Tesla Motors Inc. Takes Wraps Off Base Model X, Starts It at $80,000

By Daniel SparksFool.com

When Tesla Motors launched Model X, the company was very clear that the $132,000 price for the fully loaded Signature version of the SUV, which was reserved for about the first thousand reservation holders, was not representative of the vehicle's starting price. Indeed, it was far from it. But the media, failing to differentiate between pre-reserved Signature models and Tesla's promised base model, was a bit confused.

Fortunately, Tesla has now made it impossible for further mix-ups. On Monday afternoon, the company revealed the pricing for all of its models beyond the Signature version. Model X starts at $80,000, or just $5,000 more than its dual-motor Model S counterpart, and $52,000 less than much of the media was initially suggesting pricing for the X started at.

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As promised, Model X pricing starts at $5,000 more than a comparable version of the Model S. Image source: Tesla Motors.

The confusion There really was no reason to think $132,000 even closely resembled the starting price for Model X. Both before the Model X launch event a few months ago and after the event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted the difference between Signature pricing and base model pricing. Further, he even specifically said the base Model X would only cost $5,000 more than Model S.

The only thing that wasn't clear was what the smallest battery option for the SUV would be. But even if the smallest option was Tesla's largest 90-kilowatt-hour battery, pricing would start at around $93,000 -- or about $39,000 less than the $132,000 price point much of the media was citing.

Some of the mass confusion in the media began to clear up when Musk said in an interview following the Model X launch that pricing for Model X would reach as low as $75,000 during 2016.

Model X pricing By extending more invitations to a wider portion of the company's 25,000-plus list of reservation holders, there is now specific information available on the SUVs pricing. Here are some notable highlights about Model X pricing and configurations for the base model revealed in Tesla's new configurator for the vehicle:

  • A 70 kWh dual-motor Model X, or a 70D, has 220 miles of driving range per charge, 20 miles shy of a 70D Model S's 240 miles.
  • A standard Model X continues Tesla's April 2015 decision to make access to its fast-growing Supercharger network free (before Tesla announced the 70D version of Model S it required a $2,000 upfront investment from owners to get access to lifetime charging from the network).
  • The SUV's panoramic windshield, which the company asserts is the largest in production, is standard with every order.
  • Upgrading from the Model X five-seat interior to a six- or seven-seat configuration costs $3,000 and $4,000, respectively.

Standard features detailed in Model X configurator. The configurator for Model X is still available by invite only, though it has been extended to a larger base of reservation holders. Image source: Tesla Motors.

  • Tesla boasts the "largest interior storage capacity of its class: 77 cubic feet in the six seat interior configuration."
  • Just as Tesla has done with Model S, Model X comes standard with active safety features, such as active emergency braking. But convenience autopilot features, including features such as automatic steering on the highway and automated lane changes with the tap of a blinker, cost an additional $2,500 before delivery or $3,000 after delivery.

An option for a $2,500 upgrade to get access to autopilot convenience features for Model X mirrors the same package for Tesla's Model S. Image source: Tesla Motors.

  • A $4,500 option for "Premium Upgrades," which includes a self-presenting driver's door, a HEPA air filtration system, and more, is available.

Other options for Tesla's base version of its Model X include, $2,500 for an adjustable suspension, $2,500 for a premium sound system, $1,000 for a cold-weather package, and $750 for a towing package.

Given that Model S is already outselling every competing model of comparably priced luxury sedans in North America, and orders are still growing even in the company's most established markets, Tesla's decision to price Model X near Model S puts the company in a position to similarly challenge the best-selling luxury SUVs.

With the help of Model X, Tesla expects its sales to continue to grow by more than 50% in 2016. With over 25,000 deposit-backed reservations for the SUV on its books even as the company does very little to market the vehicle, demand won't be an issue. The question is whether or not the company can ramp production fast enough to catch up to demand in 2016 and meet its sales goal for 80,000 plus S and X combined deliveries during the year.

The article Tesla Motors Inc. Takes Wraps Off Base Model X, Starts It at $80,000 originally appeared on Fool.com.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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