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Off-Road and Rooftop Load Capability

Off-Road and Rooftop Load Capability

I have been reading what information there is in the forum here and what Tesla has released, but could someone knowledgable post a summary of what the Model X can really do with regard to sport capability? I get all sorts of conflicting messages online and I suspect much of it is just over-optimistic speculation and daydreaming.

Suppose you want to roof-rack a canoe and drive up a rocky/muddy track to that camping spot. My sport is hang-gliding, which often involves camping. Regardless I have to carry one or more hang gliders 25 feet or more in length up steep and rocky roads to the glider launch. This isn't really hard core 4WD stuff but not exactly work for your delicate little BMW sedan either.

Can the Model X be outfitted to do that or is really just a minivan and not an SUV? I imagine off-road tires, a serious roof-rack and a higher clearance package might result in some loss of efficiency but I would expect the result would still be more efficient than an ICE SUV.

I would be very interested in the Model X if this is for real but if not I would conclude that I am just off market.

holidayday | 27 agosto 2014

"could someone knowledgable post a summary of what the Model X can really do"

Nope. Not until it's built and released. Beta versions (test cars) are to be built later this year, but as far as I know, only Tesla personnel get to drive them.

If you see the current mock-ups of the Model X, you see that it has Falcon Wing doors that take up roof space. It does not look like there will be an option for a roof rack that can take something the size of a canoe or glider.

Wait until about the end of the year to see the real answers. Many of us are quite impatient and want to see it built NOW. It may prove to be a match for you, or it may turn out another car is a better match.

Until then, it's all over-speculation and daydreaming.

Red Sage ca us | 27 agosto 2014

The Tesla Model X is likely to be a crossover utility vehicle (CUV), rather than a sport utility vehicle (SUV). You will be able it drive it on roads, across lawns & pastures, and off-the-beaten-path, through dirt, sand, mud, and gravel roads in addition to concrete and asphalt... But I very much doubt it will be set up, by default, for true off-road action.

Those images of fjording streams, climbing boulders, or negotiating trenches that Range Rover or Jeep use to market their off-roaders are not likely to appear for the Model X at all. There might be an option package that allows it, but I wouldn't hold my breath if you need to do a Baja Run or are dreaming of the Drakkar Rally.

Tesla has mentioned that it will have top-notch towing ability 'in class', which would mean 6,000-7,500 lbs if accurate. I expect that with the inherent torque delivery of an electric vehicle, towing would be preferred over top-loading.

Tesla has mentioned they will have a 'novel roof rack solution', but has given no hints as to its configuration. So there's no way to know if they intend it to work best for gear, luggage, or both.

I hope this helps!

Mr. Peabody | 28 agosto 2014

I don't expect much, if any off-road capability. Historically, manufacturers have differentiated between "4-wheel drive" which is engineered for off-road use, and "all-wheel drive", designed to improve traction on challenging road surfaces.

The Model X is all-wheel drive.

Also remember that it is built on a sedan chassis.

Trying to put items on the outside of a recreational EV that drastically reduce the aerodynamic efficiency, and therefore the range, will not work. It is totally and completely different than the situation with an ICE vehicle. You will not be able to travel more than about 95 miles from a charging location where you can get a range charge, to your playground, unless you can charge when you get there. You can't carry extra fuel.

Alan.Deikman | 4 settembre 2014

You will not be able to travel more than about 95 miles from a charging location

I suppose it would be even worse if your destination was at high altitude.

As for aerodynamic efficiency I don't get any hit with my present hybrid solution. I get about the same mileage regardless of whether I am carrying sporting gear or not. I think the Model X will be about the same.

Still, it looks like the SUV is not really very serious about the "Sport" part of SUVishness. They should probably just call it a urban minivan not an SUV.

Until then, it's all over-speculation and daydreaming.

Isn't that what this forum is?

Red Sage ca us | 4 settembre 2014

X = Cross = 'Crossover Vehicle'

The Tesla Model X was introduced with a reference to Style, Utility, and Performance as goals. If it is to be an 'SUV', then the 'sport' function would be in how it drives as a performance car, not in terms of accommodating a wide range of sports equipment.

dbh | 13 settembre 2014

Another hang glider pilot...fairly rare. I too am really curious about the X for this, and preordered one hoping it would turn out to work okay, but in the end I couldn't wait and bought a model S. Tried out my racks today. But this is for paved-roads-to-launch only (which covers my favorites reasonably well).

I think I could maybe take three gliders (no bikes) but I will probably stick to two.

BTW: 25 or more feet in length? What are you flying, rigids? I didn't think even those were that long.

vandacca | 15 settembre 2014

@dbh, That's awesome! I think the Model-S is a better hang glider transport than the Model-X, due to the falcon wing doors. You would be lucky to get 1 glider with the Model-X. Unfortunately, I'll probably be selling my glider (or permanently storing it) before I get my Model-X. I just have to accept the reality that I have no time to fly any longer.

--Dan

Alan.Deikman | 15 ottobre 2014

dbh that's pretty awesome. What modifications did you have to do to the Model S to put up those brackets? What region are you flying in?

BTW: 25 or more feet in length? What are you flying, rigids? I didn't think even those were that long.
Oops I mis-typed. A Sport 2 is only 17 feet in a the bag.

Remnant | 23 ottobre 2014

@ Bert X No.8704 (August 28, 2014)

<< I don't expect much, if any off-road capability. Historically, manufacturers have differentiated between "4-wheel drive" which is engineered for off-road use, and "all-wheel drive", designed to improve traction on challenging road surfaces. ... The Model X is all-wheel drive. >>

There is also an important issue regarding the differentials. The Tesla differentials are of the "open" type. Slippage control takes place through the traction and stability control functions, which are braking algorithms, not by real torque control.

Aside from causing excessive tire wear, this surely suggests "road-surface" rather than "all-terrain" capabilities. For the latter, the MX should have either limited slip differentials or all-electronic torque vectoring on a quad-motor power train, IMHO.

ian t.wa.us | 24 ottobre 2014

I'm curious as to where you are getting the idea that Tesla's traction control system is the cause of excessive tire wear?

dbh | 25 ottobre 2014

@Alan.Delkman Nice, I fly a Sport 2 usually also (a Falcon 3 in the picture above). The Sport 2 is a terrific glider. I also have a Laminar MRX700 but I rarely fly it.

I didn't have to modify the Model S much at all - the roof racks are the standard Whispbar. I installed an Ecohitch 2" receiver for the rear support. Pretty simple, and works great! Takes about 10 minutes to install everything and be ready to go. I fly in northern CA, mainly at Mt. Tam, Slide (Tahoe), and sometimes Hull, the Owens and Funston. Region 2.

dbh | 25 ottobre 2014

Oops, I meant MR700, not MRX. Here's my Sport 2 on my car charging up in Truckee, near Slide.