Offroad performance of Model X

Offroad performance of Model X

Most popular SUV's with good (highway) driving characteristics like X5 and Q7 are not considered 'real' offroad machines like Landrovers or Landcruisers mainly because of their lack of Low Gearing. I'm no expert but what I understand about the concept of low gearing is it gives you maximum torque and maximum control at low speeds.
Wouldn't it be possible to create the effect of low gearing through a software fix in the Model X which would use the instant torque of the motors while limiting top speed to about 30 mph. This way you could use the full travel of the accelerator pedal for maximum control. Assuming it's all 'fly by wire' that would be relatively easy.

Anyone have any thoughts if this could work? If this is possible it would be another awesome selling point for the Model X and would make the car even more useful. Not just for commuting to work or soccer practice but some real outdoor adventures!
Just imagine selecting the setting Ultra High on the air suspension and Ultra Low on the gearing, all from the comfort of the touchscreen, and nothing that will get in your way :-)

If this won't do the trick, does anyone have other ideas to make the Model X more of a rugged machine?

Timo | December 15, 2012

Electric motor torque at low RPM is already way more than any ICE can give you. No need for "low gearing". Model X probably could climb to a tree if it had enough traction.

torst1 | January 28, 2013

I believe ArieK was thinking of a sort of "terrain" setting in the software.
That would allow for full use of the gas pedal without actually reach 0-60 in 4 seconds. I guess one would still need diff-locks to ensure all 4 wheels keep turning even on EV? Today starting diff-locks is possible with the flick of a button -no need to go outside and twist on the wheel hub. Diff lock Would be a great option.

For a terrain setting also useful would be hill descending control.

Brian H | January 28, 2013

I believe traction and stability control handle that normally. As for hill descending, cruise control and regen will work AFAIK.

Earl and Nagin ... | October 19, 2013

I'm quite sure the Model X won't really be an offroad capable vehicle. Part of me, however, hopes my Model X will replace my Nissan Xterra for offroading while my good-judgement side realizes I'll never be able to abuse a $90K car the way I abuse that 12 year old $22K truck. I never hesitate to go places in it that aren't really suitable for a vehicle, giving it scratches in the finish from squeezing through brush and dents from kicking up rocks.
I guess there's something about the invincibility of a car that can get beat up.
I suppose I'll still need to find a place to park the Xterra.

Car t man | October 20, 2013

Yes, with electric motors this is very simple. A "profile" can be set and then the entire pedal travel can only cover say speeds of up to 20 miles, etc..
Anything can be set easily with few clicks. You can count on having that option via the menu. Also hill descent control type of features..

blue adept | October 24, 2013

I am looking forward to fully outfitting the Model X with an offroad package....

jk2014 | October 24, 2013

Elon just said (in London) AWD will be standard on all Model X's. Also said base model will be "single digits" percentage higher than Model S in price...

Brian H | October 24, 2013

Link? Or were you there personally?

TheStig | October 26, 2013

I hope you guys are clear between AWD and off-road capabilities. Just because a vehicle has AWD doesn't mean it can handle off road. Given the suspension setup, weight of the vehicle and what the intention of the vehicle is, I highly doubt you are going to get a "rock crawler" out of this. Can you? Sure. It's not hard to do an aftermarket setup but the think about target audience. Most luxury SUV's can't really go off road. They can handle extreme winters but the car will be on paved roads the majority of the time.

Bikezion | October 26, 2013

An aftermarket long travel suspension is certainly a possibility, with the air suspension it could be really cool. Longer arms in the suspension, and longer halfshafts gives a wider track and more travel. A model X raptor? The electric drive would be far superior to ice, although the range would suffer. Regen would take care of hill descent control. The flat skid plate bottom is already perfect. It is really hard to justify off roading in a $90,000 vehicle though. (Although the nice built jeeps are $50,000+)

Car t man | October 28, 2013

Electric motors can be so well controlled that with air suspension, they form superior AWD systems. It would be even better if each wheel was driven by
own motor and then those motors vector torqued but it would still depend
on the rest of the vehicle. But on paper, you have quite an offroader.

ian | October 28, 2013

The Range Rover Sport and the Posche Cayenne are both very capable off-road so there's no reason Tesla can't make the X just as capable. I doubt they will though. So far they seem to be targeting the X to be the suburban mom mobile more than anything.

We shall see.


blue adept | October 31, 2013

As others have mentioned, the inherent AWD ability of the Model X will more than adequately serve to insure its capability on the sort of uneven terrain one encounters once they've left the civility of the paved roadways.

After that, the appropriate suspension upgrades would ready the vehicle for the heavier duties required of it in off-pavement environments and LSD's, perhaps of the sort that are electronically controlled, would resolve whatever potential issues with independent wheel traction.

I'm really not seeing any problems with the conversion potential.

Jel | November 15, 2013

Therese X will not be anything near a Range Rover. It should stay on the road. Rocks would case fire if it hits the battery and what about wading?

NumberOne | November 15, 2013

This is speculation of course, but the Model X should be able to drive just about anywhere at a slow speed. I have an F150 FX4, which I have never in the 7 years I have had it gone off road with. Real off road capability is not something most people will need, but you will have proper traction off road if you need it. From what I have seen, this car is not being designed as an off roader. Perhaps there will be a more capable off road model in the Future, but it is not a current goal.

Brian H | November 16, 2013

Aha! the reason for the TM patent on a honeycomb battery shield. At 2", too thick for the MS, but fine for the MX.

blue adept | November 19, 2013


Can you say 'hermetically sealed'?

blue adept | November 19, 2013


And then there are the typical underbody armor accessories available at damn near EVERY offroad/4X4 shop.

ArieK | November 25, 2013

If you had a custom winch which could hookup directly to the main battery, you could pull town trees or help out stuck eighteen wheelers ;-)

blue adept | November 26, 2013


Yes, you could, couldn't you?!

blue adept | December 8, 2013

@The Stig:

Does it have drive shafts? YES!

Does it have CV joints? YES!

Does it have hermetically sealed drive motors and battery compartment? YES!

Then it CAN be off-roaded!!!

sneferu | December 23, 2013

The exploded image of the internal structure of the model x has a flat full beam unibody frame construction. I would say that the fame would need to be manufactured with high carbonic steel, carbon fiber or nanoparticulate compond; to resist torsional stress. this present design does not look like a very good pot hole or washboard absorber. I would not consider this an off road vehicle, but probably just as outstanding as any (like my) awd sports car.

blue adept | December 29, 2013


Many an off-road vehicle were crafted by fitting the body onto a prefabbed frame and suspension set-up, though I'm not implying any 'heavy duty' off-road use, just some basic 'crawling' really.