The first customers who reserved Tesla’s Model X all-electric sport utility vehicles have been alerted that, at long last, they can choose their paint color, wheel size and whether they want to drive ludicrously fast.
The start of configuration is a sign that production is on track. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had said that the first to place orders would be able to start individualizing their vehicles “before the end of August” so deliveries can start by the end of September.
Overnight, the privately run Tesla Motors Club forum lit up with Signature reservation holders sharing screen shots of their configuration dashboards. Tesla confirmed Tuesday morning that Signature holders can begin making choices, such as among nine paint colors, including Signature red, Deep Blue and Titanium. Features like the “Ludicrous Speed Upgrade,” is $10,000 extra.
“This is an important step for Tesla to show its not a one-trick show when it comes to developing a car from start to finish,” said Ben Kallo, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. “It will also be great for brand awareness to have two cars on the road. Good to see there will be a ski and bike rack hitch solution as well as sensors to allow the falcon wing doors to open in garages.”
The Model X Signature edition will have a 90 kilowatt-hour battery and a U.S. government-estimated range of 240 miles per charge, Tesla said. The base price for the Signature series -- a limited edition version of the car that hundreds of people have reserved -- is $132,000 before a federal tax credit or any state or local incentives.
Standard equipment on the all-wheel-drive Model X includes “falcon wing” rear doors with built-in sensors for opening in garages of any height, a rear hitch for bikes or skis, free long-distance travel on Tesla’s expanding Supercharger network, parking sensors and blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, and power-folding, heated side mirrors.
The Signature series comes with so-called Autopilot features such as self parking, air suspension, satellite radio, ventilated leather seats with heating and cooling, three independently operable, adult-size second-row seats, and a flat-folding, two-adult third-row seat.
Challenges building the SUV may also slow production of the Model S sedan, Musk has said, leading the company to reduce its full-year delivery target to as few as 50,000 vehicles from an initial goal of 55,000.