Tesla Model X Spotted Testing On Public Roads With Tow Hitch

FEB 12 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 71

Here it is…the Tesla Model X spotted in the wild in a color other than white, thus confirming that more than 1 does exist.

It’s fitted with a trailer hitch too!

There’s some light camo on this Model X and it appears as though the side mirrors are taped on.Β  There’s a gaping hole in the rear too (above the hitch).

Additional camo hides some on the rear taillights, nose cone and front headlights, but most of the vehicle is visible.

Like what you see?Β  Let us know in comments below.

Hat tip to Kosh K on Facebook!!!, Image Credits: Bay Area Car Spotters

Tesla Model X Spotted Testing On Public Roads With Tow Hitch

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

For comparison, here are some stock Model X images from Tesla:

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Model X

Model X

Hat tip to Kosh K on Facebook!!!

Image Credits: Bay Area Car Spotters

Categories: Tesla

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71 Comments on "Tesla Model X Spotted Testing On Public Roads With Tow Hitch"

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So what do you think goes in that
“gaping hole in the rear”? (No, just don’t go there.) A sensor package, perhaps?

I appreciate the “spy shots” but altho they are light-years better than the previous shots of the camouflaged Model X, I still don’t see a clear shot of the front to see if it has the “cat eye” (or is it snake eye?) look shown in publicity photos.

I would have thought the Tow Hitch would go in that space.

I think it is access to allow easy installation of the tow hitch. The hitch appears to curve up after it goes under the plastic bumper. It might attach to what look like a substantial structural bar that spans the back of the vehicle.

Looks BA! I wish that I could get one.

That hole in the rear no doubt holds a sensor package – maybe a rear radar.

Na, i think this is where the rear camera is going.

Haha… it’s driving by a smog check station.

How appropriate. πŸ™‚

Phan’s Smog Station in Newark, CA. So it is just a few miles away from the Tesla factory.

And also driving by a Shell gas station.

Looks like a bloated Model S. Except for those complex Falcon-wing doors, it seems like they should have got this on the market already since it is so much like a Model S 85D.

The rumors indicate the doors did take a lot of work– from getting the seals perfected, to dealing with that stressed central hinge point between the two (heavier and reinforced) Falcon doors, while still maintaining structural safety in a rollover event. And sensors so no one loses body parts or bashes the roof they’re parked under. The delays make sense. Tesla was / is basically evolving two vehicles at the same time. The Model S inherited a lot of the dev work from X, but they still needed to push X along at the same time, while retooling the factory for handling two lines, setting up a beta battery swap facility, building more Super Chargers all over the world, lay the groundwork for a gigafactory, meeting with politicians over evil dealerships, fixing Model S Seats, and tons of other minutia we can only speculate about. Oh, and a globe trotting, perfectionist CEO that runs a couple other awesome companies simultaneously and is involved with various other projects (Hyperloop for example), and has kids. It may be late, but I’m impressed the Model X exists at all. The commitment to creating compelling and clean automobiles from everyone at Tesla– brings joy… Read more »

And he’s going through (another) divorce!

Anybody antsy over the huge crack above the shoulder line, on the trailing edge of the falcon-wing doors? Looks iffy at best.

No. The edges are covered with some kind of black gaffers tape.

Yes looks like a fat Model S. The photo of it turning right at the stop sign is it’s bad side.

Maybe I just can’t see the beauty in “SUV meet wind tunnel”

I don’t see how this is an SUV. It’s barely taller than a nissan versa, and it has a sloped rear roof.

This should be retermed as the world’s most expensive hatchback. It’s seems to have more in common with an impreza than a luxury SUV.

It is not an SUV. It is more of a crossover or a CUV. A lower profile than most SUVs but still big enough to fit 7 adults in it. Perhaps that is why they need the Falcon-doors . . . easier to get into that last row of seats.

I’m not so sure the last row of seats are truly adult compatible. From pictures, legroom looks meager, butt cushion looks dinky, headroom looks tight.

Yeah, it remains to be seen. If they are not big enough for an adult then this is a bit of a failure since the Model S already had the tail-gunner seats for kids. I think much of the point of the Model X and its complex Falcon-wing doors was to allow a couple adults ride in the 3rd row of seats.

Really, I think it would be more accurate to say it would be like comparing your accomplishments to Elon Musk’s accomplishments!

The lower rear diffuser is radically different to make room for the tow hitch. The front gives me the impression they lowered the snoot just a tad, for a more severe wedge shaped transition to the windshield? That might help a heavier vehicle maintain better range. Dunno. But even in blackout camo– it looks sleek…

It’s interesting how SIMILAR it STILL IS, to their multi-year old prototypes. No one’s pulling “a Volt”, here. πŸ˜‰

“No one’s pulling β€œa Volt”, here. ;)”
——–
You mean releasing a car on time?

πŸ˜‰

No, I mean bait and switch. Show a potential customer a cool concept, then COMPLETELY redesign it and make it look like a Chevy Cruse. πŸ˜›

M3 buyers will actually be happy that more time was put into the X and released a year later. No one sees the long term decision to “do the right thing” for the design and their customers, as a negative one.

You’ve been hangin’ out in Michigan too long. πŸ˜‰

And you have been drinking too much Japanese saki! I bet your are a foreign spy if you post as “anon”. What a coward!

Is it just me, or do the falcon doors appear to have a terrible fit? Or is that just camo? Even zooming in on the photos I couldn’t tell.

Looks like gaffers tape blocking out the edges along all the windows in the vehicle for some reason? *shrugs*

I can even see it even on the chrome around the drivers side windows. So, I wouldn’t freak out about spotting seemingly unsmoothed edges around any openings just yet. πŸ˜‰

I saw that too – big difference between the smooth studio pictures and the real world sample. Big gaps between door and body as seen in the lead picture taken from the rear.

I wonder how rigid the body structure will be on rough dirt roads. Maybe the better question is – how much extra weight did the falcon doors force the Model X to gain in order to ensure structural integrity.

Do you not see the black tape around the windows and door openings???

On the front door, yes. But you are guessing when it comes to the rear of the rear doors.

Comparing rear views of the studio shot and the street prototype – the fit of the roof portion of the prototype’s falcon doors lacks the smooth seamless appearance of the studio model. It looks like the doors are not fully latched shut.

I work in VFX, and I see matte tape around the seams of all the doors on a shiny black vehicle. Not sure what you’re seeing…

It’s not just you – Man! I think I see trouble in River City.

Look at the top of the rear hatch window…Man, that is horrible fit for both falcon-wing doors! Oh man, and I thought the murmurs about the doors were unfounded.

*count the times I said “man” and win a prize! L πŸ™‚ L

Seriously, I’m shocked at how badly those doors fit! -And that they would risk the car being seen in broad daylight.

That starts with T and rhymes with P and that stands for Pool. πŸ™‚

well its not final version, it must be beta, in Q4 letter it’s mentioned RC version will be made in march

It has rearview mirrors! So Old school!

LOL! I never for a moment thought they would build it with rearview cameras instead of mirrors. I’m sure it’s not even legal to do it!

It is not legal, otherwise Tesla would have gone with them. The ELR had them in concept form (Converj) also.

In germany (and Europe?) it is legal do drive with cameras instead of mirrors.

For example the VW XL1 is sold with cameras (but i think for US they needed mirrors?).

I love seeing the images of Newark and Fremont, CA… I should take a longer lunch break down there to see if I can get a glimpse of one.

Something definitely not right where the front and back doors “meet” … or are supposed too.

Look again. The driver’s side clearly has black tape all round it. Matte black tape on a glossy black car… That’s what you’re seeing.

So,have some faith Tesla can make doors that actually fit right. πŸ˜›

It has been said before in the thread, but needs repeating. The supposedly bad fits are just camouflage tape, not the actual car.

As for the hole near the trailer hitch, someone on TMC conjectures it’s for a lengthwise compartment to store skis. This feature would be to partially compensate for not being able to install a rack over the falcon wing doors. Elon mentioned such a possibility during a Q&A session in Norway over a year ago.

+! On the use of tape.

A long storage drawer? Interesting…

It just occurred to me.

That access hole above the tow hook would also be a GREAT place to add hookups for an external genset of some type (battery or active generator of some type), for longer range towing…

Elon’s hinting there are things in X, that the public does not yet know about, so… Maybe?

never cared for suv’s, but its cool

I’m see’in over-sized CUV, and am OK w/it. Not enough clearance, to say SUV. Perhaps it was on the low setting. For snow, like as I type from Boston, the “air” option could take on even more value, for the Model X.

Beta vehicle. Funny how it finally appeared after a bad quarter.

GO TESLA GO…Get er done right before actual production because the ICE addicts will scrutinize every scratch, every minor flaw, every mm on the model x.

The door fit thing is a non-issue, whether we’re looking at tape or even the actual sheet metal. When the car ships the doors will fit right. Tesla and Musk are far too smart to make such an obvious, high-profile blunder.

I’m not nearly as confident in how well the falcon doors will survive years of real world use in all sorts of weather conditions. Tesla is taking quite a risk with this design. I hope the decision doesn’t bite them in the nether regions in a couple of years.

And I think we need to stop calling this an SUV. IMO even calling it a CUV is a stretch. But if they sell lots of them and they get a lot more people driving on electrons, I won’t mind if everyone calls it a ham sandwich.

Agree with your concerns over longevity. No matter how well designed, it will go out of alignment over time with that weight and closing precision requirement.

Interesting to note Elon’s recent comment about making the Model 3 “simple”. Some of that must be due to cost and competing with GM’s Bolt, but perhaps the falcon doors provided a good learning opportunity on the difficulties and cost of implementing exotic features.

Did they redesigned the UGLY NOSE? I can’t see it in the photos, I hope they did.

Best looking CUV I’ve seen … I really like how Tesla kept the sloped rear window … less aero drag and doesn’t collect dirt (rear wiper not necessary). Can’t wait to get one!

Sort of reminds me of the BMW X6, but perhaps better looking than the X6. Honestly, I wonder if Musk and team regret the whole falcon doors thing. I mean, I know it is “cool” and all , but Musk has called them out in more than one interview as one of the reasons the X is delayed (note: I’m sure there are several others). You see it in the business world all the time. Somebody higher up makes a promise w/o a clear understanding of what it will take to achieve it and then faces either a backpedal, compromise, delays or all three.

Fugly back, high loading sill, will not sell well in Europe.

Guys, I have a 26″ Touchscreen and I can pinch and zoom on those photos. Look at the back views and magnify them. That’s not gaffer’s tape! Those are big, big gaps where the top of the doors meet the rear window! I know the difference between gaps with no smooth edge and Gorilla tape.

Look closer. Look at the top of the car in back and compare to the Tesla photos.

Not quite as sexy as the Model S, but a good looking car just the same. Looks a fair amount like the A4.

It could use an aerodynamics package, enclose those stupid wheel wells, slap a bigger trunk on it.

I have zoom/pinch capability as well and perfect eyesight. What I see is a vehicle with camouflaging around the front windows. What I don’t see is evidence of gaps or poor build quality issues. Even if there was a possibility of these so called gaps, why in the world would Tesla let loose such frankenstein betas? That would just be a negative media frenzy knowing that Elon would allow such a mistake and being that he is a perfectionist. Even then, why would anyone point out imperfections and gaps at this point? It’s not the final build and it’s not even any of the first batch of customer units. It’s like judging and criticizing a baby’s looks weeks before it’s born. The fact is things change, usually for the better, and you can’t inspect it for faults until you have the actual retail version physically right in front of you. Were there similar complaints about the Model S build quality(fit and finish) when it first came out? No. Do automakers ever actually sell their prototype(proof of concept) and betas for public consumption? Hell to the NO! Are people still going to mindlessly nitpick badly taken pictures and video anyways? No… Read more »

‘why in the world would Tesla release such Frankenstein Betas?”

To quell a growing feeling among people that the Model X is in trouble due to problems that are causing the delays.

I have speculated here and in other websites for months that the Falcon Door problems were a main factor in the delays. GreenCarReports validated my suspicions this week.

A possibly staged public exposure isn’t enough. We need to see the Falcon Doors in full operation first.

I’m often here daily lauding Tesla and Mr. Musk. I’m happy you have fantastic eyesight, but I never mentioned front windows – look at the rear views of the black mule and look at the roof. Sheesh!

I’m not going to say you’re blind, I am going to say – “pay attention!”. I love Tesla and consider them the Great White Hope of EVs. I don’t, however, like that awful fit of those doors on top and I do believe the inside reports of great troubles with the doors. I think this is pure evidence. Why is this mule driving around, and suddenly after years – we see mules driving around? Tesla is known to be a flurry of web activity just around stock reporting time.

I still love Tesla. I hope this nasty door thing works out for them.

The reason we’re now seeing this car being test driven is because they’re getting close to actual production. I would have thought that was obvious.

Six months from now all those people pointing out “big gaps” and nose cones will be like, “where’d the big gaps go? I could swear I saw them in my 26 inch touch screen six months ago when the beta tester was spotted in the wild. I was really expecting Tesla to not notice such flaws and release a Frankenstein build of a car.” You think I’m joking?

Mike —- DUDE!

Be real.

Sure, this is a mule. Sure, the car is not a production model. But just think – the show cars have been around awhile, and their doors opened. The delays of Model X are long – and getting longer. I think it’s important to call a spade a spade, and not be an apologist even though you and I are passionate about the company, their products and their leader.

If rumors abounded about an upcoming GM, Ford, BMW ( insert car company here ______ _ ), and evidence so blatant showed up on a test mule only a couple months before the car was supposed to be shipped…You’d call it out too.

A gap is a gap. Poor-fitting doors are a concern. It is a big deal. The car would sell well with conventional doors. This might be a big big big deal.

Mike Mas:

+5

Ugg, was excited about the Model X, but looking at the pictures again, this car is just not very sexy or compelling; and it really should be for the steep price tag.

I saw it in white at CES and it looked nice, but there were a lot of people around I could not see it very well.

Model S looks better, sorry.

Fabian – I agree with ya buddy, but – it’s a business. And in business you make what the people are buying. Americans are buying CUVs by the boatload.

You and I may agree completely that SUVs are actually stupid, tall station wagons with more aero drag, less efficiency and don’t hold much behind the third row. Evidently you and I are the tiny minority. Look at your local mall’s parking lot!

If appearance were my only gauge – yes, to me it looks as if Haulzhausen just took an air tank and blew air into a Model S expanding the interior volume. It’s not bad looking at all. It just isn’t sexy Austin Martin/Jag sleek like Model S. Many women will swoon at this Tesla and husbands will buy it to ferry kids and stuff from Babies R Us and IKEA.

The trailer hitch is just another way to get people to talk about how smart and wonderful Elon MUsk is. We all know batteries, at this point in time, do not make sense on an electric car, but to uninformed, they’ll think it’s just another first coming from Elon Musk.

Electric cars make a lot of sense to the people that buy them. The buyers are not stupid my any means. Many buyers are successful business people that have the resources to buy this car. Others just understand cost-of-ownership and see the huge value with the Model S and stretch upfront financially to afford this car for a much better long-term value. Some buyers are performance enthusiast and love the unmatched acceleration of the Tesla P85D. Some buyers care about safety of their family and owning a vehicle that can handle the extremes of the weather. Some buyers care a lot about the environment. Eventually you will be a buyer of an EV for these or any other reasons to own an EV, just make sure it is a Tesla, it is truly the best car in the world for all the reasons above and more!

Any guesses on tow rating? Looks like a 2-inch receiver anyway. I’m going to say 3500 pounds with a restriction on frontal area (i.e. not for towing a travel trailer). Any more than that I think would have too much impact on range. Still good for pulling toys.

Towing a trailer has the same range impact on any vehicle. Why would Tesla restrict that?

3500 will be the limit, since that is the industry threshold. How much frontal area of the trailer is your business.

I didn’t mean to imply that only Tesla would impose a frontal area restriction. Some manufacturers do, some some don’t. They are pretty much ignored anyway.

Anyway, range impact is more a concern when range is relatively limited (compared to most tow vehicles) to begin with.

I question the trailer hitch is actually for pulling a trailer. More likely the trailer hitch is a mounting point for a carrier for a bicycle, motorcycle or skis… or anything else that the falcon wing doors will prevent anybody from putting on top of the car.

BEVs are already considerably range-constrained. Pulling a trailer would make “range anxiety” all that much worse.

Now, that said, it wouldn’t at all surprise me to find that the Model X is built to be able to tow a small or medium-sized trailer, so perhaps it will perform well for an owner who wants to take his speedboat to the local lake. So long as it’s not a long trip, it may well be that the Model X will perform as well as a gas guzzler in pulling a trailer, so long as it’s not an especially heavy one.

Contrariwise, this is a CUV, not an SUV. Don’t expect it to be able to tow a heavy load, like one of those oversized Ram pickups.

That is ONE FUGLY thing…

Model S is absolutely hot and sexy…

This is what happens when you pump some steoroids into a sexy supermodel and add few (hundreds of) lbs in weight….