The Genius of the Model X

The Genius of the Model X

To understand why I think the Model X is such an amazing vehicle, first you have to understand what does not exist in the North American car market.

1) There is no vehicle that is AWD and fuel efficient. I wish we had an AWD diesel Subaru in this country. The best in this country might be the Ford Escape Hybrid which gets 30mpg at the best (not good enough).

2) There is no vehicle which is fuel efficient and can easily seat more than 5 with the exception of the upcoming model S (: Why hasn't Toyota made their AWD or even their non AWD Sienna a hybrid yet?

3) Now for the most difficult: there is no vehicle any where in the world that I know of that has good clearance and does not suffer from poor handling due to its high center of gravity, at least not one that also easily loads and unloads more than 5 passengers. Some of the Subaru come close minus fuel efficiency and people and gear hauling. The Model S comes close with the air suspension but can't be considered to have truly good clearance.

The genius of the model x is the batteries lining the underside in a high clearance vehicle and the front and back engines. With this you get power and AWD, without sacrificing fuel/energy efficiency. You get clearance without sacrificing handling. You get tons of human and cargo space with this because the batteries and all the trappings of an internal combustion not taking up space. Add to that the extra length you can get and still decent handling because of the extra rigidity that the full length batteries give you. It is classic case of genius where you take a problem (heavy space consuming batteries) and make it an asset: low center of gravity, space savings, and increased handling due to the increased frame rigidity. Tesla really has a winner in engineering here and the model x is the pinnacle of what can be achieved by this genius approach to electric vehicles.

The biggest challenges that remain, is cost in a difficult economy, dealing with subjectiveness of what people think is a good style, and learning to mass produce and service unique cars on that scale. If you have not guessed by now, I am obsessed with finding the best possible vehicle ever and this is the first one that comes close. I personally do not like showy vehicles and would easily trade "style" for a cheaper car with the same functions. In the case of the model x, give me the mini van doors at a lower price. Still I am as happy as a clam with the model x. It solves so many problems so elegantly.

stephen.kamichik | 11 février 2012

mvbf......I agree with you. Did you reserve a model X? I reserved a model S because it more than satisfies my needs for speed, handling, green vehicle, style and passenger/luggage space.

mvbf | 11 février 2012

Have a reservation for both the S and X.

ThomasN | 11 février 2012

Dead on. It's a stunning vehicle. I can only hope for a door varient. Tesla will have no problem selling 15k of them, but I think they could sell 100k with sliding or suicide doors

gagliardilou | 11 février 2012

I agree also. Fits 7, don't have to "climb into back seats,no worry about fuel, better handling, falcon doors raise no higher than hatchback on minivan, looks good, internet available, AWD,and a roof rack. Others are saying this and that but all in all, nothing like it exist.Its a success. I think some are expecting miracles but a car is a car is a car.

Brian H | 11 février 2012

excellent point about the high COG of SUVs. No "rollover" problem with the X!

Discoducky | 11 février 2012

Agree that they have presented a vehicle that has no close competitor.

Their target market might be not so big however.

Does it tow? If so, this car could supplant nearly every luxury SUV and fully optioned Mini-van if gas prices climb above $5

mvbf | 11 février 2012

Discoducky, if they could get the entry price below 50k like the model s as you suggested in the price projections post, I think these would outsell the luxury SUV market as well as fully optioned Mini-van as you suggested especially if they advertised.

Robert.Boston | 11 février 2012

Entry price has to be not less than $60k (after-tax) -- the same as the Model S 60kWh pack. I'm guessing $69.9k before tax.

Brian H | 11 février 2012

It will be interesting to see the 1 vs. 2 motor differences.

mvbf | 12 février 2012

In my comparisons of the model x to other cars offered or soon to be offered in North America I forgot to mention Toyota's new electric RAV 4 supposedly coming out this year. Because it uses Tesla's genius battery pack, it would probably fulfill all the criteria the model x does minus passenger capacity. It would be interesting if they did rear jump seats like the model s and offered duel motors for AWD like the model x. Still it is only supposed to get 100 miles per charge and probably will not be as aerodynamic as a model x. Also with what I assume will be a much smaller battery pack, it will probably have significantly less power and the inability to use Tesla's charging network just as the smallest model s battery pack will be unable to use it. I guess the only niche left for it to cover is is to go less expensive and/or help its fleet pass cafe standards. Has anyone heard anything new about this vehicle?

mvbf | 12 février 2012

Correction I meant CARB not cafe. I found this slightly dated article:

Anything new or more substantial on this?

Mark K | 12 février 2012

Turning problems into opportunity is a hallmark of inventive genius.

It's in full bloom at TM.

MikAo | 13 février 2012

I was launghing my head of when EM said that if somebody parks really close to X, you can still get in. Yeah, to the back seat and drive it from there.
SUV have sucked so far, this might be the first SUV which I could concider using with family. Others are just small (compared to minivans), high and mediocre to drive. Mainly just liftup hatchback's with no more space, higher price tag and less fuel efficient.
TM have changed their pricing model, I expected first launch of modestly priced "Nina" instead of premium SUV. That would have helped EV revolution, same platform, less gimmicks.

Brian H | 13 février 2012

The geometry of the falcon doors is such that you need (I guesstimate) only about 6-8" clearance for them to get up and out of the way. Then the constraint/bottleneck is your own required clearance. And even then, the fact that the interior is now available to you, once past the outer doorframe, that increases the clearance for access to the driver's seat at least another 6-8".

Brian H | 13 février 2012

In fact, playing with the door "click and drag" on the X page, I note that the max extension of the door is when it is already above the roofline of the S parked beside it. The closest it actually gets to the S is at just above the side-mirror level, and that's still several inches away. Now imagine opening the S' door. Far less room available for that.
Bottom line: the X is much easier to enter and exit than the S.

Volker.Berlin | 13 février 2012

Brian H, no need for guesstimation. Elon explicitly said that the falcon doors need "about a foot" of side space. According to Google Guru (I live in Metric Land), that's 12". Which I'd think is about the tightest possible space for any normal person to get in or out the car without ruining your garment.

mvbf | 13 février 2012

Brian H,
"excellent point about the high COG of SUVs. No "rollover" problem with the X!"

Its not just about rollover, SUVs and CUVs with the same height profile suck when you take a corner at speed. I know this because I own an SUV and drive it on plenty of curvy country roads. Unless I hold back the speed significantly, the ride goes from crappy to dangerous real fast. I do not understand people who buy SUV height vehicles and do not need the clearance. I always tell people unless you need clearance, never buy an SUV. Now I can say, "Never buy an SUV unless you need the clearance or unless it is a Tesla Model X." The Model X is a game changer.

Brian H | 13 février 2012

I re-did my screen-O-metrics, and I'm sticking with 6-8". I think Elon is being conservative and protective of his baby, or giving the total for both sides. At max reach, which occurs, BTW, at X-roof-level, one door extends out about 1/10 of the X' body width. And unless you're parked next to a wall or truck or another large square SUV, at that height you're over the top of virtually any obstruction.

vperl | 1 septembre 2015


EVolution | 2 septembre 2015

why do you bump 3 y.o. posts?