I came, I saw, I rode

I came, I saw, I rode

4 of us (wife, kids, I) flew in for the X event from the East Coast. We have 2 Model S', which we love, and have an X reserved, so weren't going to miss this. Several thousand people there, lots of excitement in the air. The late start was tough on the kids, but they quickly forgot about their tiredness when the presentation started. I figured: the car is 2 years late, they can be 2 hours late with the presentation.

As always with 3-dimensional objects, the X looks much better in person than in photos or videos. You have to see it in person to appreciate the lines and the overall gestalt.

I won't rehash the feature set, but will relate the test ride experience. My daughter and I rode in the 2nd row. The panoramic windshield is stunning, even from the 2nd row. The overall feeling of spaciousness was impressive. The 2nd row seats (and ample legroom for me at 6'2") were very comfortable. I turned to view the 3rd row and was impressed by how much room was there, too. The driver punched it (from a rolling start) and reached 60 in a breathtaking flash. I have a P85D and was sure that this must be Ludicrous mode, but she revealed that it was just Sport mode. She then cornered at a good clip and the X felt like it was on the Hyperloop. The ride was over much too soon, but we felt very fortunate to have been on board, considering how many people were in attendance. My 9-year-old daughter was also over the moon that Franz Von Holzhausen, who was in the test drive queue for some reason, graciously stood for a picture with her.

A few weeks back, Elon said something to the effect that the X is arguably a better SUV than the S is a sedan, and I can now understand why.

We came away from the event intoxicated (not from the open bar, but from the X) and with absolutely no doubts about our reservation. Now the problem is just waiting patiently until configuration and delivery. And resisting getting two of these, too.

ram1901 | 01. Oktober 2015

It refreshing to see a review that does not complain but raves about the X.
Clearly, with 2 Tesla's in the driveway, you're a Tesla fan and have been
satisfied with your current Tesla products. That speaks volumes about you

sklancha | 02. Oktober 2015

OP have u been given any idea how long it will be before you get your X?

gaskicker | 02. Oktober 2015


When I placed my reservation in late July, 2015, the estimated delivery date was "early 2016," so I'm assuming some time between January and June.

eric.zucker | 02. Oktober 2015

@gaskicker: thanks for the enthusiastic review. I nearly flew over from Switzerland. Watched online from 4:55 AM onwards, and have been convinced since the 2012 reveal. Agree the wait is excruciating.
Kids are impatient as well.

adamgreen | 02. Oktober 2015

Stepping over complaints at this point, I think to do otherwise is flogging a dead horse, but at the unveiling launch event, thousands would be a maximal description. I'm curious to hear an actual number (or any peep out of Tesla to say "whoops, sorry about that, we apologize and we'll get it right next time, but the car is right on, don't you think?"
I was there and while it was cramped, I didn't count thousands, surely not 1000. I did notice a lot of Tesla "gear" wearers but seeing Tesla staff were conspicuously absent, well, we now know they were with the bloggers. It would have been nice for the launch to have been a launch event and credited the software devs, the hardware and electricial engineering genius (no overstatement) and just even bring on the battery technology people and credit them with their achievements. Not to discredit the seats or the idea of using a wrap over cowl windshield, all good ideas, these are existing technology applied to a useful solution, but without the battery tech -- no car.
It's a rolling volt vault.
The motors, the software, the EE's, teams of people to bring on stage and give them their moment to take a bow and maybe share a real video like a "here we are in our secret lab three years ago figuring out how we would ..." I'd like to hand each of them a beer or a bottle of Champagne, I don't need to hear that the pollen filter is MERV 13 or biohazard effective, but I'd like to hear from and applaud the people that originally conceived of what I'm sure so many Tesla-thinking folks have lamented when they drive towards San Francisco or Los Angeles and see the pall of appalling smog and think "great, my kids' lungs are cleaning their factory smoke stacks and truck exhausts from the atmosphere ..."
So, thanks for the ride impressions. I'm sure the $10K for Ludi mode is wasted and I'd rather my first Tesla X be a P90D and update in a year or so when every will be just plain better.

sbeggs | 02. Oktober 2015

Your points are well-taken.

eric.zucker | 02. Oktober 2015

Ludicrous is clearly not essential. At 10k, it's a fair chunk of change... I'm not decided yet. Still may go for it, hoping the uprated components will have better reliability. And a good dose of plain fun. Can be handy when needing to pass a car.

Over the lifespan of the car the incremental cost is well amortized. If you can afford it.

aljjr2 | 02. Oktober 2015

I too was at the event. I would estimate the crowd at more than 1000 easily. Not just by observation, but some the badges (for test ride sequence), were Over 1000.

Although I understand the crowded conditions and the late start. I now know that the day was packed.

On Saturday, there were repaving the parking lot

On Tuesday....
Press interviews with Elon;

Press rides and filming events for all of the writers with everone from USA Today to CNet;

Setting up Buses for 4 off-site parking to shuttle the massive crowd to the event;

Although the reservation confirmation said DO Not park at Page Road,
there was a line of cars blocking the buses from arrivals into the lot;

Waiting for all the press crews to set up their cameras in the rear of the presentation room;

Given all of the coordination needed for the day, having free food and drink, and receiving the invitation that was never expected and after flying from Atlanta to San Jose, I was glad to be there. Tesla did a fine job -- The 45 mins late start was not an issue.

NumberOne | 02. Oktober 2015

@eric.zucker Ludicrous is not sufficiently better than straight P90D. If you look at the

85D it has 417hp total, because it has a smaller motor in the front. I believe this will be the case with the lower version of Model X too. The P85D Model S has 259hp at the front and 503hp in the rear. I hope Tesla does not get upset for me for saying this, but the listed hp is the strength of the motor. With Ludicrous, you likely get the same motor, although the inverter might be more robust. ft lbs Torque is the actual power that pushes you forward. If you want to go 0.4 seconds faster than a regular P90D, then by all means, go for it. As I recall, you are a signature reservation holder, so that is your only real 'option' thing to pay extra for. Quite a few people are doing it, so by all means, go for it if you think you will enjoy it!

Back to horsepower, everyone always talks about horsepower, and while impressive at around 800hp, what really matters is torque. The 90D will have only 518hp which is still pretty good.

I will be getting the regular garden variety (with just about every option) 90D. Where I live we have to pay personal property tax in addition to sales tax. The sales tax is only when you buy the car, and the personal property tax is when you make the purchase and every year after that. The property tax is based on the value of the base model, and is you have a P anything, the P counts. This means a P anything will always be taxed on a value of 10-30k more than the base model. (which I hope will be a 70D for tax purposes.

rossRallen | 02. Oktober 2015

I'm saving my OMG! moment for when I first drive the car after delivery.

Can anyone confirm the "Insane" mode still exits in the non-Ludi version? Is "Insane" just Old School now?

$10K is too much for something I will enjoy for only moments before Smokey writes me a ticket for "Exhibition of Speed". (At least it would be almost totally silent.)

Roger that for the upgraded electrical components with Ludicrous, but unnecessary IMHO.

BTW- I'd be paying extra registration fees (property tax) and an insurance bump-up on that $10K forever, so no. (And too late - SigX order confirmed today).

eric.zucker | 03. Oktober 2015

I think the P90D and P90D have the same motors. Just that the Ludicrous option allows full power for a little longer until thermal management limits power output.

Torque is increased with dual motors. Both contribute to move the car.

aesculus | 03. Oktober 2015

As far as number of attendees: The badges were given out in sequence number indicating your position to do the test ride starting at #1 AFAIN.

My badges were 1009 and 1092 and I watched the persons checking in just grab them from stacks of badges after they made sure of your email and name. BTW I did not have to show anything, just give them my name and email address. They looked it up on a tablet. Most people got sequential numbers and not sure why mine were almost 100 off.

During the night I compared numbers from others. People that checked in almost the same time as we did had numbers around 600-700 (different stacks I guess). The biggest number I saw was 2087. There may have been bigger numbers.

Red Sage ca us | 03. Oktober 2015

gaskicker: +42! Thanks for providing the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything about "Damn it -- didn't ANYBODY have a good time at the Tesla Model X Launch Event?"

Very nice to know the view through the windshield is stunning for all passengers.

I've always presumed that Franz von Holzhausen was around 6'-5" tall. Is that accurate, or does he just have long legs and wear cowboy boots?

Extremely nice to have confirmation of Elon's feelings about Model X matching your first hand impression.

carlk | 05. Oktober 2015

@gaskicker Thank you for the reviw. I went to the Santana Row store with a friend yesterday. Video of the event and Elon's demo on stage was showing there. My friend got his mouth wide open and couldn't close it for a while. BTW the lady at the store told us they will probably get a car in store in 1~2 months but she added "but that's the Tesla schedule". Pretty funny.

clublon | 05. Oktober 2015

Had a great time! Enjoyed talking with several of the employees and other attendees. The ride was better than I hoped for. First class event. My only complaint of the evening was that when the doors to the auditorium were opened there were already people at least 5 deep in front of the whole stage. Just be nice of at least having a chance to get closer view when significant other is only 5'4". Don't get me wrong, I had good view even though behind 4 of possibly the tallest people in the room. My guest just couldn't see that well. Other than that we both enjoyed the evening. Would do it again, perhaps model III event. Factory tour was amazing and tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. All of the staff at the factory made us feel welcome. Thanks Elon and Tesla! More excited than ever about my X. | 05. Oktober 2015

It was a fun event, and I suspect most attendees enjoyed the evening. There were some Tesla employees in the crowd, but somewhat incognito (i.e. nothing to identify them as employees). Remember they do have about 12,000 employees, so obviously they couldn't invite even a small percentage.

While it ran a few minutes late (50 minutes not 2 hours as some have posted), there were lots of interesting people to talk to. I thought the event was well run overall. I didn't even expect they would have test drives so that was a bonus.