TESLA'S FIRST SUV: Tesla has opened orders for its first SUV, the Model X. The electric vehicle is finally on sale following a two-year delay. Image: AFP / Spencer Platt
San Francisco - Tesla on Tuesday (November 24 2015) began taking orders for its Model X electric SUV with a starting price of the equivalent of R1.1-million.
The Model X price can quickly ramp with extras such as self-driving capabilities, more powerful batteries, or "ludicrous speed."
The Model X, available in three derivatives, is not expected to ship until later in 2016.
Two years behind schedule
The Model X will be the second electric vehicle that will be coming off the innovative car maker's production lines. It is also two years behind schedule.
The X has a surprisingly rounded and tapered profile for an SUV compared to the more massive frames and rectangular lines of its competitors.
The wing doors can be opened from a distance, with sensors adjusting the angle to avoid other cars parked close by, and there is a special "biodefense" air filtration button.
More than 20 000 reservations have reportedly been placed for Tesla's SUV since it was unveiled in September at the company's plant in the Northern California city of Fremont.
Tesla loyalists, the list of which includes Google co-founder Sergey Brin, have been able to get their hands on more expensive limited edition Founders and Signature versions of the Model X, according to Tesla.
The electric car maker hopes to expand its customer base, and become profitable, by expanding its line-up.
Tesla has yet to turn a profit, despite having won over stock market investors and public opinion.