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Tesla calls the Model X "a family vehicle with performance roots (Photo: Tesla)

Reservation holders for Tesla Motors' upcoming Model X were told by the electric sports sedan maker that production of the electric SUV would start in early 2015.

Tesla informed reservation holders in an email that was widely posted on enthusiasts' blogs that it would start building prototypes in Fremont, California, in the autumn of 2014. Many potential buyers had expected the Model X to become available in the course of 2014, but Tesla is said to have given manufacturing priority this year to its current best-selling car, the Model S.

Customers ordering the Model X today will have to wait for delivery until the autumn of 2015, the carmaker said on its Web site.

The Model X will have falcon wing doors and an option to add a third row of seats. It will have standard dual-motor all-wheel drive, with the second motor enabling more torque and traction in everyday conditions, Tesla said.

The car, which Tesla calls "a family vehicle with performance roots," can accelerate from 0 to 100 miles per hour in less than five seconds.