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Mike Stevens | Feb, 16 2012 | 1 Comment

American electric vehicle brand Tesla says the new Model X SUV is its most popular model since the company began operating in 2003.

Less than a week since its unveiling in the US, Tesla claims it has recorded 500 reservations for the Model X - potentially US$40 million worth, if each of those becomes a sale.

Speculation that the debut of the Model X would cannibalise sales of the Model S sedan - which shares its platform with the taller SUV - have also been allayed, with S reservations up 30 percent this week.

While the Audi Q7-sized Model X won't hit showrooms until 2014 (and that's plenty of time for reservation holders to head elsewhere), Tesla has revealed more than a few details about the new model.

At its unveiling last week, the Model X debuted the company's new "Falcon Wing" rear door design - similar in concept to the traditional gullwing style, but with a smaller opening arc designed to make the doors useable in regular parking spaces.

When opened, the centre-hinged doors and low floor allow an adult to stand in the middle row, while sliding seats allow easy access to the third row.

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Driven by a pair of electric motors, the Model X will draw its energy from a choice of 60 or 85kWh lithium-ion battery packs, although specific output figures and driving range for the motors have not been revealed.

While the output figures are a secret, Tesla's only too happy to reveal one major detail: the SUV's performance figures.

Tesla says that the Model X's Dual Electric Motor all-wheel-drive system and its lightweight design will give the SUV a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds - quicker than more than a few of today's top-shelf performance sedans and coupes.

Inside, the Model X will get a 17-inch touchscreen system, featuring driver controls, specialised phone-like vehicle apps, and internet connectivity. A panoramic roof will also be available as an option.

Production is set begin late next year ahead of an early 2014 launch, and Tesla is keeping much of the Model X's technical details under its hat until then.

Watch for more information to filter out over the coming year. Check out the gallery below for more details.

 
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