Tesla racks up $40M worth of Model X orders

CNN Wire Service

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Just days after unveiling its Model X electric SUV, Tesla Motors boasts that it has already taken orders for $40 million worth of the plug-in crossover.

With model X prices expected to range from about $60,000 to over $100,000, the orders represent between 667 and 400 suvs.

To reserve their Model X, customers were asked to provide a $5,000 deposit for the base version of the vehicle or a $40,000 deposit for the top-of-the-line Signature series Model X, Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn said. The deposits are fully refundable should customers change their minds, however.

Brooklyn would not say how many of the deposits were for the Signature series models.

The Model X, unveiled late last Thursday, isn’t expected to go into production until the end of 2013. Interest in the Model X also boosted orders for the Model S, Tesla said, with Model S orders going up 30% after last week’s Model X unveiling.

Tesla’s Model S sedan, an electric luxury car that will be similarly priced and able to seat up to seven people, is expected to go on sale around the middle of this year.

The Model X crossover is based on the same engineering as the Model S but the Model X rides higher and has front-facing third row seats.

The most eye-catching feature of the Model X is the “falcon wing” back door design. The doors open upwards and bend in the middle so they’ll be able to function when parked in a tight space but will allow to step into the door opening without bending over.

Customers will be able to purchase the Model X with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and with a variety of battery pack sizes. Four wheel drive versions will have two separate electric motors in the front and back. Vehicles with larger battery packs for more driving range will cost more.

Top end versions will have acceleration similar to that of a Porsche sports car, according to Tesla, with a zero-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds.

Tesla recently reported a fourth quarter net loss of $51.4 million, up from a loss $34.9 million the same time last year. Increased revenues from sales of battery packs and other equipment to Toyota and Daimler were offset by increased spending on research, development and marketing, the automaker said.

Tesla is also spending money to prepare a California factory formerly operated by Toyota and General Motors to build the Model S and Model X.

Tesla is building battery packs and motors for an electric version of the Toyota Rav4 crossover SUV and is making battery packs for an electric version of Daimler’s Smart ForTwo EV.