Regular readers will no doubt be aware that we test drove the much hyped Tesla Model X P100D way back in February this year when founder Elon Musk visited Dubai, and we were impressed and intrigued in equal measure with the all-electric SUV. We got another look last night when the luxury brand officially opened its first retail store and service centre in Dubai.
Located on Shaikh Zayed Road opposite the Burj Khalifa, the Model X and the Model S saloon were on display at the new 17,000 square feet store - which will also include the Tesla design studio and the dual motor Model S rolling chassis. Wonder if they've got room for that rumoured truck in there too... Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen, Tesla’s director for new markets, spoke at length at the event and with more than 3 million people worldwide visiting Tesla stores it’s clear that there is a massive interest in electric vehicle technology. The new Dubai store - managed by Tesla, not a local dealer - will no doubt attract countless fans of green cars and, er, traditional petrolheads alike wishing to learn what the future of the automobile industry holds for them. We've already interviewed one owner of the Model S and he loves his ride but of course other brands such as Jaguar, Mercedes, Nissan and Chevrolet are dabbling with the tech and some rather unknown newcomers are getting in on the act so there's clearly no running away from EVs...
Along with convenient home charging, Tesla has designed a sophisticated electric vehicle charging network including Superchargers and Destination chargers. These allow owners to travel wherever and whenever they want and with two Supercharger sites in the UAE (three more are planned by the end of the year) drivers can recharge their vehicles in a matter of minutes. It also has 32 Destination Charging locations and another 18 will pop up around the UAE in the next six months but how well the batteries cope in our soaring temperatures remains to be seen.
Aside from a 632km range, the Model S isn’t just claimed to be the safest car on the road but with its ability to hit 100kph in just 2.7 seconds, it’s exceptionally quick too. We’re yet to sample the saloon but the all-wheel drive Model X blew us away with its incredible pace. It can do the 0-100kph sprint in a scarcely believable 3.1 seconds and has a range of 565km.
Prices start from Dh281,350 for Model S and Dh332,500 for Model X and they’ll soon be joined by the more affordable Model 3 saloon.