vehicle with towing capability."
On that first point: no surprise. Tesla has a massive backlog of orders to process and putting down a deposit now would put you at the very back of the line.
As for towing capacity, that's likely a response to two things: First, you can't slap a roof rack on an SUV with "Falcon Wing" doors and if you could, the aerodynamic impact would be substantial. Secondly, while we've assumed that said doors have been the major engineering hurdle to the X, there's a good chance that optimizing the drivetrain for towing could be another challenge, and while Tesla isn't saying how much the X will be capable of towing, it says it's working with rack and accessory companies to have "elegant carrying solutions" ready when the Model X arrives.
The full text of the letter is below, along with the graphic version included in the email.
Dear Model X reservation holders,
Thank you for your continued patience in the Model X reservation process. We are making steady progress towards delivering a phenomenal car that defies comparison.
With Model S, we made a point of delivering a product that was even better than the show car, and we are extending that philosophy to Model X. In fact, every element of Model X – from the interior to the falcon wing doors – either lives up to or surpasses the prototype we initially unveiled.
In October, we announced dual motor all-wheel drive and Autopilot. These were important leaps forward for Model S, but we're pleased to confirm that they will also be central to Model X. The dual motor propulsion system of Model S 85D will be the same system that powers Model X, delivering uncompromised range and control of traction. But this is not simply a scaled-up Model S – every detail of this car has been optimized for the unique mission of Model X.
Model X demand has been intense and orders are continuing to come in at a rapid rate. We'll be spending much of 2015 building and testing production-intent prototypes before delivering the first cars to customers in North America in the third quarter. While we'll be working through all orders as fast as possible, anyone ordering the car today should not expect delivery until well into 2016.
In the meantime, we are building beta vehicles in the factory right now, and we'll be using them for crash testing in the near future. We've tested the car's aerodynamic qualities in the wind tunnel and have achieved an unprecedented level of aerodynamic efficiency for any car of this size and carrying capacity, allowing us to maximize range potential.
We can also reveal that Model X will be the first electric vehicle with towing capability. The optional tow hitch will support accessories and racks to transport skis and bikes with the minimum effect on aerodynamics. We're also working with the best rack and accessory companies in the world to have elegant carrying solutions ready for Model X customers next year.
Thank you once again for your continued support and confidence. You are helping to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport, and you will love your Model X.