The appearance of an online configurator is usually a good indication that a new model is about to go on sale.
So the launch of the Tesla Model X online configurator will likely be viewed as a welcome sight indeed by those anticipating the much-delayed launch of the electric crossover.
That includes the 20,000 or so customers Tesla says have made reservations for the luxury utility vehicle.
Customers who have reserved the top-level Signature Series were given a private link to the configurator, which was spotted by members of the Tesla Motors Club forum.
The Signature Series starts at $132,000--before any Federal, state, or local incentives--and uses the 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack recently introduced for the Model S.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: While this article clearly specifies that it is the Model X Signature Series first editions that start at $132,000, readers complained in the comments that our headline was not as clear.
We agree, and we have edited the headline to make the pricing reference clearer.
After much coverage of the $132,000 price for the Model X Signature Series, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on September 2: "With same options, Model X is $5,000 more than an S due to greater size & body complexity. Signature Series is fully loaded, hence high price."
Musk also added that the first production Model X cars would be handed over to their buyers on September 29th at the company's assembly plant in Fremont, California.]
That gives the all-wheel drive crossover an estimated range of 240 miles, while 0 to 60 mph will take 3.8 seconds, according to the website.
Top speed is the same 155 mph as the fastest Model S variants.
Like the Model S, the Model X will also be available with the $10,000 "Ludicrous mode" performance option.
This allows the Model X to do 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds--about the same as the Model S P85D with the previous "Insane mode."
In addition, some of Tesla's "Autopilot" autonomous tech--including self parking and "automatic lane steering" will be standard on the Signature Series.
The model also gets GPS-guided air suspension, heated and cooled leather seats, and a two-seat third row as standard equipment.
These features may be optional on other Model X trim levels, when they become available.
Options include a $750 towing package, which will allow the Model X to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
A $1,000 "Subzero Weather Package" adds a heated steering wheel, three-zone heaters for the second and third-row seats, heated washer nozzles, and wiper defrosters.
Model X deliveries are expected to begin as soon as next month, although initial deliveries may consist only of a small batch of essentially hand-built vehicles.
Tesla may not ramp up to full-volume production until some months after the first vehicles are delivered.
This may be why Tesla recently lowered its 2015 delivery target from 55,000 total units to 50,000 units.