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In front of a crowd of 1000 people at their design studio in California, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has unveiled the third model in the company's line-up. The Model X CUV you see here is a pre-production prototype and the company intends to begin sales in 2013.

The Model X Crossover is built on the same architecture that underpins the Model S sedan and will use the same batteries - namely the 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 80 kWh packs. Due to the greater kerb weight on the crossover in comparison to its sedan sibling, the single charge range is reduced by around 10%. This means we should expect a range of roughly 145 miles (233 km) for the 40kWh version and up to 270 miles (435 km) for the 80kWh version according to official figures.

The front end takes a similar style to the Model S and the sloping roofline gives the crossover an aroma of a coupe adding an element of sexiness. But the real talking point is the rear gullwing / falcon doors that provide the easiest entry to a car you could really imagine. They have also been designed with a hinge in the middle of the door to allow it to bend so they can be opened in tight spaces.

Inside the cabin, the crossover gets three rows of seats giving ample space for seven adults and their luggage. Due to the lack of a combustion engine, the crossover gets two luggage compartments, one in the back and an additional compartment in the front where the engine would normally be.

Finally, Elon Musk revealed one additional thing. Tesla Motors are already planning a fourth model for the brand; expect an official announcement within the next two years.

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