Tesla Updates Model X: Prototypes In Fall, Production Early 2015 – 3rd Row Now An Option

JUN 16 2014 BY JAY COLE 57

3rd Row Seating In Model X Officially Now An "Option"

3rd Row Seating In Model X Officially Now An “Option”

Tesla Motors sent out a production update on the Model X today, and while there was no pricing announcement, there was still some serious points of interest.

Prototypes of the Model X will now arrive in the fall from Tesla’s newly expanded production line in Fremont, California,  with production of actual reservation holder’s vehicles will now kicking off in “early 2015”.

The full content of the update is noted below, but of interest, Tesla did take the opportunity to slip in the fact that the 3rd row seating is now an option; something that most would-be Model X holders assumed would be part of the package.

Also, Tesla chose to feature the ‘not-yet-approved’ camera side mirror version of the Model X in the update (below) as well as the standard version (above) – obviously hoping to be able to offer them shortly after production begins

Tesla Model X Update - June 16th, 2014

Tesla Model X Update – June 16th, 2014

Tesla Model X Update - June 16th, 2014

Tesla Model X Update – June 16th, 2014

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57 Comments on "Tesla Updates Model X: Prototypes In Fall, Production Early 2015 – 3rd Row Now An Option"

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In related news, a woman told me the other day “I got pregnant two months ago, so I will have baby in another two months from now.”

How long does a normal car company take from putting the final body on the road for round-the-year durability testing, until the car is in showrooms?

Tesla is saying 3-6 months, if I understand this correctly.

Is that third row of seating just for children? Or are they full sized seats?

full sized, Model X will able to seat 7 tall adults

I hope, it’s not the same kind of 3rd row seating as in model S. Even children feel claustrophobic, and is really unsafe if you get rear ended.
I hope, model X has proper front-facing seats. For the money people are spending on this , they deserve at least this much.

The problem with the third row is that it can’t move back because there is a sunken trunk space behind it, and the sloped roof would eliminate all head room if it could slide back.

The third row looks might cramped for normal sized adults, but the raised second row at least allow you to put your feet under the second row.


So Elon Musk is not a canoe-kayak fan!

Shouldn’t be a problem, if you spring for the articulated roof rack option.

Articulated roof rack? care to explain, or is it a joke?

Not a joke. 🙂

Just because it’s real doesn’t mean it isn’t a joke.

That cargo carrier looks very phallic. 🙁

That comparison is all on you, btw. 😉

Sigmund Freud paraphrased it similarly; “Sometimes a roof rack, is just a roof rack”. 😉

From a functionality point of view, Falcon doors and better passenger accessibility is better than rails to carry a kayak that 95% of the model X users will never need or use…

Optional trailer can be purchased. There are such spare battery trailers. Tie up the canoes and skii’s on the trailer.

It would be more aerodynamic if you got a trailer instead of a roof rack. At least the X will be rated for towing so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Feels a little like Gillette taking sone blades out of the razor, to me.

How much for those “extra” seats?

Still, can’t wait to see the world’s most efficient CUV hit the streets and turn heads. 🙂

Good question. I also hope rear seat headroom and Sirius XM don’t back buyers into an extra $5,000.

Maybe they are making the 3rd row seats and option to bring the starting price lower….

I suspect that Tesla finally has a “long wheel base” version of a model that the Chinese market adores. With the 3rd row bench not selected as an option, and if the 2nd row had an abundant amount of seat adjustment and sliding, a man or woman as tall of at least 7ft would be well impressed with leg room.

How many 7 foot tall Chinese Passengers, are there in the world?

4700, exactly.

Very accommodating of Tesla, to not exclude such statistically small numbers of people matching that particular criteria…

I think about it slightly differently – they’re making the third row optional to keep existing promises they’ve made on price. Same purpose (cost control) but two different ways of looking at it.

I assume that is the case, as well. My crude, layperson estimates figured that the base Model X, with the AWD and bigger car (and a third row of seats, etc.), would have to start at least 10% higher than the base Model S. So, the Model X would start around $70k before incentives.

Making the 3rd row of seats a $4k option or so would even that up quite a bit.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I reckon when the X comes out, folks will finally be able to pick up some CPO Model Ss…

This. I want a Model S badly, but spending $90k on a car just seems silly to me. Even the Model S, as great as it is, will significantly depreciate in the first few years, once the market fills out a bit. Now, a used Model S at half the price of a new one, that makes more sense, especially considering the higher-expected reliability of EVs.

Now all they have to do is offer a “delete” option for the 4WD and Falcon wing doors and it’ll be perfect!

That’s a Model S 😉

So, what happens if there is a foot of snow on top of the car, what happens when you open the falcon door? I know some people will say to just clear the snow before opening the door but, usually, the snow brush is on the back seat!

Model X owners are rich enough to hire someone to clean the car from snow before they get into it 🙂 Or park inside a garage. You are not supposed to park it outside in snowy conditions.

This is not your typical off-road SUV or whatever it is. It is the green car for hypocrites who have extra cash to burn.

A big chunk of Model X orders are to people that are neither very rich nor want or could afford people working for them just to get rid of snow.

Stop feeding the troll…

Falcon door will be forever the defining feature, good or bad…

I am surprised that Tesla is “betting” a large future on that one design.

My thoughts, exactly. Until now, I think it’s been very hard to point to a “mistake” by Tesla, in any meaningful and non-trivial sense of the word. But those doors very well might turn out to be one, if only for the “snow on the roof” issue.

And I don’t think people should dismiss the roof rack point. A roof rack is one of those features a lot of people want on an SUV/CUV even if they’ve used one perhaps once or twice in the previous decade. So not having one is a disproportionately big deal to some buyers.

The flush door handles on the Model S had a similar reaction from most people. I think we should just save judgement on the falcon doors until we have seen the production vehicle. (And then maybe wait until they do the first two software updates to the functionality). They have proven to follow through to make sure their features worked as intended.

Growing up in rainy South Florida, my main concern is that the doors will open so slow that rain will flood the vehicle before you can get in and close the door. California guys tend to forget that it ever rains. Nothing would make me happier than to see the production version of the door open as fast as doors on the Enterprise.

Door handles are different. They are at least there.

Falcon doors prevent any kind of “real roof carrying” capabilities…

The Falcon Doors only make it more challenging to engineer around– they do not automatically provide an unsolvable solution for a team of highly skilled and creative engineers and designers.

Well, I’m sure it would at other automakers…

Snow on the roof could be an issue, but I’m more worried about their long term reliability. They door hinge looks fairly complex, at least relative to other car doors. How many times will they open/close?

Also, since they are motorized and the doors close very close to the backseats, how long before a kid gets their finger severed? While motorized doors for minivans exist now, the door/car-frame interface is usually out of reach for small kids. I don’t think that’s the case here.

Is that not so different from automatic rear door/hatch on many the SUVs and minivans…

Very true.

NO different than 4WD/AWD. Most of the time people don’t need it but people wants to have it available to them.

I think roof rack is one important feature to at least some portions of the buyers…

How much will this 3rd row “option” cost?

How much will the whole car cost?

Less than it otherwise would now that the 3rd row is optional…

I am try to think where this vehicle will have the greatest appeal. Soccer Mom’s? Shuttle Services? I mean who will buy it? What is their target audience? You so smart, park and lock it.


If the falcon doors are so great, why doesn’t the Model S have them? Will the Gen 3 have them?

I’m kind of indifferent towards them. They are unique/different. We’ll find out how they work out in the real world.

If X works all the bugs (hard and soft) out, and the public loves them– I would fully expect to see longer versions of them on a coupe Gen III.

It would fit Teslas economic model of previous products paying for the next, so these doors would be lower in price in a few years…

The Model X looks like it will be fun to drive. Don’t care about the 3rd row seating, a 5 seater is fine. Just hope the interior/dash is improved for the X over the S.

A co-worker of mine just bought the model S. OMG….. I would not want to own one myself. He cant go anywhere without people bugging him. He leaves work, people are standing by his car. He goes to the grocery store and people walk up to him before he even has the chance to get out. He comes out of the grocery store and he is either stopped before he gets to his car or people are already standing by his car looking and taking pics of it. He is to the point of printing out a pamplet and handing them out every time someone asks him about his model S. If you ever confront a Tesla owner, dont be a little suprise if you get the cold shoulder, or they come off arrogant. Its probably because they have been stopped 10 to 20 times that day answering questions. The Model S is one of the most awesome vehicles I have ever seen in my life. I want one so bad I cant hardly control myself. If the Model X is half as cool as the Model S, Elon will have all the major car makers aiming for him to… Read more »

I guess you don’t live in California…

Model S is everywhere and it is no longer a big deal here.

Exactly. It was the same way when I got my Volt in Dec 2010, for the first couple months, everyone was interested and asked questions. Then it became commonplace and no one took notice.

The it was like that for the Model S, but now they are so common, no one notices.

It is that way for the i3 right now, but that won’t last much longer.

Eventually the Model S will become more common where you are and people will not be making a big deal about it, I say, enjoy it while it lasts….

“common” and “Model S” do not belong in the same sentence…for several reasons…but the one I’m talking about is the numbers on the road. Living in the DC area, I have had just shy of 20 sightings since 2012. I’m sure some of those sightings were the same car, so let’s say that I’ve seen 15 different Model Ses on the roads and in the parking lots of the DC metro area. That’s scarce. Lots of people around here, despite the average income level, don’t even know what they are.

I don’t see a lot of Volts, either, and Leafs are pretty scarce, as well, though I have seen more of each than I have of Model Ses since 2012.

I really want one, too, but it’s just out of the question. Home ownership screwed that for the next 3-5 years at least for me.

I wonder if both the front and rear axle has a limited slip differential or if it is just the back like in the Model S? At least I think the Model S has a limited slip differential, either physically or virtually through braking the faster turning (slipping) tire.

I am a reservation holder but I did not get this email (yet). Hmm.

In losing the 3rd row, the appeal of the falcon doors lost some value.

I hope they further cost reduce the X by making the falcon doors optional.

I hear you when you say 90K for a car.

“BUT” look at the gas savings. One man was saying that Tesla was giving 5 year free charging, If that is true and I say “IF” it is true look at the MONEY you will save.
I am on the road allot so that will save me a LOT …of green backs.