Elon, please make the falcon doors optional!

Elon, please make the falcon doors optional!

I want to see Tesla succeed yet I am concerned that forcing a new vision for rear-car access via the falcon doors may turn many buyers off. I love the concept. I see the benefits of the falcon doors. I even like the style of them. But they will not work for many people. Those who want a roof rack, those who have low-ceiling garages, those who are concerned about rain or snow falling into the cabin when opened, etc. There are just too many potential negatives to some demographics. Therefore, if they were optional they would not hinder sales. Yes, I know that engineering an optional traditional door would cost more, however I'm sure the additional sales would more than make up for it. You already have rear doors on the S so I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to design a traditional door for the X. Even further, allow the option of having just 1 falcon door and 1 traditional door. That would free up some roof space for racks.

FLsportscarenth... | 8 maart 2013

Honestly I like the falcon doors, but do not need the space of the Model X. I am all for making them optional on the X, I would like to see them as an option on the S!

mwojcie | 14 maart 2013

Hey I think you are assuming that the doors have to open simultaneously like in the little demo on the website, but just like most minivans, you could open one side at a time. If you open just one falcon wing door, it will just push the snow off the opposite side of the car, then you can close that side and open the other side. problem solved!

Brian H | 14 maart 2013


You are at least as smart as the average bear!

morgan | 21 maart 2013

Being a Norwegian, I have to agree with the comments that are negative to the falcon wing doors. Wisconsin? The furthest north is 50 degrees north. Oslo, our capital is at 60 degrees north. In winter we have 5 hours of daylight per day. The northern Norway is way above the polar circle, having no daylight at all at mid winter. Greenland goes as far south as our capital.

We don't know how the final design will be, but snow moving sideways in light or strong winds will fill the car with a thin layer in less time that it takes the door to open and shut. A normal door does not need to open all the way for people to get in.

Walking to your car with your kids, biting cold -20C (-4F) and windy finding it under 25cm (10 inches) of snow, will make you swear. There is no way to open the falcon wing doors without a significant amount of snow inside the cabin without removing the snow from the car. To get the brush, you must remove the snow stuck around the top and edge of the front door, get your snow brush, and start removing the snow. Sending three kids < 5 years in the front door is not an option in a car with no key needed to start. So you start removing snow. A minute passes. the bottom snow is partly melted due to the warm cabin of the car when you parked, cannot be brushed off as it is now ice. In the small bumps on top of that, a lot of fine snow is also not possible to brush off. This is when you start to scratch your roof trying to remove the ice so the door opens. Alternatively you open the door, and start removing the ice and fine snow falling in. The wind bringing more snow in trough the huge opening. After a couple of minutes of putting the kids in their seats, all from the same side to avoid doing the same procedure on the other side, you resume removing snow. The kids screaming because of cold hands and feet, wishing you could do the same.

A similar procedure has been done by yours truly about 50 times this winter, and it is getting old even with normal doors. The only reason I am still on the list for X is that I am getting a garage, and I am building it tall enough to get a big car inside.

Opening one door will push the snow over to the other side? Have you ever seen fine snow at 0F or less? A broken bean bag is a day in seventh heaven compared to how snow spreads and moves around. The falcon wing door is not a good option for areas with proper winter, there is no need to even discuss that. Having a hill to my house that is 200 meter (700 feet) and 14% inclination, I have two dream cars. X with normal doors and/or S with four wheel drive. Given that the platform is supposed to be the same, why not 4x4 version of S?

Solarwind | 22 maart 2013

Being in Montana 70 miles from the Canada border I can understand your concerns. In our case we have no kids and we can pick when to take grandkids. I love the falcon door concept, especially for loading, but I also have a few concerns. Will the large seal area present a problem for wind noise? Will the seals become damaged if snow or ice should fall in seal area and should this happen will the door close properly without damage. In my case I am willing to try them weighting + and - 's.

Silkefot | 4 april 2013

Nicu: Now that the X is said to be a year late, maybe a redesign of the doors is within reach?

knutequist | 7 april 2013

I’m also a Norwegian that would love to have Model X. But as you have pointed, there are a lot of things that will make me and a lot of other Norwegians not to by Model X with falcon doors. Pity because I think there is a huge marked for X here I Norway.

Im wondering: four wheel drive is particular nice for places whit winter conditions, and falcon doors for the opposite climate!
So, if they would love to make a car with falcon doors:
why couldn´t they do two wheels drive with falcon doors for “summer climate” and four wheel version with ordinary doors for “winter climate”?

I support your dream: Model X with normal doors and/or Model S with four wheel drive. But I would also like to have “a plug in tow bar” for small/light trailers.

There are still a few years before its available so we can still hope there will be changes!

MagnusHamnesSalbu | 11 april 2013

I have an S for delivery this summer and has ordered an X in addition.

In Norway a SUV without a skibox iscrearly observed during winter. It would be sensible to offer a roof rack/skibox option, but how to combine this with the wing doors?

Could it be a possibility to sacrifice the rear door opening possibility on the left hand side and add fixation points to the roof with sensors that would block the rear left hand side door. This would allow for a specialized rather short roof rack/ ski box option on the left hand side of the car. Not a 100% solution, but a possibility?

e_lec | 13 april 2013

Does anybody know the minimal height of the garage ceiling for a X model with falcon doors?

Alex K | 13 april 2013

@e_lec | APRIL 13, 2013: Does anybody know the minimal height of the garage ceiling for a X model with falcon doors?

Based on the image of the Model S and Model X side-by-side and counting pixels and taking into account the Model S height of 56.5", I get 79.5":

Alex K | 13 april 2013

Oh yeah forgot picture:

rdalcanto | 17 april 2013

Holy crap, I didn't even think about the roof rack issue. Here in Utah, SUVs are used a lot by weekend warriors who need storage boxes for skis, bike racks on the roof, kayaks on the roof, etc. The falcon wings are a cool concept, but totally kill the versatility of an SUV!

lph | 19 april 2013

If you look carefully at the demo page on the falcon doors you will notice that there is a second hinge line at the "eave" of the door.
Maybe this could hinge up further so that the roof can remain flat and the side hinges up when roof racks are in place. Won't be alot of head room for getting in and out though.
This would involve difficult geometry and design to do.

petmoell | 22 april 2013

I have reserved a X in addition to the S I will receive shortly. I am betting for the removal of the Falcon doors. If not this is a definate no go for my part. Lets hope Tesla reconider and see a larger potentail for the X with normal doors.

dochunter | 23 april 2013

March 21, you wrote:
"Being a Norwegian, I have to agree with the comments that are negative to the falcon wing doors. Wisconsin? The furthest north is 50 degrees north. Oslo, our capital is at 60 degrees north. In winter we have 5 hours of daylight per day. The northern Norway is way above the polar circle, having no daylight at all at mid winter. Greenland goes as far south as our capital."

From Wikipedia average January low temp is Oslo is 19F, and for Milwaukee, Wisconsin average January low is 13F. Average yearly snowfall in Oslo is 60 inches and in Milwaukee is 52 inches.

richardriver01 | 25 april 2013

I wonder how many people had bad experience with the falcon doors ?(lol)....(I think the falcon doors are awesome, and give the model x a unique styling, as long they are well engineered there should be no problem )

Brian H | 26 april 2013

There may be beta testers out there with such experience, but they're not on this (or any) forum to tell you about it.

majormajor42 | 9 mei 2013

how about asymmetric? Falcon on the passenger side for pulling up to a curb. Conventional door (or slider?) on the driver's side for these bad weather contingencies. Roof box/ ski rack could be displaced to the port side as well.

lph | 9 mei 2013

As I posted on another thread, it may be that the doors are double hinged. This could mean that the door could also just swing up from the "gutter" line if a roof rack is in place. However there will be reduced head room.
If you really study the demo page of the falcon doors in action, you will notice that it is double hinged.
However it is not clear what the full range of movement is.
It could all be just a computer trick to make us think it can open with tiny clearances, but that would be dishonest. It is not like Tesla to do that.

ian | 11 mei 2013

There is a double hinge but I doubt it will be able to open all the way from that hinge. Actually, I doubt that hinge at the edge of the roof even opens outward. In he prototype it swings in slightly.

You can all keep hoping they will change the X but I doubt they will.


wojahn | 11 mei 2013

The roof rack is an intergal part of an SUV. The optional one gull wing door and one sliding door would be able to address the issues concerning the rack and having the availibility of using a sliding door during snow covered times. I don't think it would matter which side the slider would be on vs. the gull wing door as one could just drive the car up to what ever side they wanted to use for their desired purpose.

ian | 13 mei 2013

I totally agree that roof racks are very much at home on an SUV. Unfortunately they also kill mileage (range).

hermannr | 13 mei 2013

In my Audi A6 there is a stowable ski pocket that allows skis to be put in the truck, and by dropping the rear center rest (you loose the 5th passenger) and unlock the pocket, your skis go into a boot that allows the skis to go through into the back part of the main cabin without exposing the cabin to the snow or water from the ski equipment. It works very well, and your skis are secure too.

The A6 may have conventional doors, but it definitely is NOT designed to have a roof rack.

If skis are the problem, a boot like the Audi uses would solve the problem easily and inexpensively. (make that an option if you want to carry skis.)

Graylion | 15 mei 2013

+1 on the whole winter weather and roof rack thing. If I had my druthers I'd like suicide doors on both the X and the S. Please no sliding ddors, they are naf and also let in too much snow.

ME4850 | 17 mei 2013

Hi, I am from Hong Kong.
I would like to know whether Falcon doors work well during rainy days.

Suppose the roof is all wet and face uphill.
When the Falcon doors, will the water on the roof be drained into the second row?

Brian H | 17 mei 2013


ajamison | 18 mei 2013

@Benz here in the US I believe that cars are now required to lock while the car is in motion and can not be opened until the car goes below a certain speed. I do know for a fact that child safety locks are required by US law and would imagine that they would be present on international models which requires a mere physical toggle switch to be turned on prior to shutting the door.

ajamison | 18 mei 2013

Honestly though we need to see a real world representation of how the falcon wing doors handle snow and rain and to do this we need to wait for the Beta build I imagine as the Alpha is the only x they have currently

Skotty | 21 mei 2013

My wife and I both love the falcon wing door concept. I owned a DeLorean for a while and love the doors on it as well. We will likely end up getting an X over an S due in no small part to the falcon wing doors.

I think the concerns over roof racks, snow, and ice are not all that significant. I've never in my life used a roof rack, personally. And it would be even less likely with all the cargo space of an X. Here in Missouri, we get several snows each year, and it's not a big deal to clear the snow off the car roof.

Ultimately, I think the added utility and plain awesomeness of the falcon wing doors almost every day of the year is very much worth the two or three days a year when you will run across a scenario where it's a problem.

In the end, I think it will be a net benefit, drawing in more people than it drives away.

NumberOne | 22 mei 2013

Of course the internal ski boot is an excellent solution. I occasionally transport long objects inside my truck, since it is too long for the bed. Another thing to consider is the fact that roof racks make it more difficult to clear off snow. I have never had one, and hope to keep it that way. There several possible options that do not involve replacing the Falcon-wing doors with traditional doors.
I occasionally need to place a piano action in the car, and it is going to be great to have the protection of the open door with nothing in the way, plus the added benefit of essentially stepping into the car to place it without breaking my back or the fragile action. Placing something like that in the car through the trunk or rear door is much more difficult.

Brian H | 22 mei 2013

Can that be done now, with the S?

XMikeX | 22 mei 2013

Seriously guys, a roof rack? It's an electric car w insane amounts of interior space. I haven't put a roof rack on a car since the back seat(s) started folding down thru to the trunk about 20+ years ago. I go skiing/climbing/camping whatever all the time! Put your stuff in the car. A rack KILLS mileage, in our case range.
And snow? Don't you clear off the snow around the doors before you open them? I seriously don't get it. Give me my falcon wings.
If they are a deal killer for you, that's rough, but it does mean I'll just get my X a little sooner.

joe.gitchell | 25 mei 2013

I haven't scanned this whole thread, but I had thought this am I wanted to share (motivated by the low ceiling in my garage): please consider the passenger side front door as a solid secondary access/egress path for the rear rows in the Model X. What that would mean is to make any center console between the front seats removable (and mounted without a device that will serve to readily trip young/small/not always the cleverest feet) and that any protrusions down from the ceiling (e.g., video screen) be as minimal as possible (to avoid head-banging).

joe.gitchell | 25 mei 2013

I haven't scanned this whole thread, but I had thought this am I wanted to share (motivated by the low ceiling in my garage): please consider the passenger side front door as a solid secondary access/egress path for the rear rows in the Model X. What that would mean is to make any center console between the front seats removable (and mounted without a device that will serve to readily trip young/small/not always the cleverest feet) and that any protrusions down from the ceiling (e.g., video screen) be as minimal as possible (to avoid head-banging).

Brian H | 25 mei 2013

Ceiling? Video screen? It's on the dash. What structure are you imagining?

tf | 25 mei 2013

Elon, Falcon doors do not work at all in the real world, that's OK for sunny California, you have been to Norway. We need normal doors that work's in shitty weather. That is what we have. I'm ready to buy one.

the bonnie | 26 mei 2013

I don't understand all this angst over falcon doors. Seriously. Look at the rear door on the Model S. Is that not the same as a gull wing door? All the falcon wing does is give an extra hinge for improved clearance.

I have had gull wing doors on almost every vehicle I've owned. But instead of installed on the side, they've been on the back. A Prius, a Jeep ... yep, and they work great.

The only difference between a hatchback door and a gull wing door is the placement on the vehicle. It's not new, it's actually solving a problem.

And that roof rack thing ... well there are lots of potential solutions, some mentioned here. A falcon wing door that opens straight out, a double-hinged door (remember those old station wagons) that can open horizontally or vertically, a half rack that disables one door from opening, and surely some I haven't thought of. It's not IF there will be a roof rack (imo), it's which solution they will choose.

In the meantime, I'm set with my GO trailer. :) Because no way I'm gonna ruin range with a roof rack.

carlgo | 27 mei 2013

When I get my X I will lift its glorious wings to greet the sun at every opportunity. If there is snow, that is my fault for being where snow is.

kotedo | 29 mei 2013

The number two reason for me to want a Model X are the doors.

I am disgusted by those out-popping-sliding-doors, yuck.

Time for some fresh new wind in the automotive industry.
I really really hope that the Falcon doors will remain standard and not an option.

IF Elon really goes for regular doors or even sliding doors, please Elon, make them an option, not the Falcon doors.


haakon | 28 oktober 2013

I have a reservation for the X, and would happily pay another USD 10,000 to get a version with traditional doors. In Norway,the roof is key to transport skis, ski boxes, etc. The Tesla X with only Falcon doors, materially impairs the funcionality of the vehicle, I am afraid. Hope to hit the mountains in 2015 with the 4-wheel drive X and not having to use the soon-to-be-delivered 2-wheel drive S that I will take delivery of in February 2014!

Brian H | 28 oktober 2013

A. You may find that the 2WD does much better than you expected. The TC is very advanced.

B. TM claims to have a unique solution to the rooftop ski issue. Still secret.

C. The MS with pano has attach points for roof carriers.

D. A 4WD version of the MS is expected next year.

Malibu_Two | 17 november 2013

Options, options, options! Give the customer the choice. Set up an online design studio in which the customer can set up the X to their preferred specifications, whether that means means falcon doors or standard doors. All these people saying "So don't buy it" aren't getting it. That's not a solution. A solution is making a car that can be personalized for any customer. That would be revolutionary and innovative. Go Tesla!

cloroxbb | 17 november 2013


Do you really expect Tesla to stamp out two different sets of aluminum panels for the whole car. That would be like developing 2 different Model Xs I would imagine.

Malibu_Two | 17 november 2013

How about making the doors with an extra set of hinges that can be enabled or disabled depending on how you want the doors to open, "falcon"-style or "normal"-style.

If it's either one or the other, then lose the Falcon wings. Even soccer moms with kids might want to eventually put something on top of the car.

I wonder how pre-orders would change if they got rid of the falcon wings. I'm guessing they would increase.

bent | 17 november 2013

I think they should just use Star Wars-like force fields instead. Sure they may look a little funky but the great advantage with them is that when they're "open" they're gone, they're not there at all and so they don't get in the way!

Wonder why Tesla didn't do this already, it's a very obvious solution if you just think about it.

bodaddy | 8 december 2013

Do we really know which thinking is the most popular? With falcon doors or a standard door? I think that most SUV customers want the standard doors and a roof rack that will hold ski's, kayak, box or what ever.

Brian H | 8 december 2013

The "whatevers" will buy an SUV. This is a crossover.

Webcrawler | 12 december 2013

The doors are cool and problematic... They are going to cause issues in many garages with anything less than a 9 foot garage door. The doors will hit the guide rails on a typical 7' door (vast majority of garage doors) if not electronically limited.

Brian H | 13 december 2013

dupe posts? Don't bother.

james babb | 15 december 2013

The doors will NOT hit the rails on a standard 7' door. See the picture on the Model X page:
That is a Model X in a standard 7' high garage with the doors fully open and they are not even close to hitting.