Tesla displayed an interior refresh for their Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.Enlarge Photo
Have patience, all you SUV and crossover fans who desperately want one that plugs in and runs electrically.
They're coming, but you've got a year to wait--or perhaps a bit less, with luck.
2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012Enlarge Photo
Only two vehicles remotely qualify today as plug-in crossovers or SUVs, and neither offers all-wheel drive--a necessity for many, many utility-vehicle buyers.
The first is the low-volume Toyota RAV4 EV--of which only 2,600 will be built for model years 2012 through 2014, and which is sold in California only as a compliance car--there aren't any crossover utility vehicles or SUVs that plug in.
The second is the Ford C-Max Energi, a compact hatchback plug-in hybrid launched in 2013 whose electric range and efficiency ratings were lowered last week by Ford.
That will change next year. Here's our rundown of what's coming:
Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, 2012 Paris Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PLUG-IN HYBRID: Jan-Jun 2015?
The struggling Japanese automaker actually launched the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV more than a year ago, and it too has sold well in Asia and in Europe.
The company is now constrained both by battery-pack supply and by the need to modify the plug-in hybrid Outlander to meet U.S. regulations.
Its plug-in SUV has been delayed a number of times, although a Mitsubishi source suggested that it will arrive in the U.S. more quickly than the most dire predictions that delayed it to Fall 2015.
We suspect that when the plug-in Outlander arrives, it'll include updates to equipment and perhaps even styling that launch that model's mid-cycle refresh. The current model has been on sale in gasoline form in the U.S. for two years now.
Tesla Model X prototype in Culver City, California [photo by Instagram user jmtibs]Enlarge Photo
TESLA MODEL X: Volume deliveries start April-June 2015
The second volume model from electric-car startup Tesla Motors has, like its earlier models, been somewhat delayed from the originally announced schedule.
On an earnings call several weeks ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that volume production of the Model X--originally scheduled for around now, then postponed to the last quarter of this year--would ramp up in the second quarter of 2015.
It's still possible that handfuls of early-production Model X electric crossovers will trickle out of the second assembly line at Tesla's assembly plant in Fremont, California.
UPDATE: Tesla just mailed Model X reservation holders to assure them that deliveries would, in fact, begin in early 2015. All-wheel drive will be standard, and a folding third-row seat will be optional.
Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
But unless you're on the Tesla board or a very early depositor indeed, you likely won't have a chance at delivery until next spring--or thereafter.
In fact, Tesla still hasn't shown the final production version of the Model X, though prototypes have been seen testing in a variety of locations.
The Model X, built on the same underpinnings as the Model S sedan but with a second electric motor up front to give it all-wheel drive, is the sole all-electric SUV in the group.
All the rest have battery ranges that will likely come in at 12 to 20 miles, with a gasoline engine for maximum power or for use in hybrid mode once the battery pack is depleted.