Tesla Model X Plaid, what we like what we don't | Our proof

Tesla Model X Plaid, what we like what we don't | Our proof

Tesla Model X Plaid

Officially unveiled at the beginning of 2015, Tesla Model X is a large SUV designed to accommodate up to a maximum of 7 passengers (or less, depending on the homologation) in total comfort and with total absence of noise. As it is easy to understand, Model X is a fully electric car available now, actually for a few months, also with a super engine of over 1,000 horsepower.

Up until last year, Tesla Model X could be purchased in : Long Range, Performance and Plaid . Three versions that almost completely mirror those offered by the more famous (and best-selling) Model 3 and follow, instead entirely, those present on Model S that we will soon try in the Plaid variant. At present, according to the Tesla configurator, Model X can only be purchased in the Plaid version with estimated deliveries between January - March 2023. For the remaining versions, the dual-motor ones, everything is still in progress; we do not exclude that the manufacturer has some slight modifications in store and for this reason the famous Long Range and Performance have been removed.

The dimensions of Model X can be defined as important. 5 meters in length, almost 2.1 meters in width and a height of 1.62 meters. The wheelbase is over 3 metres, while the weight varies according to the version with the heaviest at around 2.5 tons. Curated by Franz von Holzhausen, former designer of Volkswagen, Mazda and General Motors, Model X is an absolutely unique SUV of its kind thanks to the presence of rear doors with gullwing opening (Falcon Wings) equipped with ultrasonic proximity sensors capable to detect any obstacles close to their range of action and consequently modifying the opening angle to avoid unpleasant situations.

What convinces us

With Model X Plaid, Tesla as well as implementing a fierce and almost unique motorization on the market, integrates a series of modifications expectations also on the lower declinations. Unlike the previous models, in fact, we find a new motorized central screen dedicated to the front occupants and a more compact and fixed rear one, intended for passengers seated in the rear rows. The two screens are disconnected therefore it is possible to independently manage the reproduction of multimedia contents of any kind; a real gem for those traveling long journeys or, simply, sitting at a standstill waiting for a complete recharge.

Numerous, almost as per tradition, the functions present and which can be activated: from heated and motorized seats up to to the capillary configurations on each single component. On this Tesla it is possible to modify and customize every single aspect, you will hardly be dissatisfied with it.

Among the most prominent innovations, even if we will talk about it in more depth later, the famous and much discussed Yoke cloche steering wheel; in a word, it is definitely "particular" and not suitable for everyone. You need practice to understand how it works, how it scales down and above all how and where to position your hands to activate all the controls.

As mentioned, the Tesla Model X is available in different versions: 5, 6 and 7 seats (depending of the approval received). Our sample was equipped with three rows of two seats, for a total of six single seats; a certainly particular configuration which, however, allows for high on-board roominess and good space for the rear luggage compartment (357 litres) to be used in combination with the front one (183 litres) if space is not enough. In any case, by folding down the seats it is possible to obtain the extreme capacity of 2,500 litres: an almost unthinkable value for a road car.

What doesn't convince us

In general, there are few elements that didn't convince us of this 1,020-horsepower Model X Plaid. Certainly among the aspects that have left us with a mix of sensations, we find the front display which, despite its dominant position over the steering system, is not easy to look at and almost not intuitive at all. Naturally we are in the field of subjective sensations, linked both to the driving style and to the height of the driver; therefore, we recommend that you take these statements with due weight. Despite its excellent size, the enormous windshield (the largest ever installed on a car!) and the central display itself provide enough information to make the front panel almost superfluous.

To keep Model X Plaid glued , Tesla has installed a small fixed spoiler at the rear which unfortunately creates some turbulence at high speeds, thus generating a slight noise (perceptible to the occupants of the last row). Some perplexity also on the assemblies which, in some situations, have generated unexpected creaks on a 140 thousand euro car: we don't know if this is normal, as our car was dedicated exclusively to the press (editor's note, even the rims are not the standard ones , but a lower-class model) and probably an untreated demo specimen with kid gloves . We are sure that the car intended for public use will be perfect from all points of view.

How to drive it

1,020 horsepower: do you know how many there are? We tell you, many indeed many. Despite the size of Model X Plaid, the power available is so great as to make the car extremely fast in all acceleration phases. Starting from a standstill is embarrassing, in the good sense of the term: the sprint is 2.6 seconds* (0-100 km/h) and just under 8 seconds in 100-200 km/h. To give a more precise measure, the same time required for a Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS with over 500 horsepower (a 2-seater supercar intended for the track).

The graphic effect of the shooting mode, which simulates the scene of the movie when Space Ball 1 travels at breakneck speed, it's funny and something out of the ordinary . For maximum acceleration, it is necessary to wait a few moments for the car to have the batteries warm enough to deliver all the power.

(* the shot, as reported by Tesla itself, is without the rollout phases. It is not therefore the "true" measurable value in everyday life, as no car starts launched as if it were on a slingshot. We believe that it is legitimate to add a couple of tenths to the declared time; in any case it is an extremely low value).

The control is maximum, thanks to the possibility of adjusting every aspect of the set-up, and almost unexpected; certainly don't expect the performance of a true sports car in tight mixed terrain, but Model X Plaid is certainly capable of offering excellent driving sensations.

How's the Yoke? Mixed sensations. In our opinion, on the motorway or in serene and measured driving conditions it is certainly an extremely comfortable solution; different speech for sporty driving, perhaps not even the true ambitions of this car, where it seems more complicated to understand where to place your hands for a dynamic and sharp driving. It is probably mostly a matter of mere habit, but in these few hundred km we have not been able to get a 100% clear idea.

Starting from the Tesla dealership in Peschiera Borromeo, the reported range was 499 km, value parameterized perhaps also by the previous guide. Traveling along the highway that led us to Aosta we reached our destination (215 km of journey) with a residual range of about 130 km. To be precise, we did not follow the best practices to be adopted with electric cars, in fact we frequently exploited the acceleration of the Model X Plaid, covered a few shots on a private road and traveled at 130 km/h for almost all the time (respecting the limits). In our opinion, with a more measured drive it is possible to approach the WLTP value.

Is it worth it?

The Tesla Model X Plaid is certainly an extremely ferocious SUV and the most powerful in its class. The dimensions are important, the habitability high and the thrust infinite. There is no real competition at the moment and if you are looking for an electric travel car with lots of power and immense comfort, the Tesla Model X Plaid can be an excellent solution. Price? Starting from 144 thousand euros.

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