After the upcoming Model S sedan, Tesla will release the Model X crossover in early 2014. According to Tesla the Model X, which shares its platform with the Model S, was designed to blend the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan. It looks like the Model X was also designed with women and their families in mind as well, since Tesla’s website describes the Model X as a vehicle “built around the driver — and six of her friends.”

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Tesla was serious about designing the Model X for women when it set out to design its new crossover. Last year Tesla invited a dozen women to a focus group led by Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief designer, at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Many of the Model X designers are also women, like Nancy Holman, Susanne Neuhauser and Kimberly Marte.

With its unique “Falcon Wing” passenger doors that open up and out of the way (perfect for tight parking spots at the mall and three rows of seats), the Model X is the perfect alternative to a minivan. Tesla also describes how easy it is to enter the third row of seats, even with child seats installed in the second-row seats. “My sister has kids, including two in baby seats, and she drives a minivan. I had to climb over the car seats to get into the back seat, and it seemed ridiculous to have to do gymnastics to get in and out of the car,” stated von Holzhausen.

Tesla also tried to avoid the traditional minivan styling that so many mothers simply loathe by combining the style of an SUV like the Cadillac Escalade with a minivan like the Honda Odyssey. The Tesla Model X may have been designed with women in mind, but the designers also wanted to create a car that men would want to drive as well.

“The focus group was great because it validated a lot of our own thinking,” said von Holzhausen. “Women don’t want an overly feminine vehicle — they want to feel secure. But it has to be aggressive enough for a guy to feel confident as well. We didn’t want to make a Hello Kitty edition.”

Even though the Tesla Model X will not arrive for about another two years, Tesla is already taking reservations for the electric crossover. Four days after Tesla unveiled the Model X, Tesla had already received over 500 reservations, making it the fastest selling Tesla ever. To reserve the Model X buyers need to put down either $5,000 for a regular model or $40,000 for the Model X Signature.

Via Chicago Tribune