South Africa’s only Tesla Model X — Photos

MyBroadband recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with the only Tesla Model X currently in South Africa.

The famous electric SUV was featured at an event hosted by real estate investment company Growthpoint at its 144 Oxford offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

The building is the prime example of where fans of Tesla’s environmentally-conscious approach to motoring might want to find themselves working.

It features a solar power plant on the roof and is built from the ground up with energy-efficient innovations, which has earned it a 5-star Green Rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Growthpoint has partnered with Rubicon, which offers a range of renewable energy systems and services, to achieve its green ambitions.

Rubicon is perhaps best known in South Africa as Tesla’s official local distributor of Powerwall, Megapack, and Wall Connector products.

Although Tesla is the biggest electric vehicle company and the most valuable car brand in the world, it does not yet sell its cars in the country.

South Africans can import their own Tesla, but doing so might come at an exorbitant cost compared to its actual retail price overseas.

Rubicon director of energy e-mobility, Greg Blandford, explained there were three main reasons why they decided to bring a Model X to the country nonetheless:

  • Marketing the Tesla brand to help sell its products.
  • Creating awareness around e-mobility among the public by using Tesla’s recognisability as an electric vehicle brand.
  • To lobby government and politicians by showing them the technology that is coming and making them aware of the need to prepare for it.

The Tesla Model X 2020 Performance Edition imported by Rubicon packs 580kW (778hp), accelerating from 0-100km/h in 2.7 seconds in Ludicrous Mode. Its large battery pack provides a range of 491km before needing a charge.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t give it a test drive (yet), although finally seeing one in person certainly did not disappoint.

Blandford did activate the Model X’s Celebration Mode, which sees the car perform a “dance” with its lights flickering and doors closing and opening to the rhythm of a song.

Despite its recognisability, the Tesla Model X’s exterior design seems to shout — or rather, whisper — minimalism.

That seemingly simple design quickly goes out the door, in particular the rear doors.

Instead of swinging outward, the Model X’s Falcon Wing back doors open upward like a sports car.

On the inside, the Tesla also sets itself apart, with a high-tech infotainment system that includes a massive 17-inch 2,200×1,300 display.

There were more buttons and dials on the car’s steering wheel than on its dashboard.

Almost all the driving controls that required easy access were on the steering wheel and levers. The centre display provided controls for suspension, navigation, air conditioning, music playback and other entertainment.

While the Model X certainly flaunts some of its less conventional features, it also offers much in the way of traditional practicality.

The seats were very comfortable, the legroom was spacious, and there was also a 544-litre boot for loading all manner of cargo.

As if that weren’t big enough, it also offers a front trunk with a further 187 litres of space.

Below are photos of Rubicon’s Tesla Model X during a showcase at Growthpoint’s 144 Oxford building in Rosebank.


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South Africa’s only Tesla Model X — Photos