Tesla Model X Falcon Door Operation In Real Time – Video


Model X Falcon Doors

Model X Falcon Doors

The falcon doors are, by far, the most controversial feature found on the Tesla Model X.

Some love the doors, while others loathe them.

This video, posted by USA Today’s Chris Woodyard, shows the falcon doors in action. In this tight space, the doors operate flawlessly, yet are so slow that we fear they’ll be an annoyance.

However, we’re told that when there is more room and no nearby obstructions, the doors operate more quickly. We hope that’s true, because in this video the doors take nearly 13 seconds to close, a time that’s likely far too long for impatient types.

Time to bring on Insane (or Ludicrous) mode for the doors.

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44 Comments on "Tesla Model X Falcon Door Operation In Real Time – Video"

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You will get to your destination so much faster, this will not be an issue.


Since they close on their own, you either are still busy fastening your seatbelt inside or within sight of the car able to notice the good closure of the door, so you don’t really wait during those 13 seconds.

Micke Larsson

If you’re in the car picking someone up then you will wait for that time unless you want to start driving before the doors are closed.

It could become an annoyance, but for most people it would be very rare.


What about waiting for them to open?


Is it possible to manually close the doors? Some kind of manual override?

no comment

there has to be some sort of manual override because otherwise i can’t imagine that they would have been able to get this thing certified. otherwise, what happens if there is an accident and rear seat passengers have to make an emergency exit? surely, tesla would have thought this one through…


I’ve long been a critic of the doors.
In this case I don’t think it’ll be an issue once people get used to them as long as they can open more quickly (like 4 seconds) and as long as the car can lock itself

It’ll go like this.
Park. Hit door release first. Unbuckle seat belt. Start getting out. Door will hopefully be most of the way up.

Walk away. Hit lock and door close as you walk away. Don’t wait for doors to close

What *I* want to see is those doors opening after a big snowstorm after someone wipes the snow off the car.


“pull over here and I’ll jump out”… queue Jeopardy music… If it really takes almost a half minute to open and close, that’s a serious annoyance.

I wonder at what stage of it opening is it easy to actually get out — because then you can presumably stop it opening and start closing.


Overengineered car, these doors are the best example.

The door operation is maybe fun one time, then it gets annoying….and it is really slow.

I also see lots of potential quality/longevity issues down the road for these doors.


Apparently there are lots of people posting here who have never ridden in a minivan with sliding doors. Yeah, it takes a few more seconds for the servo motors to open and close the doors than it does for you to open or close a regular car door. A few seconds, not “half a minute”.

You get used to it, no big deal.


Ya because 13 seconds is such a long time to wait.


Is there a video of it opening/closing with no cars around to compare times?


I timed the speed of the doors from the reveal video when it had no cars ars around it. I got 5.9 seconds to open and 7.1 seconds to close. It seemed pretty fast.


Pertinent you are.

Edward Arthur

I hope there are no cupholders on the doors…
Oh, wait, this is a Tesla 🙂

Mark B. Spiegel

I nominate this vehicle for the “SUV of the Year Award”… from the American Carjackers Association.”


Oh my, those doors, this could have been such a wonderful car.


This didn’t mean to be a reaction to the guy above.

Brian Swanson

Teslas are always connected to the internet and probably have GPS location updates sent out as well/ For police there is nothing like a GPS trail right to the chop shop. As such I see this as their worst enemy.

philip d

Most cars have this now. A lot have Onstar that can track the car’s location. Carjacking won’t be as lucrative as it used to be.


Nah. The doors take far too long to open and close for a carjacker to steal the car.


“I’m trying!” (Doors 1/20th of the way up)

Get Real

Well Speigel, considering you are a Tesla-Hating (and stock shorter) Thread-Jacker, I would say your comment fits your style!


What happens (I this would be difficult to do ) if you are SO close to a car or wall, that they can’t open? Will they open anyway and impact the obstacle?


—- answered by Tech Crunch video


Kosh asked:

“What happens (I this would be difficult to do ) if you are SO close to a car or wall, that they can’t open? Will they open anyway and impact the obstacle?”

Presumably the sensors which detect when there is restricted space for the doors to open, will prevent them from impacting anything.

At least, I’m pretty sure that was the design intent. We’ll have to wait for reports from actual owners to see if they work flawlessly in real world conditions.

Robert Weekley

When Closer to obstacles – they open more Up first – until they can begin swinging out, as per the information in the reveal/Launch party Video/Broadcast!
> http://insideevs.com/tesla-officially-launches-model-x-first-delivery-ceremony/

In the presentation, it also showed that the adjacent and too close minivan sliding door did not allow Elon to enter the space, but the Falcon Doors, on the other hand, did!

With the double hinges – each mechanism can operate independently of the other, and possibly also at different motion speeds, as well.

Quite likely the speeds have been chosen to keep over arching inertia factors under control, so the parts don’t overload with high inertia energies.

Mister G

I want a Model X.


Looking at some comments, I get the impression there are people somehow thinking these are front doors. But the falcon doors are the back doors. You, as driver, don’t need to open and close them all the time to get in or out. Only when you have more then one passenger or stuff in the back.


I have an SUV and find myself using the back doors everyday when I use my SUV *(I mainly use my bicycle March to mid December).

Mainly because I have a back power lift gate that takes maybe 5 seconds to do or can do manually. I find it annoyong.

I’ve found it’s more convenient to just use the back seat for groceries etc. Rear door is less hassle than lift gate.

But as I said above it’s just a rearrangement of thought. When I do use the hatch I hit the button far before I get to my car. When leaving I hit the open button before I unbuckle.

If I had the X I’d probably just use the Frunk or something.

Depending on snow/rain issues I don’t think that the Falcon wings are a deal killer. But they don’t add much and they are risky

But those doors better not take 5-13 seconds to close in a rainstorm or blizzard or people will be unhappy. I can’t imagine they won’t be manually closable


:13 secs of rain, :13 secs of snow.

Had a mini-van ten years ago, that came with powered sliding doors and liftgate. Didn’t want them but they came bundled with other options I did want. Ended up loving their convenience (and lack of door dings to our other car in the garage) but they were also MUCH faster than the falcon design and could easily be manually overridden.

I’m a Tesla fan but I think this could be their first fail once real world ownership reports come in.

fotomoto said: “Had a mini-van ten years ago, that came with powered sliding doors and liftgate. Didn’t want them but they came bundled with other options I did want. Ended up loving their convenience (and lack of door dings to our other car in the garage) but they were also MUCH faster than the falcon design and could easily be manually overridden.” I think people reading this article have gotten the misconception that the doors always take 13 seconds to open and close. Note that is apparently the maximum time in a restricted space. Everyone who watched the Reveal last night knows that they don’t normally take that long to open or close. kdawg said it’s normally 6 seconds to open and 7 to close, and that sounds right. Six or seven seconds is about the time it takes for the motors to open and close the sliding doors on our Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Yeah, you can do it faster manually if you want to, but I don’t see it being a big deal that the Model X’s falcon wing doors probably won’t open or close manually. People don’t melt if they get rained on for a few… Read more »

That sounds right on all points. Like yourself, I watched the event and one of our vehicles is a minivan. Its not 13 seconds for the Model X when it is not in a tight spot.

A normal manual door can be flung open and swung closed faster than the power sliding doors open on our minivan, but speed is a non-issue. The large opening’s ease of entry and the ability to open close/remotely make it all worth it. I still am interested in feedback from real world use on the Falcon doors, but from what I’ve seen so far I think they I think they work a lot better what other 3 row SUV/CUV’s offer.


As winter deliveries of the Model X approach, we will be hearing about how the doors work in freezing conditions with snow/ice melt possibly affecting the door seals and the sensors. Complex door systems like this create many challenges. Hopefully, Tesla’s engineering team did enough mixed weather (freeze/melt) testing with this door design.


This is what we Northerners have been saying for eons

Only to hear Southern Californians tell us “just wipe off your car”

Uh… thanks. We never would have figured that out.

So please let Tesla have done blizzard testing with the X.

philip d

I’m sure they did. People were speculating endlessly how the falcon wing doors would hit a low garage door or parking garage ceiling. Obviously turns out completely unfounded after finding out the doors use sensors.

Those are basic engineering questions that they would have brainstormed on day one when Musk declared “what if we had doors that fold upward”.


Not to mention sand in the hinges/seals, or any of the above combined with heavy wind loading. I expect these doors to be a reliability nightmare owing to their complexity.


I’m still waiting to see a video with the doors opening in a low ceiling garage.

I need to measure the height of my roll up door when opened but I can’t see how these doors will work. The height of the X when doors fully opened looks very high (?)


Garage doors, at least in the USA, come in standard heights, and the Model X is designed for the falcon wing doors to open under the rails for such doors. If you have a custom made, lower than normal garage door, then you may have a problem.


How tall is the ceiling in that garage? It appears to be more than the standard 8 feet based on the size of the doorways. The door on the right is much taller than the two in the back of the garage. I’m guessing the two doors in the back are standard 6’8″ doorways and the one on the right wall is 8 feet tall, making the ceiling 9 and a half to 10 feet high. However, it’s probably just a bad photoshop of an X in a garage.


that’s Elon’s garage


The article says:

“In this tight space, the doors operate flawlessly, yet are so slow that we fear they’ll be an annoyance.”

Slower than worming your way out past the edge of an ordinary car door, when you’re in a car parked too close to another? I think not!

Let’s give credit to Tesla where credit is due, and they certainly do deserve credit for designing doors that will make it much easier to enter and exit the car in tight spaces.


Of course your tight spaced situation will not occur as the driver of the Model X needs enough space to get out of his conventional door.

He or she is simply not going to park a Model X in that situation where the Falcon doors provide the advantage demonstrated.


If I owned a $140,000 car, I would park so far away from everyone else, this situation would never happen. 🙂

Robert Weekley

kdawg says “If I owned a $140,000 car, I would park so far away from everyone else, this situation would never happen.” – Of Course You would park it like that, but there is always the day when some ass says – lets have fun and block this guy in – and parks up right against your mirrors, just to mess with you!

Of course – I thing the Autopilot features of just calling the car from the parking spot to come and pick you up, eliminate all the need for this issue to be solved in the first place! Bring on the Autopilot enhancements!