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Tesla Motors delays release of Model X electric crossover

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David McNew/Reuters/File

(Read caption) The falcon wing rear doors of the Tesla Motors Model X electric vehicle are seen at its 2012 unveiling at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif.

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Now that Tesla appears to be delivering hundreds of its Model S electric sport sedan each week, public attention inevitably turns to its future.

Specifically, the next vehicle it plans to launch, the Model X all-electric crossover utility vehicle--which will offer optional all-wheel drive.

But inside the Form 10-K 2012 Annual Report issued last week by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] was a note that may disappoint some affluent Tesla-loving families.

They may want a fully electric crossover in which to carry little Jennifer to soccer practice and little Jason to music lessons, but they're going to have to wait a little longer. 

Tesla is delaying the Model X launch roughly 12 months, to the end of next year rather than late 2013 as it had said when the Model X was first shown.

The story was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, in a story on Tesla's promise to repay its Department of Energy loans early.

The full statement from the company runs as follows:

Tesla has been intensely focused on Model S, its production and product enhancements and believe there is increased volume potential for Model S.

As a result, Tesla has decided to slightly push back the development and timing of Model X to 2014. We do not expect a material impact on our profitability in 2013 or 2014.

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The company's use of the phrase "slightly push back" was questioned by AutoblogGreen, which noted that late 2013 to late 2014 would seem to constitute delaying the launch an entire year.

The Tesla Model X prototype was initially unveiled in February 2012 at a widely publicized webcast of the event at the SpaceX facility in Southern California.

It wowed the crowd with its elevating rear "falcon doors," and since then, Model X prototypes have been shown at various auto shows and events around the world.

Most recently, at this January's Detroit Auto Show, Tesla showed a Model X with a revised interior design, ostensibly to test public reaction to the new approach.

The company has said the Model X will be offered with the choice of 60- and 85-kilowatt-hour battery packs, as well as optional all-wheel drive.

The Model X is built on essentially the same underpinnings as the current Model S, with a thin battery pack containing thousands of commodity lithium-ion cells forming the floorpan of the car.

 

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