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Production Of Tesla Model X Pushed Back To Late 2014

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Tesla's Model X Crossover - image: Tesla Motors

Tesla’s Model X Crossover – image: Tesla Motors

The Tesla Model X is an innovative vehicle that’s meant to blend the best attributes of a crossover and a minivan, while retaining the battery-electric platform pioneered in the Tesla Model S sedan. Among the Model X’s most distinctive features are its side “falcon wing doors,” which swing up to allow full access to the interior, even in tight parking spaces.

Like the Model S sedan, the Model X crossover will come with a usable, real-world range. It’s not yet clear exactly what that range will be, since the Model X will likely be heavier than the Model S, and it will also be available with an optional all-wheel drive system.

Tesla claims to have some $40 million in advance orders for the Model X, but as the Los Angeles Times reports, buyers will be waiting just a bit longer for delivery than originally thought. As recently as last fall, Tesla claimed that Model X production would begin in late 2013, with the first customer deliveries slated for early 2014.

According to the electric automaker’s latest SEC filing, that production date has now been pushed back by one full year, meaning that Model X assembly won’t start before late 2014. That likely pushes initial deliveries back to 2015, which makes us wonder how many new car shoppers have that level of patience.

Blame it on the success of the Model S. As Tesla ramps up production of the Model S sedan to reach a projected 20,000 units per year, its focus was drawn away from finalization of the Model X. While that’s still not good news for prospective buyers, it is understandable for a start-up company with finite resources.

In the long term, this may even prove to be a good thing as it gives Tesla more time to sort out any potential issues with the platform before it enters production. Customers may forgive an automaker for minor flaws on its first or second product, but by the time the third model hits production it had better be well sorted.

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