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Latest Tesla Model X Prototype Shown At Palo Alto Store Opening

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Tesla Store, Palo Alto

Tesla Store, Palo Alto

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Hundreds of owners and fans alike turned up for the opening of a new Tesla Store in Palo Alto, California, this past Saturday.

They weren't all there just to see the store, though. Many focused on the store's centerpiece--the latest prototype of the Tesla Model X crossover, the next car in Tesla Motors' product plans.

Reaction, says the San Jose Mercury News, was positive, and the sleek crossover won plenty of fans for its design and interior.

It's a design and interior we've seen before; the prototype appears unchanged from the model we saw at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.

That means it has the same white paint scheme and production-ready exterior design--though it's the interior that proves most interesting, for both its similarities to and differences from the Model S sedan.

Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto Show

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Three rows of seats make up the Model X interior, the middle of which is unusually finished in contrasting black leather (the others are white), at least on the prototype.

Tesla's large central touchscreen display makes a reappearance, though here it's raised and moved above of the dashboard surface, rather than being set into the console as it is in the Model S.

That's probably a result of the Model X's raised driving position, which may require the screen to be positioned closer.

There are other subtle differences too--a body-color strip across the dashboard housing the air vents, and a large central cubby below the center stack that offers a little more interior practicality than the Model S.

Reaction was positive, says the News--one onlooker describing it as "awesome", even if the projected $70,000-$90,000 price tag caused a little consternation.

The 27,000-square-foot store itself is Tesla's 41st location in North America and the fifth in the Bay Area alone--but ideally placed, in the heart of Silicon Valley along the busy El Camino Real artery.

As such, it's likely to be as popular when the production Model X hits as it was with the prototype on display.

What do you think of the Tesla Model X? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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