Ski/bike rack

Ski/bike rack

I live in Lake Tahoe, and like the Model X concept (enough that I have one reserved), BUT I do have a serious concern/question. The falcon doors, while they may have a 'wow' factor for some and maybe do offer improved access to the interior, strike me as wholly impractical when it comes to making this a functional vehicle. How the heck am I supposed to carry skiis or bikes!? There doesn't appear to be any functional way to mount a rack system.

Would welcome the input of anyone from Tesla in particular... any solution forthcoming for this issue?


stephen.kamichik | 3 March 2012

You should address your question to

Shane | 3 March 2012

Thanks! Just emailed him... we shall see!

Discoducky | 9 March 2012

Tow hitch would be better, IMHO, since range won't be impacted as much.

I believe it's a certainty with two motors for TM to rate the X for towing.

adstein | 11 March 2012

I am sure that they considered the issue of a roof rack and purposely designed a car which could not use them due to aerodynamic concerns. I imagine that a loaded roof rack could reduce highway range by 50%. The idea with the x is to use interior space and not the roof.

Teoatawki | 11 March 2012

@adstein: The idea with the x is to use the interior space and not the roof.

Yeah, good luck getting your kayak in there.

adstein | 11 March 2012

Obviously it won't work for some applications. I just believe that they accepted the aerodynamic limitations of an ev any went from there.

wtrask4 | 13 March 2012

Model X should have a tow hitch.
- lowest profile when not in use
- understandable reduction of milage when in use
- flexible for many uses..
- kayak trailer, ski & bike racks
- I'm not interested in putting any of this on the roof!

Brian H | 14 March 2012

Wasn't there a quote somewhere that a rep/tech had hinted there was a very innovative roof rack solution? (It would have to be; very hard to imagine!)

Discoducky | 24 March 2012

Little known law that's been on the books for quite sometime...It's actually illegal in WA State to put a kayak on top of car unless it's a Subaru wagon.

BarryInBoulder | 5 April 2012

It seems to me there is a simple solution that would serve 90% of the roof rack needs. Tesla could implement attachment points for racks that cover half the roof (left or right sides). This would be enough for a kayak or canoe, a couple bikes, skis, etc. When the attachment points are engaged, the falcon door on that side is electronically disabled. As most minivans only have rear doors on one side, this isn't a big loss in functionality.

mvbf | 5 April 2012

That might be the best suggestion I have heard yet Barry. Here's to hoping they think beyond a rack that just carries skis. As far as I know, skis are the only thing that anyone from Tesla has mentioned the "innovative roof rack" would carry.

GROC288 | 13 December 2012

I would hope for a trailer hitch too. Bike rack and other stuff useful.

Drivesalot | 21 December 2012

The ski rack question is an interesting one. I drive limousines for a living - that includes town cars, SUVs, everything with wheels. In the winter, we put roof racks on all our cars for hauling skiers to Whistler, and on our SUVs we use ski boxes because skis and snowboards don't mix well with a car full of passengers, and the larger passenger capacity means even more ski gear than with a sedan. With the amount we drive each car in a year and the high gas prices in our area, the fuel savings compared to a standard SUV - Suburban or Navigator, would probably pay for the car outright in 5-7 years, not even including maintenance savings. So the ability to carry ski gear externally really would make or break our company's purchasing decision. I think we can live with the reduced range of increased drag, so long as we can carry the extra gear externally.

mbergen21 | 30 December 2012

I have a deposit on an X as well and this is a big concern for me. I am hoping for a hitch mount. We are a biking/triathlon family. I currently put 5 bikes on the roof of my BMW X5.

AudunB | 30 December 2012

The falcon doors look fancy, but I think the lack of possibility to put a roof box / ski box on Model X will exclude this car for very many potential buyers here in Norway. Very many use such boxes for skis, snowboards etc during winter over here. Personally, I would love to have a Model X, but with the falcon doors, it is out of the question. Due to both the ski box issue and the height issue inside the garage.
I think the Model X would benefit from having regular doors. Have the designers considered what happens when the car has been standing outdoors and is covered with snow or ice, and someone opens the doors?

mvbf | 31 December 2012

To those not trailer averse, here you go:

lph | 31 December 2012

This raises a point that has been bothering me for some time now. When you use the interactive web page showing how the falcon doors open and close it looks to me that the doors also hinge at the edge of the roof where it intersects with the door side panel (gutter line) just before it closes. Also it seems that the geometry does not allow it to have such a small side clearance without the door hinging here.
It could be an optical illusion but being an engineer I rarely get tricked by that sort of thing (there is always a first time!).
If this second hinge is there, then it may be possible that the door hinge at the gutter line would allow it to swing out further. The geometry would be very tricky to make this and have a long enough hinge to make strong, but it may be possible. This would allow a rack to be in place but have temporary limited headroom clearance when getting in and out.
Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Sudre_ | 6 January 2013

mvbf, I really like that trailer you posted the link for. Even with low Saturn I HATE loading things on and off the roof. 99% of the time I have to practically climb on top of the car to see in my roof mounted POD. I can not imagine trying to handle things on top of an SUV without a ladder.

My only question is how do the trailers handle in the snow and ice. I would imagine they track behind the car, but ruts in the snow might make things difficult. (I have not towed often and never in bad weather)

Brian H | 6 January 2013

Strap-on skis under the wheels. ;)

Nicu.Mihalache | 7 April 2013

Watch starting 3:15 - there is a solution for skis for Model X (he doesn't say which, maybe just the obvious one side of the car, door stays "shut" - down, I mean)

trones.mittet | 20 April 2013

Could the space in the''frunk'' with a longer tunnel under the dashboard, make room for pair of skies?

ian | 20 April 2013

Not if you've got another motor up there for AWD.

Alex K | 20 April 2013

Picture of Model X Frunk:

Brian H | 20 April 2013

No skies inside the frunk; that's for the pano roof. No skis, either, unless they fold up.

j.antony | 21 April 2013

Trailer hitch please... possibly even custom fitted luggage to maximize storage potential in the trunk and the frunk

truebeliever | 21 April 2013

There's an aftermarket hitch receiver available for the Model S.

You can see the details of installation on a youtube video. We use ours for a bike rack. When not in use, we remove the visible part of the hitch receiver for looks and aerodynamics. Very happy with it.

carlgo | 4 June 2013

Yes, a hitch is really mandatory on a vehicle like this. It could be an option, but then you still have to have an opening and flap for the rear bumper cover or manufacture two different bumpers and Tesla seems to wisely want to have the most efficient manufacturing process possible. (I remember a cheap Ford product that had as I recall 17 bumper combinations! Did this sell even 100 more cars? I doubt it. So stupid).

A fancy way to deal with the rack issue is to have a rack mounted to the rear hitch receiver that would swivel or slide up over the roof. You would pull it down and back, load your bikes, kayaks, etc, hit a button and it would power up and the front part would dock to a little stabilizer receiver on the front of the roof. It would be far easier to load stuff and you could easily lower it to fit under garages, etc.

Of course this would only work if the falcon doors could also be opened at the drip line of the roof.

lotusguynyc | 4 June 2013

Please do not underestimate the importance of using an SUV for active sports. I happen to like the falcon doors a lot. It is absolutely imperitive that you come up with some solution, either an option or something the TSLA stores can install as an option that allows you to carry either at least 2-4 pairs of skiis, or 2 snowboards, or 2 bikes. TSLA has come out with lots of innovations so please make sure you come up with an easy way to accomodate those basic requirements...
I can not move forward with an x package without the ability to go skiing or mountain biking as that is why I have an SUV!

lotusguynyc | 4 June 2013

fyi that email address above doesn't work :(

ian | 4 June 2013

Here you go...

Swap it for a bike rack in the summer.

I'm planning to mount some fork mounts on something (2x4?) so I can put a couple (3 or 4 maybe?) bikes int the back with the 3rd row folded flat. Might have to fold the 2nd row down too.


shop | 4 June 2013

At today's shareholder meeting, Elon specifically adressed the ski rack issue. He said that the Model X will be a natural car for the ski areas, and that they will have a novel approach to carrying skis.

Brian H | 4 June 2013

But maybe a rear rack, not on the roof.

lotusguynyc | 9 June 2013

I was very happy Elon mentioned this and I reserved one. I like the falcon doors, as long as u have some easy way that I can bring ski's or a mountain bike, I am good :)

Elon Impressed me at shareholder meeting and he clearly understands what an suv is for....

Eljeffe59-1 | 17 June 2013

I'm a surfer who needs AWD to get to my favorite surf spot. I've been concerned about the rack issue as well considering the gull wing doors. I have a MX on reserve and am waiting to see their solution before ordering. The boards I ride are big wave guns that won't fit inside the vehicle. Plus who wants wax and sand inside their $100k super car?

Brian H | 18 June 2013

Maybe surfers aren't a big enough market to worry about for TM? Wait for the pick-up truck.

jeffpoel | 7 October 2013

I have a Model S 85P and a reservation for an X. I'm a surfer and although most of my boards would fit inside the X, I don't want a sandy, wax covered, and salty surfboard inside my 100k vehicle. Need racks more than fancy falcon doors.

Brian H | 8 October 2013

Then you want a pano Model S, which has fittings for roof rack.

ziska | 23 October 2013

Just to echo the crowd... skis... bikes ... and (ideally) a cricket camper.

planetem_87 | 13 November 2013

I'm not sure what would work best here but there are a number of solutions for carrying skis on the exterior of a vehicle, such as this , or this = , or a roof box,

Malibu_Two | 17 November 2013

"I am sure that they considered the issue of a roof rack and purposely designed a car which could not use them due to aerodynamic concerns. I imagine that a loaded roof rack could reduce highway range by 50%. The idea with the x is to use interior space and not the roof."

Yes, but why not let the customer decide this for themselves? I carry a kayak and if my range is reduced by 50% (which sounds high to me), I'm okay with that. A trailer doesn't work for me because I like to store the kayak on my car in the garage when I'm using it frequently.

As for your point about interior space, maybe Tesla can also design kayaks, skis, and bikes that will fit in the frunk?

Brian H | 17 November 2013

andrew, you need an SOV (Some Other Vehicle).

Malibu_Two | 17 November 2013

A roof rack isn't the only reason to lose the wing doors. In cold weather, especially with hard rain or snow, people generally open the door just enough to slip inside the car. With the X, the doors will need to swing all the way open, allowing god knows how much snow or rain to get in the car. This will not sell well in colder climates.

And yes, people could get an SOV (that was very clever what you did there), or Tesla could be smart about this car and realize that they could sell it to more than just soccer moms in LA and Miami if they lose (or modify) the wing doors.

cloroxbb | 17 November 2013

How many times are people going to use that excuse? (snow on the top). You CLEAN the snow off the top before you leave, or you are an idiot.

Brian H | 17 November 2013

Um, open the door enough to slip in! Same.

Malibu_Two | 18 November 2013

"Um, open the door enough to slip in! Same."

Not without opening up half the car to the outside elements.

"You CLEAN the snow off the top before you leave, or you are an idiot."

What's if it's SNOWING or RAINING? You don't have to start calling people names. This is a discussion, that's all.

Brian H | 18 November 2013

AFAIK, the FW doors don't have to rise all the way to permit entry. Same.

rudy | 4 December 2013

The best idea for carrying extra stuff I think is a trailer; easy to load, versatile... and a Tesla trailer could carry additional battery capacity. This would mean NO reduction in range... perhaps even positive gain in range, depending on the battery capacity stored on the trailer.
A simple flex cable could plug the trailer to the parent vehicle. Why, this could even work with the Model S... especially if a future version features four wheel drive... with extra power from the front motor... like the X... like Audi Quattro.

Brian H | 5 December 2013

?? Hard to offset the increased drag. And splitting power with the front motor makes no difference to energy use.

cloroxbb | 12 December 2013


I didnt call anyone a name. Unless you are definitely someone who wouldn't/doesn't clean the snow off the top of the car. Also if it is snowing or raining a normal door will allow the elements in as well, you just try to get in quickly so as to accumulate as little inside the vehicle as possible. Anyone who doesnt clean thier vehicle off before driving IS an idiot. Sad but true.

Cat at Crystal Mt. | 13 December 2013

As an avid skier here in the Pacific NW there are often times I return to my car after a day/weekend of skiing and there is a new foot of snow on top of the car in addition to a layer of ice on all windows. Is the Model X rear doors going to have some kind of defrost system? In a gale force storm I cringe at imagining having another area now on top of the car to contend with for clearing ice and snow so it would be nice if a person could remote start the car and all applicable defrost devices at a push of a button so time spent scraping ice and standing on/in the front door frames to access rear top for clearing would be minimized. Often we carry our back country ski set up as well as our all mountain skis depending on the conditions for the day so a solution which can contain multiple skis and keep them secure would be much appreciated. To CLOROXBB you may want to spend some time in winter mountain conditions or better yet watch the phenomena of exiting cars from a ski area after a snow storm before you call all these people who love the mountains IDIOTS for not clearing the snow off the roof of their vehicles.