FREMONT, California -- Three years, seven months and 20 days.
That’s how long has passed since Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk first unveiled a prototype of the Model X at its design studio near Los Angeles, billing the all-electric crossover as a vehicle with “more functionality than a minivan, more style than a SUV and more performance than a sports car." At the time, Tesla opened an order list for buyers willing to put down deposits of $5,000 to $40,000 to stand at the front of the line when deliveries began.
That moment of truth has finally arrived.
On Tuesday evening, Tesla held a ceremony near its assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., to mark the start of sales by delivering the Model X to six of its earliest hand-raisers, and unveiling the eye-popping technology that delayed the launch so far beyond Tesla’s original sales target of 2013.
“In retrospect,” Musk told reporters Tuesday, “I think we got a little carried away.”
The basic design of the Model X has hardly changed since Musk unveiled the prototype in early 2012, but Tesla kept some surprises up its sleeve.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tesla gave Automotive News a chance to drive the Model X and fiddle with its avant-garde features, from the “falcon wing” doors to the motorized second-row seats.
Here are our answers to some burning questions about the Model X.