Patent Filing Confirms Production Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors


Model X Concept With falcon Doors

Model X Concept With Falcon Doors

Those unique falcon doors found on the Tesla Model X concept are here to stay…we think.

Falcon Door Patent Drawing

Falcon Door Patent Drawing

Why else would Tesla move to patent its falcon door technology if the production version of the Model X wasn’t to feature them?  And why would the patent images (found below) be of the Model X?

Filed on September 14, 2012, Tesla’s patent application abstract reads as follows:

“A dual hinged door assembly for a vehicle is provided, the assembly including an upper door portion and a lower door portion. The upper door portion, which may include a window, pivots about a primary axis formed by its juncture with a structural member in the roof. The lower door portion, which may include a window, pivots about a secondary axis formed by its juncture with the upper door portion. Primary and secondary drive systems may be used to provide independent powered motion of the upper and lower door portions. Each drive system may include a powered strut, e.g., a hydraulic strut, and a non-powered strut, e.g., a gas strut.”

To us, this implies that the production Model X will stick with the concept’s falcon doors.

What remains unknown though is how those doors will function.  Will they be fully motorized?  Will they be partially motorized?  Or will Model X owners be required to waste their own precious energy to operate the doors?

We’ll, judging by this patent submission by Tesla, those doors would seem to be fully powered:


Below you’ll find more images of Tesla’s patented Falcon doors:



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24 Comments on "Patent Filing Confirms Production Tesla Model X Will Have Falcon Doors"

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I kind of wounder how something like this will be able to handle the rain over time.

They will probably dump a little snow in as they open, unless you have swept it all off beforehand.

I’m trying to figure out what the purpose/advantage that these doors have. They have a larger/taller opening, and they may fit in tighter side clearance areas, and they are out of the way. They also form a small roof when they are open.

Their disadvantages are more complexity, higher overhead clearance needed, possibility of rain leaks, short people/kids needing help to reach them.


I believe the main advantage is that they are much cooler than sliding doors. Sliding doors are found on minivans and are therefore uncool.

Sliding doors where they are not expected, but have a practical advantage, are cool. e.g. in tighter parking spaces. I’d like to see two powered sliding doors on a smaller car.

1) Try an open any other gull wing in a garage or normal parking space.

2) The second argument that Tesla makes is easier access. I couldn’t comment on the validity of that.

And finally as ItsNotAboutTheMoney states, it’s cool. Part of the Tesla mantra is “it’s gotta be cool”

Easier access… except that the DRIVER still has a regular door, so the tight parking space argument is useless. No roof rack either. Snow will fall in, and if you’re a 5’4″ person, how are you supposed to sweep the snow off the roof in a storm? It’s totally useless.

The things I worry about are will these things work after two or three years in that I have seen from personal experience that the more complex a car door system the more it will break down or leak and then the car will smell bad from the moister getting in.

“Easier access… except that the DRIVER still has a regular door, so the tight parking space argument is useless.”

Tight parking space isn’t such a problem for drivers, but it seems obvious to me that it would be a pain for people dealing with stuff in the back. Like children in car seats.

“No roof rack either.”

Seems to be the case, since I don’t see how it can work effectively. If it could move the rack, it’d be lifting the load and then there’s the overhead problem.

“Snow will fall in,”

That’s a potential weakness, but I’d hope they’d do something about it in the design. By the same token snow can get in a conventional vehicle if the door’s not designed to keep it out.

” and if you’re a 5’4″ person, how are you supposed to sweep the snow off the roof in a storm? It’s totally useless.”

How do you do it now? With my car I do it with the door closed.

I think a good sliding door design would be much batter.

I hope they can do some amazing design to overcome the potential weaknesses, but my guess is that the falcon wing doors will be an option.

Yeah, these doors would be a poor choice for snowy areas like Syracuse. We get an average of about 10′ of snow. Combine that with the fact that my wife and I are short, the car would constantly end up with snow inside it, probably dumped on the middle passenger’s head.

Then there is the overhead clearance. What is the height of a typical garage door? 7-8′? Will these doors open with that overhead? Probably not.

Yes, they will open. The whole point of the falcon-wing design is that it improves on the gullwing design with articulation.

This vehicle is out for me my garage clearance is 6 feet.

Your GARAGE is out for me and a lot of others. I’m 6’1″ so I guess your garage is perfect for short people and short cars.

According to what was shown on the concept, a child would shut the door by pushing a button on the inside of the door opening. It seemed similar to what you see on the automatic doors on a minivan.

Certainly they could handle rain/snow just like hatch or other similar opening.

I agree. You brush the snow off before opening the door. The height of the vehicle is no different than any other vehicle of this type. As for garage clearance, I can see it as being adjustable just like the hatch on the Model S.

Companies file patents all the time even if they don’t plan on putting the idea into production…

This. Just because you file for a patent, that doesn’t mean you will put it into production.

True, but it seemed that with the Model S concept pretty much ended up being what you got in production. There seemed to be more additions than subtractions and I would expect about the same for the Model X.

Obvious patent applications are obvious.

From the flow diagram (Fig.13A) it appears that the doors will have a single button. That is a horrible design! Why can’t there be two buttons, one dedicated to open and one dedicated to close the door?

why not 1 button that closes when open and opens when closes? why 2 buttons? 1 button is simpler…. 1 button 2 many…..

Too soon to criticize the design of the Model S for that incident. Looks more like something flammable was kept in the frunk.

I agree. For all we know the owner could have had a can of gas in the fronk for his lawn mower. It is funny that people make a big deal when an EV catches fire as if something like that has never happened with an ICE car.

Who in the hell would park any Tesla close enough to another vehicle that you require falcon doors for clearance? Even my lowly Volt gets parked in the back 40 for fear of door dings from careless people.