Petrol vs Electric: Tesla Model X vs Audi Q7

Hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly bridging the gap between themselves and conventional petrol or diesel driven vehicles. Cars such as the recently unveiled Chevy Bolt and the more upmarket Tesla Model S showcase the extent to which electric cars have matched their fossil fuel counterparts. The most recent launch from Tesla, the Model X is the company’s and the world’s first fully electric luxury SUV. We compare it to one of the giants of the segment, the 2016 Audi Q7 and see how the American crossover fares against a fully loaded, heavy duty SUV.

Exterior

Tesla Model X:

The Tesla Model X features one of the cleanest designs of current gen crossovers. With only a few distinct lines defining the entire body, the Model X seeks to reduce the aerodynamic drawback of being an SUV. However, Tesla has made no compromises on design. The dynamic spoiler, low-angle wrap over front windscreen and falcon doors make for substantial road presence. Little is borrowed from the Model S sedan. Despite its relatively small size, the Model X is even capable of seating six to seven passengers.

The Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Q7 is the long awaited revamp of the first generation Audi Q7. Audi’s latest flagship SUV has adopted a few crossover elements to be a better all-rounder than its predecessor. Based off VW’s second generation MLB platform, the all new Q7 has been constructed with more aluminium and revised suspension to offer a more dynamic ride.

The all new Audi Q7
The all new Audi Q7

Visually, the Q7 adopts the same design philosophy as the Audi Q3 and Q5. As such, the new Q7 ditches its slick, sports car avatar in favor of a more conventional butch character. The prominent chrome lined hexagonal grille is flanked by large horizontally stacked full LED headlights provides a towering presence on the streets. Unlike the previous model, the fog lamp enclosures located on the bumpers actually feature fog lamps.

Interior:

Tesla Model X:

Similar to the Model S, the Tesla Model X’s cabin takes a mimalist approach. The interior is a luxurious blend of gloss black plastics and premium white leather. No buttons, knobs, multiple displays or levers adorn the dashboard save for the familiar portrait mounted touchscreen tablet and the fully digital LCD panel that acts as the driver’s instrument cluster. Despite its crossover category, the Model X seeks to seat six to seven passengers with three rows of seats. Unlike conventional middle row seats, the Model X’s middle row rests on movable pedestals to allow easy mount/dismount to and from the third row seats.

Interiors of the new Model X SUV
Interiors of the new Model X SUV

One of the most striking aspects of the Model X are its door mechanisms. Not only can all four doors be opened and closed remotely from the main center console, the rear passenger doors open upwards rather than the concentional side hinge layout. Dubbed falcon doors, Tesla’s implementation is quite unique. Unlike almost all door systems that uses hinges at a single point, Tesla’s falcon door system feature double hinged doors with sensors embedded within the sheetmetal to scan the outside environment. Should the Model X be placed in a tight spot, the doors dynamically adjust the angles at which they unfold to ensure that occupants can exit no matter the circumstance. As the Model X is electric, the SUV features luggage space both at the front and the rear offering the most space in its class.

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Audi Q7’s cabin is a rich mixture of wood, aluminium and premium leather. The dashboard sports two displays for various purposes. While the secondary display is mainly used to view current climate control settings, the larger primary pop up unit displays common infotainment system details such as navigation, music and also doubles up as the rear view camera feed. The driver is greeted by a sporty leather clad three spoke steering wheel fitted with the now conventional steering mounted controls. Similar to most high end luxury vehicles, Audi has replaced the conventional analog instrument cluster with a large 12.3 inch LCD display. Better known as the Virtual Cockpit, the display feeds information to the driver based on context. As such, the instrument cluster can display current route on navigation, speed, tachometer and various other aspects of the environment or car. This configurable display is already in use on the latest TT and R8 sports car models.

The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q7
The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q7

Under The Hood:

Tesla Model X:

The Tesla Model X is a fully electric vehicle that at launch, will be offered with all wheel drive only. Based on the variants, the Model X will have varying degrees of power sent to all four wheels with the range topping P90D model powered by a whopping 762 hp and 713 lb-ft of torque.

The Model X features four wheel drive for now
The Model X features four wheel drive for now

2016 Audi Q7:

The Audi Q7’s range topping model SQ7 variant houses a diesel powered V8 TDi that will be one of the first cars in the market to feature electric turbochargers. However, despite the new technology, the Audi Q7’s total power output ( hp) is still far below the Model X.

The new Q7 has an updated engine
The new Q7 has an updated engine

Verdict

The Model X is easily one of the most impressive cars ever made and serves as a brilliant alternative to gas guzzling full size SUVs such as the Audi Q7.

TESLA Model X: First Electric Car

"Tesla Model X"

Tesla Motors have finally created and unveiled their full-size luxury crossover utility vehicle. Tesla unveiled this car at Tesla’s design studios in Los Angeles on February 9, 2012. The car is named Model X and was developed from the full-size sedan platform of the Tesla Model S and is being produced with it at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.

According to reports, Americans had bought around 5,30,000 SUVs and crossovers only in September. This sums up to a 30 % increase in the sales. An electric vehicle that fits and un-electrified large crossover segment does make perfect sense. But, building the Model X was not just a vision of creating a typical crossover. It happens to be the world’s first mass-produced Electric vehicle crossover.

Here is a preview at the X model by Tesla:

Design:

Unveiled on the 29th of September 2015, and features a panoramic windshield. This happens to be the safest SUV in terms of frontal and side impact crash according to Elon Musk.

"Tesla Model X"
Image Source: blog.cargurus.com

Its standard radar-based AEB and ultrasonic-based side collision avoidance to steer occupants away from a side collision. Tesla developed an ultrasonic sensor that can see through metal to keep falcon doors from hitting nearby objects when opening or closing.

"Tesla Model X"
Image Source: www.javastudioarsitek.com

Yes, this vehicle has falcon doors that avoid collision with nearby objects when opened. The company claims that the car features the first true HEPA Filter in a car, with medical grade cabin air cleanliness comparable to that of a hospital operating room. When the car operates at maximum capability (enabled with a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” button), Tesla claims that no viruses, bacteria or spores can be detected in the cabin.

Tech Specs:

It is claimed that the Model X will weigh 8% more than Tesla’s Model S and share around 30% of its parts. The vehicle with a choice of two lithium-ion battery packs. The batteries are rated at either 70 or 90 kW:h– the same choices available on the Model S as well as the highest performance version of the model P90D that goes from 0 to 100 in just 3.2 seconds. Surprisingly, this car outperforms various sports cars and SUV’s too. The Model X features an all-wheel drive system that uses two motors for front and rear wheels. The model X carries an official EPA rated 310 mi or 500 km range according to the European NEDC testing cycle.

Talks suggest that the company was planning on offering a rear-wheel drive version. However, the company seems to have scrapped those plans and included all wheel drive. The standard AWD version of the car has 259 HP on each front and rear motors whereas, the performance edition of the Model X has 259 Hp in the front and 503 Hp on its rear side. It also has an optional tow bar that has a towing capacity of 2300 kilos. The wheelbase of the Model X is 120.5 inches or 3061 mm. The length, width and height of this crossover utility vehicle is 197 x 82 x 64 inches respectively.

Features:

The seven-seater car named Model X hits around 250 miles per charge and this is a mighty impressive USP of the car. In addition to the marvelous aesthetics of this car, it has emergency automatic braking for safety. An automatic steering function will monitor lane lines to keep the vehicle in its lane without driver input, and automatic parking. A suite of radar and sonar sensors and a forward-facing camera make the technology possible, and Tesla says periodic software updates will automatically upload improvements to the systems over the airwaves.

"Tesla model X"
Image Source: www.greencarreports.com

In keeping with Tesla’s reputation for building cars the well heeled will appreciate, the Model X is imbued with a number of luxurious touches. Intuitive doors open automatically for the driver, and the infotainment stack features a massive 17-inch display screen. The little road noise allowed to enter the cabin will be moot against the Model X’s 17-speaker stereo system. Interior air is purified for the Tesla elite, with a Hepa filter system that ducts air in through the vehicle’s front fascia. This might sound like a dream, but it is real!

Production and Price:

Ever since its inception, the Model X happens to be Tesla’s third car to be launched since 2003. After Tesla’s Roadster, Model S (Saloon car) and recorded a sales figure of 75,000 vehicles. The Model X was a debutant in 2012, but due to engineering delays, the car launch was delayed to 2014. Deliveries of the Model X are patience-busters for sure. It takes 8-10 months to get your vehicle delivered.

"Model X"
Image Source: www.tumblr.com

From pricing perspective, the pricing for the limited edition Model X varies between US$132,000 and US$144,000. The standard production versions of the Model X costs $5,000 more than a comparably equipped AWD Model S that is priced atUS$75,000 for the base Model 70D.

Sustainability wise, it is surely going to be awkward for the Model X to cope up with a $ 1,30,000+ price tag.

For many people who have a lot of money, buying a Tesla is as much buying into Elon’s vision as it is about the product,” Brett Smith, an analyst with the Center for Automotive Research, said in an interview. “You become part of something great.”

Bottom Line:

Tesla Model X is surely a technological marvel that had to happen. Its price might seem extreme, but Elon’s vision combined with a whole lot of technology cannot be ignored