We've known since 2009 that Tesla has plans for a crossover and a minivan based on the Model S platform, but now it looks like the crossover, dubbed the Model X, may soon take shape, with a possible debut, at least in concept form, at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Tesla can do the many-hats thing on the Model S platform thanks to its Versatile Vehicle Architecture, and while the idea of a crossover is hardly inspiring, it could prove eminently useful--and a real step toward widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
Cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are excellent as first examples of the renascent EV movement, but they simply don't fit many lifestyles, at least not as a primary car. But with costs targeted at around $30,000 for the various Model S variants, room for five or more, plus cargo space and soft-road capability, the Model X crossover could be the answer.
If the concept does materialize in Frankfurt, we'll be looking forward to one aspect of the vehicle most: its design. Tesla has led the field in proving green doesn't have to mean frumpy, from the Lotus-derived Roadster to the sleek and elegant Model S sedan. A crossover from the same minds could actually be desirable for reasons other than its sheer utility.
Would we put money on a Tesla crossover at Frankfurt this fall? No. But we wouldn't rule it out, either.