Version 9.0: 2018 Tesla Model X 100D

 

Tesla has released Version 9.0 of it's vehicle operation software so we took Model X for spin to see what the latest update delivers to owners.

Words: Robert Barry   |   Photos RB
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The experience of buying and operating a new Tesla EV is not dissimilar to that of a new Apple iPhone. Both need to be plugged in to recharge on a regular basis, and the operating system software is constantly being reviewed and updated by each manufacturer.

Every so often a whole new operating system software package is launched, and in this case for the Tesla line-up, it is called Version 9.0.

It introduces updates to the car’s large central touchscreen, and the Tesla mobile app, designed for an easier and more convenient driving experience. It has also made improvements to the climate, navigation, media, and control functions, as well as several safety enhancements.

We came away stirred but not shaken by Mr Musk’s latest offering

To get better acquainted with Version 9.0, Tesla provided us with a Model X 100D a vehicle that NZ Autocar has not yet driven before for a 48-hour test drive. We came away stirred but not shaken by Mr Musk’s latest offering.

Despite all the electronic bells and whistles and other associated brand frippery, the Model X is quite fun to drive thanks to the electric drivetrain which provides effortless torque from the moment your big toe caresses the go pedal.

Power to the four driving wheels come from a 100kWh battery which offers a theoretical range of 565km, and provides this hefty six-seater SUV with an acceleration time of 4.9 seconds from zero to 100km/h.


The smart air suspension provides a comfortable ride and decent handling, but the electric power steering occasionally feels a bit too light and vague at higher speeds. It doesn’t quite have the same sensitivity as other brands have managed to engineer into their vehicles.

One new feature that we liked is that the Autosteer and Auto Lane Change functions are now combined into a single Autosteer (Beta) setting available under Controls > Autopilot. When Autosteer is enabled, engaging the turn signal will activate Auto Lane Change to move the car into an adjacent driving lane.

However, if a vehicle (or obstacle) is detected in the target lane by the blindspot warning system when the turn signal is engaged, the car will refuse to change lanes until it is safe to do so.

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Should you experience a road rage incident the Model X has a built-in dashcam. It allows the driver to record and store video footage from the narrow forward camera onto a USB flash drive. A driver can tap the dashcam icon on the touchscreen to save a ten minute video clip or press and hold to pause recording when required.

Standard features on the 100D include the oak decor, light headliner, high amperage charger, towing package, premium upgrade package, and smart air suspension.

The premium upgrade package includes a self-presenting front door (that opens to the exact width as the driver approaches), heated seats and steering wheel, and medical-grade HEPA filters for the climate air.

It was the little touches that impressed, such as the ease of moving the powered rear seats at the touch of a button, and when the middle row seat moves forward, the driver/passenger seat also moved in tandem, to allow greater clearance and ease of access.

And don’t worry about the cream vegan upholstery, it easily wipes clean with a damp cloth and some household cleaner.

The magnetic front sun visors are cute but woefully inadequate for the size of the panoramic windscreen. Some pull-down blinds would be preferred because the solar tinting didn’t seem to cope with the harsh Kiwi sunshine; it was very hot to the touch!

The novelty of the twin rear Falcon doors with their unique open/close mechanism never wore off. However, if the car is parked in space where a conventionally mounted rear door cannot open properly, then neither will those of the Model X thanks to intelligent sensors.

The base price of a Model X 100D is $166,000, but options selected for this car included the metallic paint ($2400), 20-inch alloys ($3200), cream interior ($2400), six seats ($9600), and enhanced autopilot ($8000). Delivery and registration added $1100. The final on road price came to $192,720.

That’s a significant investment, but after living with the 100D for a couple of days we can understand why people are more than happy to pay a premium for the vehicle; it’s one that offers a much greater experience than the sum of its parts.

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