Elon Musk Sets Record Straight: Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors

NOV 19 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 69

Elon Musk Took To Twitter To Dispel More Rumors Around The Model X's Falcon Doors

Elon Musk Took To Twitter To Dispel More Rumors Around The Model X’s Falcon Doors

For The Record, Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors

For The Record, Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors

Apparently, there are still some rumors flying around (stemming from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas) suggesting that the Tesla Model X will not have falcon doors in production form.

That’s entirely false, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk who took to Twitter to shoot down the false rumors.

Additionally, Musk once again guaranteed the world that the production Model X will be like the concept version, but better.

So, here’s a note to those who spread false Tesla-related rumors: STOP!!!

The Model X falcon doors were confirmed months ago, so why are some naysayers still speculating that these industry-first doors won’t be seen on the production Model X?  We haven’t a clue.  Perhaps they are the few who don’t read InsideEVs?

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69 Comments on "Elon Musk Sets Record Straight: Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors"

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Anthony Fiti

“so why are some naysayers still saying that these industry-first doors won’t be seen on the production Model X?”

Because Tesla is having a hard time delivering them! We know the Model X powertrain is just about ready with the release of the AWD Model S. Its the rest of the car that isn’t ready, mostly likely the falcon wing doors.

“Really hate it when companies bring out an awesome show car and then you can never actually buy it. So lame.”

Which is what the Model X is turning into with all these delays.

AddLightness

All automakers delay releases all the time for various reasons. They also reveal awesome show cars that people want and then the production version comes out and its totally different and much less appealing.

Is there a reason you have the need to hold Tesla to higher standards than all other automakers?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Like…. The Aztek.

(Or, some might say, the Volt.. But I prefer the production Volt to the concept, personally.)

kdawg

I like the Aztek. It was ahead of its time. Still see many around me in near mint condition.

John Hansen

Why do you assume the delay is because of the falcon wing doors?

Anthony Fiti

Because I believe it is the part of the car that represents the highest remaining risk. The other large risk factor on this project was the AWD system, but that risk has been retired with the demonstration and launch of the AWD Model S.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

So, let me get this straight:
– they’ve developed the AWD systems and defined the Autopilot hardware enough that you can now get them in the Model S
– they’re building Model X betas and beginning final crash testing
– X production planned to start 2015Q2
– they can build the Model S at decent margin

So, the reason for the latest Model X delay was the falcon doors. It’s not because they have to set up a precise, automated assembly line and unlike when they were releasing the Model S they don’t have a cash crunch so they can afford to take their time.

John Hansen

You’re underestimating the amount of effort that goes into designing a new vehicle, even when it’s based on an existing vehicle. The drive train isn’t the only part that requires engineering. For example, the suspension on an SUV will be substantially different than on a sedan. The SUV can tow, so you have to account for that. The body is going to be different, so you have to design that for crash protection, stiffness, etc.

In short, your assumption that the doors alone are responsible for the delays are misinformed.

Micke Larsson

And you must be very uninformed if you don’t know that there are plenty of automotive engineers out there who have done suspensions and adapting for towing many many times for SUV’s and other vehicles.

If that was the problem then they could have hired or rented quite a few engineers and solved it much faster and cheaper.

2-3 years delay has nothing to do with existing problems in the automotive business and the only new thing is the falcon wings and the problems related to them.

If the Model X had regular doors it would have been out on the streets by now.

John Hansen

Really? Are there lots of engineers who have done that on an aluminum body electric vehicle? I’m sure that Elon would like to know which recruiting site you use. 🙂

MDEV

No really perhaps the delay is not the Falcon doors, it could be the ugly nosecone re-design.

Mint

Tesla is taking its sweet time with the Model X because they can.

Model S demand is strong, and there’s lots of low lying fruit to make it stronger (advertising, promotions, fleet discounts, completing the supercharger network, etc).

Only when production capacity exceeds demand will they feel pressure to introduce a new model.

pjwood

I think this was very much the consensus take from the investor call, that AWD Model S could step existing owners into another car rather than have them get on that long list. In <month, we start seeing them on the roads.

mike w

Can they get enough batteries to keep up with the demand for the S and the X with out the gigafactory?

RedLeafBlueLeaf

Big fan of Tesla, but the delays are ridiculous. When we first walked into a Tesla showroom 2 years ago this month we were told that the Model X would be available within 6 months. Two years later we are being told exactly the same thing.

At this rate I am counting on the Model 3 – or whatever its final name is – to be ready in the next decade.

Anon

People freak out when things get delayed, then start entertaining themselves (and others) with tales of various scapegoats. I assume this “analyst” really wants his Model X. 😉

I think now that Tesla’s spent half a billion in Model X R&D, they should put those awesome doors on a smaller city vehicle or sports car. I think that would be quite sexy. OMG, I want.

JR

Again some Bank analyst spreading rumours he properly just what to create some fear for the next new big Tesla launch, and cash in some money on his shares when it becomes a success

pjwood

Jonas, of Morgan Stanley, is just covering himself, IMO. His move was to lower 2015 earnings to $2.45, from $4.39. You fail to deliver product on schedule, and something has got to give. It shouldn’t be the analyst’s reputation when a company pulls back its plans.

Stimpacker

More importantly, why are people listening to analysts?

John Hansen

You can’t spell analyst without anal. 😀

Steven

+1

jmac

Musk has hinted a couple times that there would be some surprises with the Model X.

So far, we know that it will be 4wd with an engine set up like the Model D and a tow bar and custom ski racks mounted on the bumper hitch, along with the falcon doors.

I’m wondering what all these ‘surprises’ are going to be.

Solar roof ? Inductive charging ?

Stimpacker

Maybe revolving front seats?
Get in car, set Autopilot, then turn around and chat with your backseat passengers?

QCO

The falcon doors are clearly a defining signature feature for the Model X, so they are not going away regardless of any practicality or cost concerns (real or imagined).

I think Elon has decided each Tesla vehicle has to have a key signature feature to provide differentiation and to help support the cool value.

Now we can speculate on what the Gen 3 signature feature will be. Unfortunately it won’t be my preferred signature feature: low price. It will be something odd and unexpected like plugging itself into a charger or a grocery cart unloading robot, or….

Josh Bryant

What is your definition of low price?

Gen 3 might not be low, but at $35k – $60k range it would be “affordable”. Almost every SUV you see on the streets sold in that price range.

For low price ($18k – $30k), you would have to wait for Gen 4 from Tesla, if they decide to go for that. Their moniker of “Premium Electric Vehicles”, may mean they decide to stay above $30k, like BMW, MB, Audi, Caddy, etc.

kdawg

It’s the Model 3, not Gen 3. AFAIK, Tesla has not come out with a 2nd generation anything, other than the Roadster.

QCO

Yes, I ment Model 3… Apologies for confusion (spillover from Volt speak).

Point still remains….

Josh Bryant

Roadster was Gen I Tesla tech.
Model S/X (Codename Whitestar) is Gen II Tesla tech.
Model 3/Y (Codename Bluestar) is Gen III Tesla tech.
Model “Truck” is supposed to be based on Gen III tech.

There has been mention of Gen IV tech, but no actual product ideas that I know of.

tftf

“For low price ($18k – $30k), you would have to wait for Gen 4 from Tesla, if they decide to go for that.”

I don’t think it makes sense for Tesla (or most other Western car companies for that matter) to enter the low-end EV price segment below around $25k.

I suspect this segment will be dominated by Asian car companies (including new ones from China) with low margins and very high competition.

Tesla wouldn’t have the battery capacity anyway (it takes about 2-4 years to build a giant battery plant) before 2022-2025 for Gen IV cars.

John Hansen

Why? Asian car companies have mostly lost the low-cost advantage. Japanese cars are mostly more expensive than American counterparts. Only a handful of Korean cars are. When Chinese cars enter the market, they will be priced lower initially, just like Japanese and Korean cars were, but they will lose that advantage as well. Between higher wages in Asian countries and more automation in America, there isn’t any compelling reason that Asian companies will dominate the budget market.

Dan

You can’t mix and match segments like that. People pay $40-50k for an SUV because it can hold their whole family and all of their luggage for a weekend trip. Spending that kind of money on a car the size of a 3 Series is… well, a luxury.

If someone can afford to spend $40k on a truck they use for regular hauling and towing, that doesn’t make a $40k motorcycle “affordable.”

Josh Bryant

Said another way, people will only spend $40k – $50k if it is a good value proposition to them. Tesla’s goal will be to have people find Model 3 a good value even with a price in that range.

Joachim

I wonder ,why they built the x tesla ,if You have the p85d awd,is a competion between the same mark.

JRMW

Tesla S is a sedan
Tesla X is a CUV

In this segment SUV and CUVs often outsell sedans, and at a premium.

Example: Porsche Cayenne outsells the other Porsche models

JRMW

The falcon doors are distinctive but problematic. I hope in the future they make a non falcon door CUV or SUV as well.

More than anything they need to get the X on the roads!

kdawg

“so why are some naysayers still speculating that these industry-first doors won’t be seen on the production Model X?”
———-
Because they are different and some people don’t like different. They are also an easy target.

Sorry, not gonna *hinge* the delay on anything to do with the falcon doors.

Stuart22

I have no doubt the falcon doors will show up on the Model X. But I also feel some day Tesla will be sorry they did.

kdawg

I have no doubt 1 person who owns a Model X will make a trivial complaint about the doors, and 5 million people will type “I told you so!”.

Stuart22

5 million of us? You’re a generous guy -:)

tftf

Not surprised by this, the Falcon doors look like Elon Musk’s pet project on the Model X car, so they will ship come hell or high water.

The question is when.

As I wrote weeks ago before the analysts started chiming in, we may only see Model X volume deliveries by 2016 (with a few photo ops and Signature deliveries in Q3/Q4 2015 so Tesla can announce they technically “made” the deadline).

But even more significant for Tesla is the potential mass-market Model 3 delivery delay into 2018-2019, this is more and more likely in my opinion given the problems with the X launch date.

Ramping up AND keeping quality is very hard in the car industry. Tesla will find out over the next 5-10 years.

Tech01x

It is unlikely that delays with the Model X have anything to do with potential delays in the Model 3. The Model X is a particularly difficult challenge due to the falcon wing doors and the fact that SUV/CUV’s are usually pretty ugly so trying to make a great looking SUV/CUV is very hard.

Further, the Model X doesn’t need to ship at any particularly quarter since Tesla is still production constrained on the Model S. Until the Model S production reaches equilibrium with ongoing demand, there is no particular forcing function to ship the X earlier – they can keep tweaking the design.

On the other hand, the Model 3 will *have* to ship on time due to the high investment with the Gigafactory and the factory upgrades. Those investments are to build volumes that are likely exceeding Model S and X demand, at least pretty quickly and therefore the Model 3 will have a forcing function to ship in 2017 – and probably within a quarter of when the Gigafactory and the Fremont factory are ready to produce in those volumes.

Jouni Valkonen

tftf, two year delay of Tesla Model 3 costs for the company about 10 to 20 billions of dollars in forever lost revenues. And long term losses may hit even harder, if Tesla loses its first mover advantage to others due to delays of Tesla Model 3.

Therefore it is urgent for Tesla to provide infinite development budged for Model 3 to ensure that it comes in schedule AND it is the best car that has ever driven on this planet. (literally, as by 2016/2017 cars should have some advanced autopilot features…)

Biggest risk factors are of course Gigafactory related but Tesla blackmailed hard the state of Nevada to ensure that Gigafactory will be online in 2016 and it does not stumble on legislative hurdles.

Alex-VE

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas is just a sucker like other analysts.

Stuart22

The middle of the roof is not a solid place to anchor down main hinge points on doors. I would think there’s going to be some sort of structural spine running down the middle to ensure rigidity and eliminate torsional flexing when opening one door. Maybe both doors will have to always open at the same time to balance out any lever effect – anybody recall any photos or videos of an X with only one door open?

Beefing up the roof structure seems like it could intrude upon headroom for middle passengers.

I do believe Elon will not budge on them, and we’ll be seeing Xes with falcon doors. And I imagine Tesla service centers will be frequently visited in the coming years with warranty work on them, assuming they will be covered…

kdawg

sven

The right side of the above pic gets cropped out on my computer. Here’s a link to the full pic showing only one falcon-wing door open.

http://image.motortrend.com/f/roadtests/alternative/1202_tes…el_x_prototype_ride/36539101/tesla-model-x-rear-exterior.jpg

sven

Buffalo just got 5 feet of snow in two days and is expected to get another 3 feet today. How would falcon wing doors fare in a Buffalo lake-effect snowstorm such as this?

EVer

Its really hilarious reading peoples criticisms about the falcon doors and how they wont work

Do you really think you know more than Elon and the actual Tesla engineers working on the damn doors? LOL

if you do then you should be working for them… if not you should stop talking

the falcon wing doors will be practical and absolutely awesome, how anyone can say about negative about the doors is boggling

that just tells me you dont like cool things, which is fuggin weird

Stuart22

Oh, I’m sure they can get them to work – but at what cost in time and $$.

And also in negative press, which is pretty likely outside of the EV world at least. All that creativity and engineering might spent on what – being able to get into the 3rd row seat standing up? Whooopeee!

The real purpose of those doors is crystal clear to the narcissists and wannabees among us. It’s all about making a grand entrance; a ‘stop the world, for I have arrived’ gesture. And it will always be a grand event down at the coffee shop when a Model X arrives.

Unfortunately the downside is that not everybody is going to be impressed, and that could rub off on Tesla in a negative way.

It’s going to be real fun to see this all play out.

JRMW
Actually Elon would have done well to listen to some of the valid concerns about the Falcon Doors. I have no doubt that Tesla can get the doors to open and close, and to seal. Little different than gull wing doors I’m sure tesla can convince most people that they don’t really need to put stuff on their roof, or perhaps come up with a rooftop storage solution (I’ve seen some interesting mock ups of possible solutions) But there is no answer for the low heights of European public garages. Luckily the X isn’t really marketed at urban Europeans. The answer to the concerns about snow entering the car will remain ” uh.. Just wipe off the interior of the car when the snow falls into the seats” Or “move to California where it doesn’t snow!” I love Tesla. I think Musk has transformed personal vehicle transportation I like that he took a risk with the Falcon doors. They are just style over function TO ME. On a side note: For years I’ve lamented the fact that Tesla is RWD. For years fanboys said “it doesn’t need AWD. How dare you question Tesla. He knows more than you” And here… Read more »
kdawg

Every car I have owned gets snow it in it when I open my door, unless I brush the roof off first.

JRMW

A small amount of snow falls into the car (on the lateral edge of the seat) EVEN AFTER you wipe off the roof of the car.

That’s the problem.
You can’t wipe off all the snow.

kdawg

Before we knew of the AWD, I was concerned about the Tesla being RWD. I don’t like RWD cars because they suck in the snow. So I’m hopeful the Model 3 will be AWD or FWD, but most likely it will be RWD. If that is the case, then I hope they get the weight balancing worked out, so the tail end doesn’t slide all over the road in Michigan winters.

JRMW

tesla would be an idiot company to release only RWD Versions of the model 3.
AWD will be an add on option at the least.

Smeghead

I think you’re spot on with this post, JRMW. I’m not a fan of the falcon-wings doors concept, regardless of whether I’d want or need a roof rack.

sven

“On a side note:
For years I’ve lamented the fact that Tesla is RWD. For years fanboys said ‘it doesn’t need AWD. How dare you question Tesla. He knows more than you’”

This reminds me of when Steve Jobs said the Apple iPod Nano didn’t need an FM radio receiver. On internet forums Apple fanboys parroted Jobs, saying “the Nano doesn’t need an FM receiver.” Then the next generation iPod Nano came out with an FM receiver, and Jobs stood up on the stage and said what a great new feature it was. Then on the internet forums, Apple fanboys said how great it is to have an FM receiver on an iPod Nano,

The Dane

The problem with the Falcon wing doors is, that it’s hard to see how you get people in to the second and third row in a snow storm
Ordinary doors you can just open a bit and kind of slide in – the Falcon doors you would have to open a lot more. Result : lots of snow in the car
One Youtube video of a family in distress in a blizzard could ruin the whole sale of Model X…

JRMW

Exactly.
I find it humorous when people say “just wipe off the top of the car”

do they think we’re so retarded that we didn’t consider wiping off the car?

These comments usually come from some person living in the sunbelt, or a place like Charlotte that gets minimal snow.

They’ve obviously never tried to wipe off a car and get into it in a major snowstorm.

Snow gets on my seat in my current SUV even after I brush off the snow. And the door seam only runs along the lateral edge of the car. The falcon wing doors have two creases that go all the way to the midline or spine of the roof!

kdawg

“Result : lots of snow in the car”
———–

Lots? Really? Having the door open for a bit of time is only going to allow a few flakes in, and only if it’s really snowing and blowing sideways. Snow piled up on the roof is much more of a concern than flakes in the air.

Honestly snow is not my worry. I just hope they got the water drainage routing worked out. That can be an engineering-art-form.

QCO

To bad they don’t have one of the protos up in Buffalo today. What a great opportunity test everyone’s snow related arguments!

Priusmaniac

The question is more if there will also be a classic doors version.

On the delay, it can be caused by many other things. One of those, apart from Mexican carpets supply hurdles, could be the suspension. Indeed that is also original on this SUV, so it is at least as likely as the doors.
Perhaps it could also be from the surprise, like transparent polycarbonate front pillars for full panoramic view. Who knows (well actually Elon)?

QCO

There won’t be. It’s pretty clear the falcon doors are a signature defining Model X feature, and they are not going away, no matter how many sleepless nights the body structure and sealing engineers endure.

As for the delay: While it’s believable the falcon doors are contributing due to their complexity, it’s all speculation because there really is no concrete information about the cause of any of the production delays.

ModernMarvelFan

Regardless whether the Falcon door is a good idea or NOT, the fact is that Model X is really intented to be an AWD Minivan/Crossover. So sliding doors are out of question for style reason. Falcon door is the ONLY other way to allow high roof access to the 3rd row seating.

I understand why Tesla insists on it. But the hardcore “SUV” buyers wouldn’t buy it anyway for all the reason that people already listed here. It is squarely aimed at minivan/CUV/Crossover market where driving a Model X is just a status symbol with people carrying utility. And it works perfectly for that market.

Just look at how many crossover/CUVs/Minivans today that don’t even come with roof racks and cross bars. Why? B/c majority of those buyers do NOT need it. And Tesla is NOT catering to that market anyway. There is plenty of those “non-hardcore” buyers left for Tesla to milk…

QCO

That’s a fair point. Most SUV buyers are not really SUV buyers, they just want a modern version of a functional station wagon.

ModernMarvelFan

Telsa understands the market very well. He knows what most buyers want and caters to that market efficiently.

The samething can be seen in Model S. Model S is super fast if NOT the fastest in 0-60mph among all performance sedans of the world. It has the bragging right. But if you take it to the track, it won’t beat any of them. It won’t even dominate them in corners or even 1/4 miles. But those things don’t matter for most performance “sedan” buyers. 0-60mph is what most people experiences everyday. 1/4 miles and track performance is just track performance.

So, Tesla optimized its gearing and motors specifically for the 0-60mph performance and it absolutely dominates.

It is about putting the money on where it “counts” for most of the buyers…

Tesla has one of the best “product planning” department in the world.

JRMW

Modern:
Good point.
The most off road any of these Xes will get is the shopping mall.

Although I’ve been vocal about the riskiness of the falcon wing doors I also understand that the success of the X doesn’t hinge (literally) on them

I rarely have people in the back. I’d just put my scraper in the front seat so I never have to open those falcon wing doors

If the X were half price I’d buy it given its other impressive qualities. (The most I’ve ever spent on a car in my life was $29k for my 3yr old Lexus. Before that it was a $19k 2year old Passat 4motion.

AlanSqB

Potential solution to the snow issue: Air Curtain. Air blows out from the sides of the doors to create a small air curtain (think grocery store doors) which blocks and blows away snow and rain. Just don’t open front and back at the same time.

sven

Buffalo, NY just got 5 feet of snow in two days and is expected to get another 3 feet today. How would falcon wing doors fare in a Buffalo lake-effect snowstorm such as this?

Nix

Overheard from Tesla Designer:

“We were nearly done designing the Model X when I said ‘all it needs now are some fawlkin’ back doors and we’re done’. Musk was walking by in the hallway and though I said Falcon back doors… I should have just put the dollar in the swear jar. Falcon doors! What a pain in the ass! What did I get us into?”

j/k