Tesla Model X P100D Ludicrous: Back to the Future

Tesla Model X P100D Ludicrous: Back to the Future

03.05.2017: A few weeks ago Tesla contacted us at AutoMobilSport.com to test drive their Model X P100D.

A few weeks ago Tesla contacted us at AutoMobilSport.com to test drive their Model X P100D.



After a short drive once in a friend’s Model S in Austria and the new Hyundai Ioniq EV in Paris, I was really looking forward to that 4 days test. These two initial drives really got my attention to this new technology for cars…



New technology? Let me take that back: despite what you may think, electric vehicles (EVs) are not new. They go back to the 1830s – 50 years BEFORE Karl Benz’s first petrol car! At the turn of the 20th century more electric cars were sold in the USA than petrol cars. They were popular because they were easier to drive, much quieter and less smelly than petrol cars. So why did they suddenly disappear?





Well, blame Henry Ford partially for it for building the inexpensive mass-produced model T. Plus the discovery of cheap oil. And most tellingly, once the huge freeway system got built the short range of EVs became an unsurmountable disadvantage vs. petrol cars. Battery quality – the EVs big handicap – did not improve for another 100 years.




All this changed when urban air quality and pollution became global issues. Interest worldwide in improving battery quality has been increased. And basically every OEMs now is adding EVs to their model lines.



Sales, however, of EVs is still way behind expectations. Why? One reason is that most OEMs are building their EVs on adapted current model lines like the VW Golf, which is the cheapest way to bring an EV to the market. However, to realize the full benefit of an EV, you do not use an internal combustion engine car’s architecture for many reasons like aerodynamics, weight, space distribution, etc.



Tesla is the only manufacturer that uses a dedicated architecture for all its models! EVs are quite different, mechanically from petrol cars. Their engines are quite smaller and do not need huge radiators for cooling. They do not need bulky and complicated anti-pollution devices such as catalytic converters and particulate filters.





They do not need exhaust systems nor transmission tunnels that infringe into the floor space. They do not need hefty multi-speed gearboxes or clutches. All these items are not needed in an EV. Yet – absurdly – most current EVs have the same size radiator intake, body profiles, dimensions and style.



 The other reason is the time to charge batteries vs. filling up the car with petrol. And finally the main reason in my opinion is the weight and size of batteries. Tesla is the company that is way ahead of any other manufacturer of cars or batteries. And that is why Tesla cars are by far the most advanced EVs out there. Period!




The main purpose of my 4 days test drive was to see how practical the Tesla Model X P100D was in a daily ride. I used the SUV in heavy stop & go traffic, on autobahn in Germany, on hilly country roads with little to big traffic. Besides the incredible power (over 600hp!), what impressed me the most were the comfort of the ride, the incredible traction of Tesla’s unique 4x4 system, the unlimited features, and the total absence of any type of noise! Nothing comes close to what a Tesla feels like to drive!




The time to charge the batteries was interesting. On a household 220V wall socket it took about 6-8 hours to charge 100km of average driving. With a Tesla Wall Connector, that you can install at your house, it takes about 1-2 hours to charge 100 km, depending on the type of electrical outlet.



I have a daily commute drive of about 75 km one way, so it was fine for me to just charge on a normal household socket. While I worked my 8 hours my car had enough charge to drive me home. I did not get a chance to try the Superchargers from Tesla, but I can imagine that the announced 40 minutes time to charge from empty to 80% should be correct.




I believe that it is easily possible to go over 400km on a charge with this P100D version. Who still needs a petrol car then? Nobody! Tesla has so many Supercharger stations worldwide (you can find them on the navigation system) plus with all the public units out there, there is no excuse for a petrol anymore.



So why are people still not lining up for EVs? Price of EVs? Well Tesla has a solution for that too. The all-new Tesla Model 3 will be out soon. For a starting price of $ 35k, basically everybody can afford one.




The Tesla Model X that I was testing had 6 seats. The Model X is available in 5/6/7 seats. They are always very comfortable, and in my case they were white leather seats. The panorama window is a really nice feature, but I would have preferred if Tesla would have used that space to put photovoltaic cells to charge the batteries in sunshine while driving or parking.




The rear Falcon doors are, however, a great feature IMHO. I know a lot of comments were very negative, and some named the doors ‘silly’. I do not agree with that. The sensors on the doors work to perfection, sometime over-cautiously. One other super feature is the door opening and closing –automatically.




Talking about features: too many to name! Another of my favorite also was the Spotify music selection! It is free and the choice of music is instant at voice command - and almost endless. I also used the rear view camera while driving because that little rear view mirror is a bit useless.




The only point of negative critic that I have are the relatively poor paint finish at the edges and certain minor fitting issues. Not up to par for a $ 180,000 car. Maybe my test car was a preseries vehicle?



So is there a future for EVs? Of course! The diesel is as good as dead after the big VW scandal,
and the gasoline engine is doomed too. The internal combustion engine can only survive for
another decades if we find another fuel source than oil. Fuel from algae’s, waste, etc. that
pollute less?




The new challenge will be to build better batteries that are much cheaper, lighter and smaller,
and are made as ecologically sustainable as possible. If not, the fuel cell technology could very
well replace the batteries in motor cars…





Car tested: Tesla Model X P100D Ludicrous

Two electric engines, one front, one rear 4x4

Total HP combined: 612

Battery: 100kWh

Weight: 2,440kg (600kg of batteries)

0-100km/h: 3.1 sec

Top Speed: 250km/h

CO2: ZERO!

Range: 390-542km depending driving style and traffic/weather conditions

 

Alex Graas - photos Jean Dupong

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/tesla-x-p100d-ludicrous-back-to-future---164379.html

03.05.2017 / MaP

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