Design Issues

Design Issues

Just recently saw the X concept and I am not impressed. The first thing they focused on their presentation are the falcon doors.

1) The biggest question regarding safety issue in a scenario where a vehicle flips and lands upside down. Lets say there is a fire on the front end or the front doors are jammed, how will rear passengers open their doors to escape?

2) Some exotic cars have gullwing doors, but are not driven all season. This X is marketed as an SUV, so it will be driven all year round. In a scenario where there are lots of snow on the roof, when you open the falcon doors, the snow will go crashing down like an avalanche through the door sill in the middle. It will be inconvenient to constantly be reaching up to clearing snow off the roof top, especially for shorter people.

3) The rear 3rd row seats are too tight for someone large to enter/ exit without 2nd row folding seats. These are some of the concerns I have about the X concept design.

4) Dash looks the same as Model S. I was hoping they change the styling to distinguish it apart from the S. Just a thought.

Vawlkus | February 19, 2013

How slow are you going for snow to build up on your car?

Timo | February 19, 2013

Again, Vawlkus +1. My thoughts exactly. He would also need to drive cold car so that snow doesn't simply melt and slide off.

t7n7 | February 19, 2013

Really? Too hard too imagine? Come by Toronto on the 401.

t7n7 | February 19, 2013

Remember it doesn't require a feet of snow on the roof to make it inconvenient. Even a few mm of snow build up on the roof can cause problems when passengers open the door.

cloroxbb | February 20, 2013

"t7n7 | February 19, 2013new

Remember it doesn't require a feet of snow on the roof to make it inconvenient. Even a few mm of snow build up on the roof can cause problems when passengers open the door"

Thats the same with normal doors tho as well. Snow buildup falls into the car at some point, its kind of inevitable. But if people are going to try and open the falcon wing doors with like 6" or a foot of snow on the roof are either really ignorant, or just plain lazy...

I acknowledge that it will be MORE of an issue with the falcon wings, but IMO its not that huge of a deal.

Benz | February 21, 2013

@ cloroxbb


"I acknowledge that it will be MORE of an issue with the falcon wings, but IMO its not that huge of a deal."

You phrased it well.

First I did have some doubts regarding the Falcon Wing doors, but since I have spoken to Karl (Tesla Motors, at the Get Amped tour in Antwerp, Belgium) I am not that concerned any more. It will be a matter of getting used to it. And it looks great.

t7n7 | February 21, 2013

I agree as well!!

On the side note, how do the door handles operate on the X? It doesnt look like the front handles pop out.

Are they using an electric pop out mechanism?

Ive been trying to find a single video online that shows a person unlocking and opening the front doors and couldnt find any.

I hope they have soft close doors as an option going forward on both the S and X.

With the frameless doors, I wouldnt want my passengers slamming them. One of my favourite features on my BMW. My 7 year old can effortlessly close the door everytime without ever having to slam it under any condition (windy, hill slope etc)

Its cheap too! BMW charges about $600 for the option.

NumberOne | February 21, 2013

The door handles on the X will retract the same way as the S. The placement is just a little different to make it flow better and to look like a single piece, since the door opens up and the handle does not nee to be toward the rear of the door, and yes, they are using an electric pop out mechanism.

The rear doors of the Model X will be motorized, so for passengers in the rear, door slamming should not be a problem.

Brian H | February 24, 2013

The front doors do not open "up". They're standard front-hinged doors. Only the passenger doors are falconized.

t7n7 | February 24, 2013

I was talking about the door HANDLES. The front door handles go all the way to the edge so i cant imagine how they would pop out like the model s. it would make it too weak to have it linked to only one side.

I have yet to see a person open the front doors on video.

I believe they are just push activated (for the prototype) which probably pops the door open.

The model s handles need support on both sides when they pop out. Once again, the X shows the front handles as being flush with the edge of the door.

t7n7 | February 24, 2013

Hmm i think the outside of the handle extends to the edge but the actual handle is not at the edge. This would make sense flor having them pop open.

Sorry for the confusion !

NumberOne | February 24, 2013

I guess I left out that the rear doors open up, but I thought that was logical, since I added that the handle does not need to go at the back (referring to but not metioning the back door), but I see how a statement like that could be misconstrued. Anyway, tn7n your last post is correct. What I said before about 'flow' is what I see as the reason behind the design.

Alex K | February 24, 2013

You can see in the following video that the handles do not pop out on the Falcon doors:

t7n7 | February 24, 2013

Thanks Alex for the Video :) I was just referring to the front doors. I can't find a reason why Tesla should have the handles pop out for the fw doors.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

Same reason they do on the MS. It's sexy.

Lush1 | February 26, 2013

Don't you hate it when you're driving behind an SUV or Van in the winter and a big block of snow and/or ice flies off its roof and smashes into your car? Worse yet, when it breaks your windshield. Or the very worst case, when it breaks through the windshield and kills the occupants of your car? Not hyperbole, it happens. That's why some states have laws requiring drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicles. If that's not a good enough reason for Model X drivers to brush the snow off, how about range? Weight and aero-drag from snow on your roof will reduce your mileage. I grew up in the Cleveland area and drove vans for many years. We had lots of snow. It doesn't build up on top of moving vehicle, especially with a warm interior, except in pretty extreme conditions, so opening the falcon doors is unlikely to result in an avalanche of snow coming into the X. Not saying that no snow will ever come in, but that's true of almost any car. I think the problem is over stated here. A little common sense and responsible snow brushing and the X should be just fine. Or, how about an optional huge snow wiper/brush for the roof of the X for those that can't work a brush with a 2-4 foot long telescoping handle?

Brian H | February 27, 2013


Does that make you Lush2? ;)

t7n7 | February 27, 2013

Just replying to get the conversation going (I support the Model X and Tesla 200%).

1. FW doors cannot be closed or opened at the speed of regular doors where you can pretty much HELP prevent snow/rain from getting into the car.

By the time the FW doors open/close, your seats will be soaked in the rain or you'll get some snow in the car + on top of ur occupants when it is snowing REALLY hard.

2. It wouldn't make sense to put the door handles on the FW doors as they GO UP and using a handle to bring them up would be awkward (BUT THE HANDLES ARE ONE OF THE SEXIEST THINGS ABOUT THE MODEL S :D)

3. I Hope Aluminum Running boards on the side are an option for smaller occupants to get in/out.

4. The BMW i3 is a flop. Only has 4 bucket seats in the back. (I threw this in to stir up conversation lol )

NumberOne | February 28, 2013

I really do not feel that too much snow or rain will get it. A lot more thought went into the design that one might think.

Also, the car is not going to be very high. It is essentially a car, and not an SUV. Also, with the active air suspension, the car is lowered when turned off and can be lowered on demand using the controls on the touch screen.

As for the door handle, I have not seen it in person, so I cannot speculate on it.

jeanyvest | March 3, 2013

Falcon doors are the same as a hatchback. How much rain/snow gets into the car when the rear hatch is open? I've had Outbacks and Audi Avants for the last 15 yrs and no issue there.

jk2014 | March 6, 2013

Just announced at Norway Event... Model X will have towing capabilities ... That's two reservations from within my family right there...