Tesla racks up $40M worth of Model X orders

@PeterDrives February 15, 2012: 5:15 PM ET

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 (TSLA) 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.

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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 Wednesday reported a fourth quarter net loss of $222 million for 2011, up from a loss $128 million the same time last year as the carmaker invests in research, development and preparing for production of the new vehicles.(See correction)

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.

The automaker also announced Wednesday that it had been asked by Daimler to develop a full powertrain -- including the the battery pack, motor, gearbox inverter and related software -- for a fully electric Mercedes-Benz car.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Tesla's fourth quarter financial results. To top of page

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