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Tesla Model X (teslamotors.com)
379 points by m0th87 on Aug 20, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 244 comments



What is absolutely stunning about what Tesla is building is simply that they are building gorgeous vehicles with great features/performance and they are charging appropriately for them. They aren't built to fit into a particular price range or demographic, they're built to be great vehicles, so that people will want to buy them.

I'll admit it, I want to buy a Tesla, even if it makes no financial sense for me to do so.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I saw a model S in person for the first time about a month ago and was struck by just how bland the car looked. It had a vibe that made me think of mazda and not miata or rx7 but whatever their sedans are called. The kind of styling that wouldn't turn a single head.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, I am a big believer that flashing ones wealth is a bad idea - it's gaudy as well as attracts unwanted, potentially dangerous, attention.


The Model S designer, Franz von Holzhausen, worked for Mazda between 2005 and 2008! He also did the Pontiac Solstice. The Model S reminds me more of a Maserati than a Mazda though. I think it looks amazing.


Maserati is what I think of when I see it. It's a beautiful blend between sport/luxury. I think 'normal' is a better description than 'bland'. It's about time we stopped making things look like space pods just because they're unconventional (the original Honda Insight comes to mind.)


I wonder if this is due to the subtle similarities between the Maserati and Tesla logos?

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia....

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.youthareaweso...


I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the not-so-subtle similarities between the Maserati and Tesla cars

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&sa=N&biw=1680&bih=887&hl=e...

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1680&bih=887&tbm...


I agree. I've always thought the Model S looks very much like a Maserati, but unfortunately I personally find Maserati's to be the ugliest of all luxury cars so for me that styling is not a positive aspect of the Model S.


The CRX with the transparent rear hatch panel was cool. It lost something when the design was adapted to the original Insight.


Looks to me like a whole lot of Audi A8, some Maserati Quattroporte, and a touch of Jaguar on the rear end. Not a bad lot to take inspiration from.


Also, Aston Martin Rapide (not sure which came first). Elon is an avowed Jaguar lover so that makes sense. I don't see as much Audi.

I would agree with some previous comments that the design is not extreme which may disappoint some but I think more supports being the best-selling vehicle in its class (gas or electric)(a pretty amazing accomplishment).


Makes more sense why it has the falcon doors then. I personally think they are a very poor choice for an suv/wagon/crossover vehicle. If I want an SUV, I want a roof rack to carry my stuff and I can't put one on a car with falcon doors. If I could put a roof rack on this car, it might actually be worth it to me.


Not a completely invalid argument, however, bikes on your roof have a massive effect on aerodynamics of your car, and therefore also affect your range. Along with that, the percentage of SUV requiring roof racks is fairly small (I believe). For those that really want electric, a rear-mounted rack is a viable option.

The uniqueness of the gullwing doors make a significant statement, which is probably more important at this stage in the companies growth vs satisfying a few people who won't buy because they can't have a roof-mounted rack.


this is probably more deliberate than you might think. one of the problems electric cars have had is that they have a reputation for being dorky. there is a limit to how "interesting" Tesla can make one of its cars look at the moment

that said, i've heard people compliment the car profusely on its beautifulness, so you might be surprised by how pretty it looks to the general public


one of the problems electric cars have had is that they have a reputation for being dorky

Why the gullwing doors then? That's about as dorky as you can get.


Yeah, the bird_name doors aren't jiving with me. They do appear to be more practical given the constraints of the vehicle, though. With a conventional door, the swing would be quite wide for the rear doors. The rear of the vehicle isn't long enough to use the minivan-style sliding doors. Would this be any less dorky http://www.disappearing-car-door.com ?


First of all, thanks for sharing the link. I love idea of doors that fold/slide into the floor.

That said I wonder 1) if Tesla's floor mounted batteries would take up the space this tech could conceivable use and 2) if Tesla's extremely high safety rating (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6240862) would be impacted by this design (not to a degree that would lower safety beyond an average car, but not up to their high goals).


The bmw z1 is the only production car with sliding doors btw http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_Z1 it did not meet US safety regulations ...


Indeed, gull wings doors are dorky, that's why Tesla X has FALCON wings doors!


Just Falcon Wings. Calling them doors would be an understatement. :)


I don't think I'd consider the Mercedes SLS dorky.


Not to mention you can't put a roof rack on a car with gullwing doors. This is an SUV that can't have a roof rack and is therefore not useful to a large portion of the people who buy SUV's.


You think a large portion of the people that buy SUV's use them for anything besides driving to work and the grocery store and home?


I know Colorado is a weird state but here, yes, a very large portion (absolutely a majority) of people that buy SUV's use them to take their families and their skis or their bikes or their kayaks up to the mountains.


A large? maybe. The majority? Most likely not.


Only 15% of SUV owners ever go off-roading.

http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/offroad4x4atv4wd/a/offroadst...

If you think about it, any 2-wheel drive SUV isn't even suitable for off-roading.


We have a 4WD (what Aussies call SUVs) with a roof rack, and have never taken it off road. We use it for skis, surfboards, extra luggage (family of 4). Roof racks are an extremely useful addition to a car, for a family.


But going off road is not even what we're talking about. We're talking about putting a lot more stuff in or on top of the vehicle. More than you would with a sedan. I have no problems with people who buy a Sport Utility Vehicle and never go off road. Having the Falcon Wings reduce the options for a roof rack is a valid concern that has nothing to do with going off road.


In the states, especially in places that aren't Colorado or Washington, I didn't often see SUVs with racks on the top. Maybe it's just a northern thing...


I agree with you: I don't like flashy design. Yet what troubles me with this car is its doors. It's impossible to get in or out with such doors and such a tall vehicule if you're in a parking lot with a low roof.


[citation needed]

The Tesla designers have been thinking about that.


I think the Tesla Model S looks similar to an old Dodge Intrepid.

I actually saw a Tesla Model S in person just yesterday as one drove by me going the other direction and it looks like the 2013 Intrepid, but it's nice. It's amazing the car could even be here since it was a tourist and 400 km/h away from home driving around the country-side.


Flashing ones wealth? The car is cheap compared to most BMW's and Audi's on the market...


The point he is making is that the Model S has an "old-money" vibe to it. A lot of expensive cars have a "bling bling" style designed to grab attention and promote themselves as status symbols.

The Model S doesn't have to stand out from competitors on its ability to be a status symbol through superior/unique styling. It instead stands out through performance, reliability, refinement, and energy source.


I don't know about the old money thinking:

http://www.teslamotors.com/true-cost-of-ownership

Old money was buying a new Mercedes, Lincoln, or Cadillac and keeping it 10-20 years. Tesla is promoting the keep it three years mentality. Old money hated the new luxury car depreciation hit and would amortize it over many years in a car with classic styling that would not look dated years later.


Of BMW's 12 models, the Model S is maybe less expensive than 2 of them (6 and 7). And it is twice as expensive as BMW & Audi's best-selling models.


The model S starts at $62,400 USD [2] (64814.88 CAD right now) [3]

I can count 18 BWM models more expensive than the model S and 14 that are less expensive [1].

1. http://www.bmw.ca/ca/en/newvehicles/configurator/configurato... 2. https://www.teslamotors.com/en_CA/own#/model-x 3. https://www.google.ca/search?q=62,400+USD+to+CAD


Not after savings on maintenance and gas and (assuming with the new above 5-star crash-test ratings..) insurance. Then again you have to replace the battery after 100,000(?) miles.


Good point. But with the battery swap for the cost of fuel stuff isn't that issue now gone too?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5V0vL3nnHY


I agree about the Model S. I think it looks decent, but not really any better than other luxury cars. I think Audis are significantly more attractive. It's other features that make it awesome IMO. It's quiet, has tons of trunk space, a sweet touch screen interface, and is apparently the safest car money can buy.


Being 'bland' / non-triggering will make it more appealing to a general audience, larger audience.


I felt the same way watching it in a Tesla store for the first time. Between a Tesla and the softer shapes of other cars, I didn't really see the allure.

It didn't exactly look like the online promos I had seen.


It's sort of sad people only recognize Tesla for Elon Musk and not say, for Franz von Holzhausen. Tesla's designs are largely the reason why my head turns when I get a glimpse of those beauties on the road.


A good designer's work is subtle; it doesn't let the personality of the designer overwhelm that of the designed product.

An example of an automotive designer whose style was overwhelming would be Chris Bangle (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/02/chris-bangle-le/, http://www.motortrend.com/features/112_0601_chris_bangle_bmw...), whose work at BMW was highly distinctive -- so distinctive that it became quite polarizing. Bangle's design language was so striking that it was easy to lose sight of the personality of individual cars he designed; their "Bangle-ness" was the most visually obvious thing about them.


I think recognizing Tesla for Elon Musk is reasonable considering he's the founder, CEO, and face of the company. The cars are making waves not for their design, but for their technology. If they were based on normal combustion engines, I doubt too many people would be talking about them.


Who the hell is the other guy? (Why don't you elaborate)


He designed the Tesla S: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Holzhausen

(I hate people who post LMGTFY links, but seriously.)


>They aren't built to fit into a particular price range or demographic

I'm not sure about this statement. If you follow the investment news on Tesla, it seems that the Model X was built specifically to fit into a lower price range, and hence get more people into Teslas. The reality is, there's no way they are going to sell 500,000 luxury cars; they needed a "real" car. And I think that's a great strategy.

This is an interesting car. I have to admit I've been a Tesla skeptic, but between the crash tests and the Model X (and whether they can really build it for the stated price), I'm coming around.


But the model X doesn't sound like it will be any cheaper than the model S right?


I seriously doubt it could be. With the same battery packs and similar size adding in four wheel drive it might even reach prices as high as the performance version of the S.

I am disappointed in that prospect as it makes a sub 40k car even less likely. It is one thing to make profitable vehicles at the price point he is at; its easy; its another to get the pieces to work in the 40k down market. If the X was going to be in the 40K, with 60k well equipped I would be impressed.

When he gets there, and its a big when, he will be up against a whole slew of similar and possibly better vehicles than he is facing now. Simply put, while he brought electric to a mass produced car he still isn't making enough to matter. Put it this way, Subaru sells more in a month than he sells in a year and Subaru is a small player. Even 2014 goals won't exceed Porsche's same year sales let alone the dogs like Mitsubishi.


$80k is hardly the low end of the car market. I can buy a decent Porsche for less.


They are definitely putting the design talent of every other American automaker to shame.


How is it substantively different on styling than a 2014 Focus 4 Door or Taurus.

The styling is bland an unoriginal, it looks like every other car for sale these days, whats worse, its bland an expensive, I can afford a focus, I cant even begin to hope to afford a Model X.


Design is about more than the shell of the car. It is about everything, from the touch screen to the heads-up navigation, to the automatic handles, the interior space, and even the fact that it's electric. It's really just an amazing all-around car, and you can't make something like that without designing every detail.


The shell of the car however is the part that us mere mortals can see right now.

Having recently driven a Kia Optima, Ford Focus, Fiat 500 and a couple older vehicles (2011 Crown Vic, 1997 Town Car, 1967 Cadillac) I dont see a substantive difference, the difference in my mind is less a function of design, and more a function of the materiel chosen to implement the design.

All of these cars clearly had a whole bunch of thought put into where the controls are and how they functioned, but what made something feel quality, was the choice of materiel and how well it was put together, the design qualities were more or less equal.

What makes the Tesla innovative to me is the technology in the drivetrain, not the inside of the car.

My personal tastes would dictate having more things labeled with words over say otherwise inscrutable symbols - I rented a 2010 DTS once, it took me 15 min to figure out how to turn either the wipers or the headlights on, because I couldn't figure out what the icon meant.


Have you actually driven a Model S?


I might add the Ford Focus is designed by Europeans not Americans... hence why it's not a big square on wheels


Every time I drive an American car it puts American automakers to shame.


They are becoming the new Apple.


We need better design in the world in general. I'd hate to think only one company gets to be the designer-of-good-and-popular-things at a time.


American cars have come a long way very quickly.


It's easier to price a luxury car appropriately if the taxpayer is contributing $7,500.


I generally abhor motor vehicles of all kinds and hate driving, but when I saw a Model S roll past me while walking to work, I had to push my jaw back up. The lines are just so luscious.


One silly thing to keep in mind if you're in the UK or Europe: You'll need to wait longer to take it on the Channel Tunnel, since it needs to ride in a tall vehicle/truck/bus car, which doesn't go with every train.

I sat in line for that compartment behind a Lamborghini Countach once. With like a 36 inch curb height, he could certainly fit in a normal compartment. But he couldn't open the doors, so he'd be stuck in the car the whole trip.

First world problems...


Front doors on Tesla Model X are normal doors. Only rear doors are "falcon wing".


I've been curious about this since it has been originally been shown, maybe a year ago, because I never seen a picture with the front doors being used. I thought that falcons were the only way into the car


>so he'd be stuck in the car the whole trip.

It's roughly a 30 minute trip. Would the wait for the different carriage be worth it ?


You try convincing a train company that you'd like to be transported as cargo.


I've been on this train on a tourbus, you're not expected / required to go out unless you want to use the bathroom. Maybe it's different for car transport. Imagine a normal train although slightly bigger where you yourself drive on and park. It's not an open carriage like a 'normal' car transport would use.


It is different for car transport. Primarily for fire safety.


I thought buses work this way - passengers stay in them?


Unless you need to go to the toilet it is probably more comfortable to stay in your car.

Not being able to get out of your car in an emergency would be a bigger problem.


Crawl out the window?


In a Countach?? Not even if you are supermodel thin.



Unless you're talking about the height with the doors open being the problem, the Falcon Wings seem to require less space than the regular doors to open.

If you didn't notice, the picture on the linked page is interactive. Click-and-drag to open/close the doors to see.


He is talking about the height of the doors, hence the reference to the Countach. http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-1980-1989/1985-Lamborghini...


As has been said, the front doors open sideways.

IIRC the doors also don't need to open as far up as in most pictures. In fact, they have sensors to prevent them from smashing into garage roofs and the likes and then you can weasel out under them.


It doesn't seem to tell me how much it is..

Generally if I have to ask the price, I probably can't afford it.

I want an electric car, I want one with a range of about 400 miles, with charging stations to support it. jAs soon as the electric car is as easy for me to use as a gasoline powered one, I'm ready to drive one.

For what it's worth, my line of work (making all those mobile devices work) requires an enormous amount of driving.


400 miles? My normal, gasoline-powered car needs the tank filled up about every 250-300 miles.


My 97 Town Car could do 400 miles on a tank - close to 29 highway.


'Will cost the same as a comparably specified Model S' - it's at the bottom (at least as I write this comment, it is).

Edit: 'Deliveries will begin in 2014 and priced comparable to a similarly equipped Model S.' is the exact quote.


That is because it is not for sale yet, all you can do is reserve it for 5,000 dollars but i would expect it to be around the same price as a model s.


If I can reserve something, its functionally for sale, I should be able to see how much the total price of the vehicle is before reserving. I tried that, the reservation link seems broken.


$5,000 is an incredible amount of money. If I were to spend that amount on a pre-order, I deserve to know what I'm paying for and how much it will cost me.


You have 14 days to decide once your number is called. Put the deposit on a new credit card with multiple bonus points in the first month. Get yourself a vacation for lending someone $5,000 when interest rates are so low and decide later.


Thats why the reservation is fully refundable.


Chevy Volt?


Out of my price range for now.


This might not be as much of a problem for most of the target market, but I was really excited about the Tesla X until I heard about the doors - meaning no roof rack options at all. Here in Utah, I would love a nice, capable car in the snow with plenty of room for gear, but if I can't put mountain bikes on the roof or a roof box with skis on it in the winter, it's not very useful...

Maybe I'm just not in the target demographic, but I can't imagine I'm the only one who wants roof racks on my electric SUV...


I think the Model X will be ultimately be disappointing for anyone who's looking for a SUV from a capability standpoint.

Really, the first hint is right there in the marketing copy: "the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan" - which translated means "we know minivans are the most useful vehicle for families imaginable, but nobody likes buying a minivan, so we've made a vehicle that tries to have the functionality of a minivan, while not looking like one."

On paper, minivans are spectacular for families. They're affordable. They haul people in relative comfort, they're easy to get kids in and out of, they drive well, and they get pretty good MPG.

On reality, very few people actually want to own one. Ergo, millions of Americans drive SUVs who would really be better off in minivans. Which has led the industry to make lots of SUVs that try to offer the utility of a minivan, in a different form factor.

In doing so, they lose the "Utility" part of the SUV acronym, or at least lose its traditional meaning. Out of the modern crop of SUVs, there are very few that could handle anything more arduous than a carefully grated dirt road. Which really, is fine, because how often does your average family-mobile need to ford a stream?

Discounting the awesome technology and innovation, that's essentially what Tesla is trying to do with the Model X. And while I find the Model S stunning, this vehicle remonds me of the Buick Rendezvous, Pontiac Aztec and Toyota Venza. Not particularly stunning cars.

I sincerely hope Tesla is successful, and I'd love to own a Model S, but I'm afraid the styling of the Model X is a step in the wrong direction. Every time I've seen a Model S in person, I think, "That's a great looking car." I fear few people will have the same reaction to the Model X.


As I recall, the history is basically this:

SUVs became very popular and displaced minivans as the preferred family personal transport because the car companies put lots of money into promoting them for that rule after government safety and other standards that applied to regular passenger autos were extend to apply to minivans.

(Minivans were largely created and marketed as a major class as a response to those standards being applied to passenger autos in the first place; before minivans, the role was filled by station wagons.)

The "utility" function of SUVs was central, they weren't really called SUVs and weren't nearly as popular.

And crossovers blending SUVs and Minivan features are a result of many of those standards now being applied to SUVs, making the distinct class less valuable to the automakers, allowing them to focus more on the market and less on gaming the system. But, without an incentive to game the system, there's also no incentive to create a big marketing push to overcome the preference for SUVs that passed game-the-system marketing created.



I'm not sure you want to drive an electric car in the snow. Not that the torque wouldn't be great, but the cold would wreck your range.


It sure does, at least when you need the heater. In a conventional car, you'll get lots of extraneous heat from the engine, so heating is basically free. In the case of an electric car, an electric heating elements must be used with the same battery power as the electric motors. That is bound to hurt the range.


Even if you don't use the heater, cold weather reduces the effectiveness of the chemical reactions needed for a battery to supply power, causing the battery to drain faster (sometimes substantially so) and the Tesla is all battery.


I have driven a Tesla Roadster for 3 years. The heater does not impact range much.


In what climate?


Now, those electrical engines, electrical though they may be, still don't have 100% efficiency. I don't know how many kW the Tesla engine is putting out, but even at 90% efficiency you still have 10% of all that power wasted as heat. That's a lot of heat. Maybe it could be used for heating?


I'd be interested in finding out more about this. My parents (who live in NH, which gets its fair share of cold days) have a Prius and don't notice any mileage hit in the winter - in fact not running the A/C seems to help things more than cold would hurt. But there's definitely a difference between a hybrid and a full electric...


I suspect the hit is less for a hybrid, because in a regular Prius, the battery is basically used as a buffer, not a giant energy store. I have a plug-in Prius and my "pure EV" range (this is how far you can go without firing up the gas engine at all) is significantly shortened by cold weather. I haven't done any obsessive tracking of it and I've only been through one winter, but I'd say it's somewhere around 25% reduced capacity in the winter.


You're right, a plain hybrid is substantially different here.

A regular (non-plugin) Prius will go maybe a mile on the battery alone, and only in the right circumstances. Acceleration on the battery is poor, and battery-only mode is limited to 40-45MPH. It'll start the engine for you on demand, so this is no problem when driving, of course, it just illustrates that the battery performance isn't all that important.

Depending on how you drive it, cold weather can hurt gas mileage. If you're driving in a way that the engine doesn't run much, then it may have to run the engine more to generate heat for the heater. However, if you're driving in a way that runs the engine a lot anyway (highway driving, decent amounts of acceleration hard enough to require the gas engine, etc.) then you get the same kind of "free" heat as a normal car.


One interesting point: you mention acceleration. The battery-only acceleration on the plugin prius is actually pretty acceptable. I recently rented a regular prius and my habit of accelerating as fast as I can without busting out of "eco" mode meant I was just crawling embarrassingly slowly, whereas in the plugin, you tend to outrun most average drivers if you do that.


The battery makes a big difference. Since it's just a helper on the regular Prius, it doesn't have to be all that powerful, and I think it's only rated for something like 30-35hp. On the plugin, it needs to be able to drive the car on its own in a reasonable fashion, so it's much more powerful, as well as the obvious thing of having a higher capacity.

Driving my Prius v, I'm battery-only basically when cruising on surface streets, sitting idle, or maneuvering around small, slow residential streets. And maybe, maybe if I'm accelerating away from a stop on a decent downhill slope with nobody behind me.


Winter gasoline is 2-8% less efficient than the summer blend. My Prius's mpg, that I've never reset since buying the car, goes down slightly in winter, and back up when the switch the fuel back, only by a few mpg, and less now as it's averaged over many more miles. Now at 49.1 (uk gallons)


Indeed, in a regular 2008 gasoline car, I notice a 0.2 liters per hour drop in idle power consumption if the AC compressor is off.


I live in the Yukon and we regularly have -40C/F for a few weeks a year, and a solid 3 months where it doesn't get above -30C, and hovers into the -40s at night.

My friend here has a 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybird, and she barely notices a difference in range year-round.


Hybrids do not store energy for the journey in the batteries, they store it in the fuel.

The storage capacity of the fuel is not affected (much) by temperature.

From a simple perspective, the batteries in a hybrid just serve to smooth out the energy demand and provide regenerative braking.


Wasn't there a NYT test drive where a really cold day affected range?


Yes, that is exactly what the problem was, though it got lost in the drama.

The car has a protection mechanism to prevent the battery from freezing, and when left over night in the cold without a charger, it will actually run an auxiliary heater to keep the battery warm enough.

The reviewer expected the charge to be the same in the morning, so he called their technical support when it was so low. They didn't explain that the charge can substantially decrease overnight when parked in the cold, because it automatically runs a heater for the battery. Instead they suggested that it was an erroneous reading, and that it would correct once the battery heated up.

It wasn't really a design flaw so much as a mistake from technical support exacerbated by an overbearing response attacking a journalist for not being omniscient.


Not as much as the fact that the journalist in question simply didn't charge it.


According to Musk, the range o an electric car will decrease by 10% if the temperature drops to -10 degrees Celsius


How about bike racks in the back? I wonder which placement is better for mileage due to aerodynamics: Top or back?


I generally do 2 in the back on a hitch rack, and 2 on the roof on my Subaru right now.

(but I realize that car shuttles requiring 4 40lb downhill mountain bikes isn't exactly your typical use case for a car! It's just an important part of what I personally need it to do...)

In my experience, bikes on the hitch rack hurt gas mileage less than the roof ones, but I haven't been super rigorous with the comparison...


But... ski racks! So important for some people, and there's nowhere for them to go except on top.


There are plenty of hitch-mounted ski racks (skis are held vertically).


Yeah, unfortunately, the doors also are a downside for me - I have limited garage side access.. The lack of roof-top carrier (which was the unsung hero of our last coastal drive) would be a downer too.

Despite all this, I irrationally yearn for this vehicle.


Apologies if I'm missing something obvious, but is there anything new here regarding the Model X (e.g. pricing) or is this just an FYI for people who may not have been aware that it was a thing? At a glance I'm not seeing anything that looks to have changed recently on this page.


Yeah, pricing would seem to be a critical piece of info for reservation. Unfortunately I can't see what happens when you click on the "reserve now" link because the JS doesn't work in my browser (Aurora on Linux.)


I don't think it's your browser. It's not working properly under Firefox on Windows either.


I guess I don't remember the falcon doors because this is a non-starter for me. It starts out talking about "best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan". Well, in my world that means electric sliding rear doors and the abilily to mount our kayaks, racing shells or bikes on the roof.

What the hell were they thinking? The door has been left wide open for someone to do it right. I'll be in the market for two new SUV's by early 2014. That's when I expect to go past 250,000 miles on my current ones. I've been saying I was going to buy two Teslas. Now I can't see a way to even remotely consider the idea.

Sadly this feels like a lot of other companies with roots in the Slicon Valley community: A bunch of really young guys making decisions completely outside the context of the realities of families in the real world. Keep your falcon doors, they sure are cool but they are a colosal failure to capture my reality and that of millions of other potential customers.

EDIT: I secretly wanted Tesla to build a really nice electric boat as well. I envisioned buying the set: An electric SUV pulling an electric boat to the lake. No, instead they build a bullshit SUV that misses the "Sport" and "Utility" part in "SUV". All you are left with is a vehicle and a useless one if you truly use an SUV for an active lifestyle that involves more than skateboarding.


I think it's funny that you accuse Tesla of making decisions without context for how real people live, yet have decided that this vehicle is useless for everyone just because it doesn't fit your needs.

I'm going to wager that Tesla knows more about their market than you do, and that roof racks are not as important to that market as you think they are.


Well, the truth of the matter is that in terms of annual sales volume Tesla is a small player in the auto industry. If they sell 20,000 of these it will be considered a hit. They'll sell 20,000 units. I don't think they'll sell 200K but 20K, sure.


Whoah, falcon doors are a deal breaker for millions of potential customers? Are you sure?

They're my favorite thing about the car. I hadn't even considered the issue with putting things on the roof, because I've never put anything on a roof before. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't need that capability.


It's a lot more common among SUV and wagon owners than regular car owners. The dirty secret of small SUVs and crossovers is that if you have the rear seat full of passengers, there is very little room for their luggage. Generally when you take 4 people camping you need about twice as much equipment as when you take 2 people camping, but only have about 20% the space to fit it in. The exception is really big SUVs like the Yukon XL, but for small SUVs, a sedan like a Crown Vic actually has more luggage capacity when 4 passengers are in the vehicle.

The hack to solve this is the roof rack.

I think the best solution is still a diesel SUV/pickup, and a Model S (or smaller) electric car.


I realize there are all kinds of use profiles. I know there are lots of people who buy SUV's simply because they are larger and easier to get in and out of than a car and not for the "sport" in SUV.

Tesla's claim is that this model merges the best of SUV's and minivans. That's a tall order. And the falcon doors are completely opposite that definition.

In our case, we live a reasonably active life style. Fishing, kayaking, sculling, stand-up paddle-boarding, biking, camping are typical activities for our family.

We are also into model airplanes, with some being rather large. I've been known to strap a fuselage or two to the roof rack to to flying.

I do a bit of woodworking and home improvement work. It isn't too uncommon for me to go to Home Depot and strap a bunch of lumber to the roof rack.

So, for me, when you say "SUV" and "minivan" along with "the best of both" the last thing I'd put down on the list of specs would be doors that make the roof absolutely unusable. This is what I call a Gucci SUV. One that never gets dirty and never sees sports-utility work. It's just a bigger car and a beautiful one at that.

The only way I can possibly justify getting one of these is to keep either our SUV or minivan for lugging stuff around. If I do that I might as well buy a car and benefit from better aerodynamic efficiency. I am disappointed because I was truly hoping to go all electric next year.


"This is what I call a Gucci SUV. One that never gets dirty and never sees sports-utility work. It's just a bigger car and a beautiful one at that."

That's how roughly 99% of SUV owners use their SUV, so I don't really see the problem here....


don't forget though, Teslas have no engine in the front... that space where the engine goes becomes a 2nd boot so you end up with more storage, even with the 3rd row of seats (obviously, you won't get a set of ski's in there but still... it's more than normal)


If you really wanted a Tesla, couldn't you tow a small trailer?


I want a good electric SUV. I don't really care who makes it.


> What the hell were they thinking?

Here's a clue. The primary demographic for the SUV market hasn't been Mountain Dew-chugging bungie jumpers for a long time. The primary demographic is moms.

This is what's created the crossover market seemingly out of thin air; and it's why Tesla said "minivan". And why the X includes a third row. That's my theory anyway.

I also had thought the X was going to be a failure because of its lack of roof racks. But I don't think so any more. I'm guessing the X is aimed straight at the wealthy eco-mom segment.


Provided there's enough room in the back for soccer junk for 3+ kids + shopping bags, it'll be the perfect around-town car for mums. And that's a huge segment of traffic, at least around here.


I like Tesla and I like this car okay, but that is not a crossover. I have a Nissan Rogue which is on the smaller side of the crossover range and the body height it still significant enough where you could tell it's certainly not a sedan even with a casual glance. The only similarity that has is the flat back.

Good luck as well with those falcon wing doors when you're trying to park at your downtown football stadium or of course, wanting any roof accessories. Once again, not a crossover, because crossover basically means a small engine SUV. This is a sedan with a flat ass.

Wouldn't there be major safety concerns during a rollover? How the hell would you get out of your burning Model X?


Presumably the same way you'd get out of your burning Mercedes SLS AMG

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/17/video-mercedes-benz-sls-a...


Ah, henge pin charges, makes sense. I suppose you could just kick the doors off at that point.


The Model X has such a low centre of gravity that you'd need to be driving almost deliberately to rollover; the only exception to that would be driving the car with negligently low tire pressure and/or overly soft suspension (I always wondered why rollover rates in the US were so high until I realised that cars that ship in America tend to have much softer suspension than they do in the rest of the world).


This could actually be even lower on the highway as well due to the smart suspension (optional, but common) that lowers the car at highway speeds.

Why are suspensions softer in the US? Is that simply related to the fact that a large slice of the rural market is driving on unpaved roads frequently? I would assume this would be an issue elsewhere in the world also, but perhaps not in Europe.


I don't know that cars in the US necessarily have softer suspension than their European counterparts, but I can attest to the fact that it is not due to the rural population. Much of the rural population will be driving pickup trucks or truck-based SUVs, which have much stiffer suspension than a normal car.

I know that older Cadillac models would have very soft suspension (that's why people refer to them as boats, they take bumps like they were riding waves). I can't attest to that being a factor in any higher incidence of rollovers. If there was in fact a higher percentage of rollover accidents in the US, I would put more money on this being due to the fact that the US really likes truck-based SUVs (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Blazer/Tahoe, Toyota 4Runner, etc) with lots of weight really high up. My 1998 4Runner even had a warning sticker saying you can't corner like you would in a car without risk of rollover.

In short, people buy cars they don't know how to drive.


Oh right, I guarantee you this is correct. It's the popularity of high center of gravity cars like SUVs combined with a lack of driving ability. Nice thinking.


There are plenty of cases where you can roll without intending to roll. If you are forced off the road (by another driver, by ice, poor reaction to deer crossing the road, etc), hitting a ditch at 50mph at the right angle will almost surely launch your car sideways. Being hit by another car running a red light could easily launch you sideways as well.


Even with the softest suspension, you usually have to spin out and catch a wheel rim on a curb to get a car to roll over, unless you have really high center of mass (like some non-crossover SUV's, like the 1990s Jeep Grand Cherokee).



Most normal car doors aren't going to open well after a rollover, either.


That's absolutely true, but you also don't need a special mechanism to pop the hinges.


I thought the jaws of life usually does the trick in a rollover whether its conventional, suicide, butterfly, or gullwing doors.


Try as I might, I simply can't get worked up about Tesla.

They make excellent toys for rich people, but are irrelevant to everyone who is not some sort of millionaire entrepreneur or high-paid executive.

Electric vehicles are incredibly attractive and massively beneficial to society if they are adopted at scale. Unfortunately, Tesla seems content to cultivate an image as an ultra-luxury brand, and hasn't attempted to lower the barrier to entry for electric vehicles.

I have no problem with companies that only want to sell expensive things to very wealthy people, but we can't possible pretend that companies like these will matter in the grand scheme of things.

Wake me up when we can buy an electric car for $12,000.


'Electric cars for everyone! Woohoo!'

^^ that's the exciting bit, right?

However, you don't get there without Tesla. Why not?

Because you can't compete with low-margin products in a low-margin industry, and still innovate in a sector where you need lots of R&D, where component costs are currently expensive but are expected to drop over time, etc.

Even the much-celebrated entry, at scale, of other manufacturers into the electric-car market is due to Tesla.

Tesla is kinda like Apple in this. They built a very adventurous, dangerously new, premium product, and really committed to it (think mac/iphone; like Tesla, it's not like there weren't other similar products/concepts, but a good consumer product hadn't existed). Upon market validation of the concept, other people jumped in (windowed PCs with initially non-clipping windows; initially crappy android phones).

The reason this is exciting? Because: 'electric cars for everyone! woohoo!'

IT'S VALIDATED THE MARKET! They've waded into a real, big industry, taken on incredibly ambitious problems ('start a car company', 'make an electric car'), and in the process created demand for a new premium product, something the market 'didn't know it wanted'.

Without Tesla demonstrating that there's a premium market segment here to be targeted -- essentially doing market research for larger companies -- we don't get there as fast.

Other people invented (windowed desktops|electric cars). But without (Mac|Tesla) productizing it successfully, how many years would it be before the consumer enjoyed (windowed OS'|electric cars)?


"Try as I might, I simply can't get worked up about cellphones.

They make excellent toys for rich people, but are irrelevant to everyone who is not some sort of millionaire entrepreneur or high-paid executive.

Mobile communication is incredibly attractive and massively beneficial to society if they are adopted at scale. Unfortunately, cellphone manufacturers seem content to cultivate an image as an ultra-luxury brand, and hasn't attempted to lower the barrier to entry for mobile.

I have no problem with companies that only want to sell expensive things to very wealthy people, but we can't possible pretend that companies like these will matter in the grand scheme of things.

Wake me up when we can buy an cellphone for $120."

http://www.mycricket.com/community/sites/all/uploads/images/...


Elon Musk's stated goal with Tesla is to bring electric cars to the masses. To do this, the price has to come down, and the price only comes down with volume, and you can't build the volume for a mass car from scratch without a low price.

This is a classic Catch 22, and Tesla's strategy for this is to start at the higher end with performance and luxury cars, where the costs are more acceptable, refine the technology, learn the lessons, wait for battery prices to come down, build the brand and product volume and release cars closer and closer to mass market.

Look at the history: we started with an sports car (the Roadster), which could get away with high price and average range by being quick, then a luxury sedan at a lower price point (Model S), now more of a family car (Model X). Affordable cars are in the pipeline, this is just the route we have to go through to get there.

Personally, I think the strategy is masterful. Every other car manufacturer went straight to mass market, without taking into account that the economics didn't work.


>Affordable cars are in the pipeline, this is just the route we have to go through to get there.

Having recently bought a new Lancer, I find this very exciting. By the time I'm ready for a new car, it's quite possible there will be numerous EVs in my price range. This in contrast to when I was car shopping ~8 months ago and didn't even consider Mitsubishi's EV because it cost as much as a mid-range Lancer and looked like a glorified golf cart.


One thing to remember is that Tesla is a battery company. Cars help them to fund their R&D, but Elon knows that if he can develop the batteries that will drive every single EV made, it doesn't matter whether it costs the consumer $12,000 or $200,000.


> Tesla is a battery company

Wait, what?


What is going to make more money, make more impact, and make Musk iconic? Building luxury cars that go fast, look nice, and run on electricity? Or creating the entire mechanism, infrastructure, and possibility of moving humans via battery?

Ford isn't famous for making a car, and there's good reason behind comparing Musk to Ford.

Tesla makes cars and they're funded by car sales, but the fundamental game changer they bring to the table is their battery tech and the infrastructure they're building in order to make it viable. When every car is driven by batteries, Tesla will have an unbelievably huge head start in finding, moving, selling, then using the power inside of them - whether it be made by Ford, Toyota, Nissan, or anyone else.


Pardon me for being overly pedantic (although that's perhaps ok on HN), but they are not making their own batteries, are they? They probably purchase Li-Ion elements from some other entity.

But I see your point, I think. They are building the entire infrastructure that goes with the electric car, not just the car itself. I agree that's very smart.


Tesla purchases 18650 battery cells from Panasonic (the same cells I use in my e-cigarette, in fact). What they have developed, however, is a battery management system that surpasses just about everything else on the current market, and that is what other car companies (or airplane manufacturers, etc) will be licensing from them in the future.


> a battery management system that surpasses just about everything else on the current market

In what way is it better?


They have a proprietary wiring solution and a cooling system that works very well at preventing problems with one or a small batch of cells from spreading to the rest of the pack. On top of that is proprietary software that manages charging this system, and allows for things like quick charging without exploding the cells, which is no small feat for 60+ kWh.


Yeah, you're right. I don't believe they're building their own cells, true. But all the wiring for the types of cells they use, and especially the drivetrain, are proprietary, unique, and highly advantageous.

I guess it would be more correct to say "Tesla is a battery tech company." Still, people are too fixated on the fact that Tesla makes luxury cars. Much more important is the fact that they make very efficient, high performance, safe energy systems.


That's not going to happen anytime soon. Batteries themselves are still too expensive, but what's even more expensive is the development time spent on battery management systems. The Tesla S has roughly 7000 individual battery cells, not unlike the single cell powering your phone. If a single cell over drains or over charges, it has the potential to cause a fire. That's easy to do with your phone, there's only one cell to monitor. But thousands of cells, bundled together in various packs of serial and parallel connections? There's a lot that can go wrong. That means these systems have to be bulletproof and I think we can all appreciate how expensive that is in terms of software and hardware development time, let alone testing.



    MSRP*1 as low as $19,185

    Price after federal tax credit. Net price shown includes the full $7,500 tax 
    credit*1. $26,685 MSRP* †,† without federal tax savings ranging from $0 up to
    $7,500.
So, I can buy a Spark for only $20K and let the rest of America pay the other $7,500 for me. Sweet. I love an overbearing government!


Keep watching. Tesla's next car is supposed to be the "Model C" mass-market sedan.


I guess you haven't been following Tesla very closely, but you've got it all wrong. The whole point was to innovate with luxury cars, and then produce affordable consumer vehicles. Elon Musk wants to see the world driving electric cars, because they are better for the environment.


The Model S is definitely in the realm of affordability for more than millionaires and executives.

60,000 is relatively easily affordable to the likes of doctors, dentists, lawyers, software developers, and more.

The estimated monthly payment on their website is 579/month which is actually less than I pay now for my subaru forester. (The loan is twice as long, but if I can afford to pay if for 3 years, I most likely could pay it for 6).

What's exciting to me is that these electric cars are just as good, often times better, than their non-electric counterparts. These cars can be bought by regular (although still quite well off) people. That's a pretty big accomplishment.

I can't wait to see what they do to make a more affordable mass market car.


These things take time. Tesla's goal for their next car, the Model C, is to reduce the price significantly. Now, considering how much their current cars cost, that might still mean $40k or more, but that would still be a significant improvement.


I remember watching an interview not too long ago about Elon being disappointed with how slowly the regulations around cars are to change. He mentioned specifically putting cameras in place of the side mirrors, and how Tesla petitioned to have the laws around it changed about 3 years ago. Looks like they succeeded in getting the laws changed.

Seems weird that they went for the SUV crossover next. Although I guess that's the next rung on the ladder in order of bringing the price down. Fancy 2 seater -> Fancy sedan -> semi-fancy suv -> semi-fancy van | semi-fancy car.


SUVs are the most profitable vehicle for automakers, so it makes perfect sense that Tesla would build one next.

Now that the public has been primed for electric vehicles and Tesla is building out a charging infrastructure, they're beginning to target the middle-of-the-road owners, not just early adopters.


Yes but the reason for SUV's being the most profitable vehicles for automakers (actually, big trucks are if you make them) is not applicable here. It has to do with basically making them off your existing car platform (scale/leverage) but charging more. I do agree with mercuryrising though that this is the next extension in the original vision.


The Model X shares 60% of its parts with the Model S. I believe that, critically, the "sled" (battery tray and motors) are shared between the two.


Right. But no car they make is yet at much in the way of economies of scale due to their tiny volumes compared to a "normal" car maker.


Maybe they're doing it the opposite way? Designing the platform for the gen3 by making the model x, thus making the gen3 cheaper.


Hah! I was wondering about that; I thought their designer had just decided that side mirrors were too ugly on the 3D model.

I really like the way these guys think. This is truly disruptive design at work.


What's new here? I don't see any change from yesterday ...


Agree that this isn't new. The only different bit is that, when I first looked at this page in February 212, it said deliveries would be in "Early 2014" and now it's just 2014.


It was announced earlier this year: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-to-repa...

> The automaker said that potential customers awaiting its upcoming Model X--billed as the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan, in an electric car--were going to have to wait a bit longer.

> Production on the Model X had been expected to begin late this year, with deliveries beginning in 2014. Production has now been pushed back to late 2014.


Seems like the gullwing doors have the height issue to contend with, plus what are the chances you knock your 5-year old's chin on the way up?

I drive a sporty 2-door SUV and what I've long hoped to find was a 2-door suv with sliding doors - basically mini-van doors. The Peugot 1007 is the only vehicle I've ever seen like that and it was a little too econo-box for my taste.

http://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/outdoor/peugeot-1007-han...


>plus what are the chances you knock your 5-year old's chin on the way up?

Probably the same chances that you will knock over your child when you swing open a conventional door. That being said, they'll learn quickly to step back from opening doors.


At the shareholder meeting a couple months ago, Elon Musk said the gullwing doors will have proximity and pinch sensors to prevent them from hitting anything. I don't know for sure if he was referring to the first version of Model X, but it seemed like it.


> promises 3rd car will be a cheap model that will change the world.

Delivers soccer parent SUV. With lambo doors.


This isn't the 3rd model of the sequence you're thinking. This is the 2nd Model.



Not even an SUV. They only made it flat and crossover-looking so they didn't have to admit it's basically a hatchback. Far closer to a wagon, honestly.


Tesla is Apple of the car industry.


Someone had to do it. When the iPhone was initially released, I speculated whether Apple itself would one day go into cars. While the end product seems far from what they do they don't really sell specific products. They sell objects that people become attached to. they don't become attached because it is an Apple product, but because Apple sell products in the areas of things people become attached to.

Computers, and Smartphones have that level of attachment. The other stand-out items are cars and houses. A lot of people define their identities by their choice of those items.


Would you like to build the android of the car industry?

I am in... but I can only hit pavement running at a much further level of dev than now...


>We noticed you're visiting from Australia. Would you like to visit the Australian version of the site?

It's ridiculous that the web is in such a state that I thought this was a very impressive feature. You either get redirected, occasionally against your will, or have to add .au to your current URL and hope it works.


No, that is exactly the only way to do it right.

If I visit a link on HN, I want to reach the same site everyone's talking about. Not teslamotors.de or somesuch crap. I'm looking at you, Google, among other offenders.

Offering a localized site, in a clearly visible but unobtrusive way, is a good choice and I'd like to see more sites adapt this pattern.


I clicked through on the AU link - doesn't look any different though!


I am blown away by how the doors open. I've never seen someone tackle the "oops. I'll be bumping/almost scratching into the 7-series next to me when I open my door" problem so elegantly.

Edit: typo.


The falcon wings - rather the gull wings - have been around forever. The problem is that you need a significant roof height in order for them to open.

Ever tried parking in a cramped multi-storey car park? You'll be crawling out of your car via the foot well. It's the main reason they've never taken off, but I'm guessing only the rear doors are like this.


Also a bit problematic if you happen to roll your car over on its top...


FWIW, the SLS gets around this by having explosive bolts in the hinges that blow when the car is past something like 90˚ in orientation and has a velocity of 0 for more than N seconds. However, the SLS is a $300k car, so no expense is spared. That solution might be a little less feasible for a car that costs what the Model X will.


I dunno, given the other story today[1] about the Tesla S blowing away everyone else in safety tests, I wouldn't put it past them to have considered escapability after a roll-over in the X.

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6240862


Hence the explosive bolts.


It doesn't have explosive bolts.


I've always been slightly enamored with the rotary drop doors that slide under the car [1]. I would never buy a car with them, but they are interesting none the less.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAtkoje4-eM&t=35s


Have you seen the Koenisegg doors? Those are my favorite...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svxRpqeqFRY&t=150s


This is great. They should use these for the new Teslas.


The problem with these doors is the complexity and the fact that a simple tree branch stuck in it would completely fuck it up. The complexity means that it will break much more often than a regular door - it has motors and multiple pieces.

Also imagine a child sticking a finger in it while it's closing, turning it into a meat grinder.


The Gull-wing [1] doors have been around for a while, you probably noticed them on the DeLorean from Back to the Future series. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG [2] is a modern car which also has them.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gull-wing_door

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_SLS_AMG


Note that the "Falcon Wings" are not exactly the same as regular gull-wings. The Falcon Wings have an additional joint where the roof part meets the window (see picture: http://i.imgur.com/htiMVlP.png). This reduces the overall height requirement when the door is opened.


personally, I think the sliding doors on minivans are a more elegant solution to that problem. less stylish, but simpler design for the same utility and without compromising your roof.


the reason for gull-wings on the X is easy third-row access. with minivan doors you are limited in how far back they open


Agreed! I've come to really appreciate their utility. One of our vehicles has them and they are fantastic. Nice piece of mechanical engineering as well.

And, BTW, not much wrong with conventional doors either. Judging by the tens of millions of cars sold every year wold wide I'd say conventional doors work pretty well.


Can you rationally separate elegance and style ?


depends what you mean by elegance. an "elegant solution" in engineering has very little to do with fashion, it's about solving a problem in a non-obvious but very clean and efficient way.


Huh? They didn't invent gull wing doors. PLenty of exotic and general production cars have/had them. Never heard of the Delorean DMC-12?

A real innovation would be doors that slide into the chasis like the BMW z1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cars_with_non-standard_...


Tesla's Falcon doors are not the same as Gull-wing doors. They have an additional joint which minimizes the horizontal space required, so you won't hit the car next to yours while getting in and out.


I like that it provides an extra little bit of protection from the rain when stepping outside on a rainy day into a lobby or something.


I actually think the opposite. I would imagine that a driving rain will come in under the wings and into the top of the large cabin. Conventional doors are not perfect and the inside of the doors get wet, however these wings appear to allow the person sitting and seats to get wet.


> I've never seen someone tackle the "oops. I'll be bumping/almost scratching into the 7-series next to me when I open my door" problem so elegantly.

In lower price ranges and in the supermini category, Peugeot made an attempt with 1007 [1]. The electric door design (by Delphi) was sound but the car was otherwise, with numerous other flaws, a failure in every sense.

[1]: http://www.bibipedia.org/upload/gallery/images/Le_catalogue_...

[2]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGmOyf9tiqo


I am right now wondering why my commodity car doesn't have this feature - have the engineers even thought of it? It's ridiculous how the latest 2013 models have made incremental improvements compared to 1970s models. Sure they have better HP/torque curves and mileage/safety ratings, but automatic transmissions were invented LONG ago.

Is there been ANY significantly new feature in the latest models?


Traction control, automatic braking, smart cruise control (follow the car in front), automatic park assist


Gull wing doors seem great unless you're tall (anything over 6 foot). For tall people they smack you in the head every time.


Wondering where the Moments', O'Neill's, Burtons', Eddylines', and Cervelo's are supposed to go.


Gull-wing doors are a smart move, sales wise. They give you the exotic feel. But I'm concerned with them in practice. Since no height specification is given, I used this image as a reference to determine the height of the Model X with the doors fully open.

http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/bg_03_falconw...

The Model S is 56.5" tall. So assuming the above image is to scale and my math is correct, the Model X is 85.65" tall with doors fully open.

85" tall... For reference, a Ford F-150 is 75" tall (http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/exterior/) and a Ford F-250 is 79.8" (http://www.ford.com/trucks/superduty/specifications/exterior...) in the worst case.

Granted, most Tesla buyers are not average people with average-sized garages. But still, that's tall.

There's a reason more cars don't have gull-wing doors. They aren't practical for a lot of spaces.

And yes, I did see the in-garage-with-doors-open image.

http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/bg_04_garage_...



The body looks alot like the Honda Crosstour http://www.autoweek.com/storyimage/CW/20121115/CARNEWS/12111...


I'm using chrome on this site and the experience seems subpar for such an amazing car. I click the link to see Elon's unveiling and I am brought to a page with a 360 click and drag that doesn't work.


This guys need to seriously consider redesigning the front plate.

They put it there because all normal gas cars need it, but electric cars don't need it, or need a very small one.

The rest of the car, I love it.


I was expecting so much more from the front of the car, they could have gone really imaginitive with the design and practical use.


It seems to me the design is deliberately conservative for some reason.


Yep. These are designed to look like 'normal' cars so as not to spook the generally conservative market. Mk II or III will be significantly different in design from today's car I think.


The tesla touchscreen looks absolutely massive. Really a bit too gaudy for my tastes. Then again it's just a mockup. Is that a screen behind the steering wheel?


The one in the Model S is indeed massive. It's tall enough to do a vertical split and have two different activities shown at once, top and bottom, if you set it up that way, and big enough to comfortably read a non-mobile web page. (Don't do that while driving, please.)


Screen only as instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is nothing new, other cars have this already. But I'm wondering, is that a live video of the road in front of you projected in that display?


So what is the price?


I am afraid it looks a little too much like an Aztek from the rear.

I want a Model S AWD. The X doesn't have a single real trunk so it sucks if you park anywhere non secure.

It does make the S v X v Blue Star decision a little harder.



That's awesome news, thanks! I've been considering getting a Tesla in 2015 when I've paid off my Volt, but I live in Wisconsin so the rear wheel drive was a deal breaker on the Model S. I like the Model S more than the Model X though so if it has an all wheel drive option that's probably the way I'll go. (Assuming the fabled more reasonably priced 3rd model hasn't been revealed and won me over by then).


I assume at the cost of the frunk, which is ok.


The motor isn't that big; there'll still be some frunk left.


What's wrong with the Aztek? I love the functional look of that car.


> the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan

How do you fit a family of 5 in this thing like you can in a minivan? Honestly, it seems more of a station wagon minus the storage.


Yeah the word hatchback comes to mind. remember the frunk though. This thing probably does have a lot of cargo capacity.



Watch the reveal videos. Tesla's designers are good.


I can't really tell whether all the doors are falcon wings or just the rear doors. Anyone have more info?


Reservations been taken, but anyone knows what the price(s) of the vehicle are?


Good luck getting out of those falcon wing doors when the car flips over...


I'm sure it just lifts the whole car up.


I'm sure the engineers have thought about that...


I wonder if these guys would be open to collaborating on a motorcycle.


No rear view mirrors? Replaced by cameras! Bold move.


Are those cameras in place for side-view mirrors?




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