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Tesla Model X SUV water-safe but not wading-depth rated

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

25 Aug 2016 • 2 min read

Tesla's all-electric Model X SUV can cover 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds and boast a towing capacity of 2500kg – but would it be able to cross a river?

Speaking at the Model X's launch on Wednesday Tesla spokesman Heath Walker said he was not sure what the SUV's wading depth would be.

"It's secure from all water – like on a rainy day," Walker said.

"To be honest I haven't seen a wading test done to check if the seals would be broken but I wouldn't imagine so. Like any normal manufacturer we have to pass all those tests."

Walker said that although it's unlikely Model X owners will take the SUV through deeper water, they will expect it to cope with a range of adverse driving conditions.

"I don't think wading through water is going to be done often, but in terms of where this car is going to go in Europe with snow and those sort of things we're going to see this car used on what would be deemed not normal road conditions.

"Why it handles so well in those conditions is due to that heavy weight down low, the all-wheel drive and the low end torque as well to generate you out of a tricky situation."

Ultimately, electricity and water aren't the best of friends.

When crossing rivers off-road, the risk vehicles with combustion engines face is water entering the engine through the inlet manifold and causing instant destruction as the pistons try to compress water of significantly greater density than air.

The Model X wouldn't face the same issue, but ultimately, electricity and water aren't the best of friends.

Built on a slightly longer ‘skateboard chassis' than the Model S sedan, the top-spec Model X P100D is all-wheel drive with an electric 193kW/330Nm motor at front axle and 375kW/600Nm at the rear with the batteries stored under the floor.

Would you want to ford a river with the Tesla Model X? Tell us what you think in the comments below.