Pre-orders for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model X have surpassed 12,000, even as the official launch of the SUV is about 8-10 months away. Last week, Tesla founder Elon Musk told Model X reservation holders that Model X development remains on track for early 2015 launch, and it’s coming with the much talked-about falcon-wing doors.IMAGE: USPTO
Tesla CEO wants falcon doors to offer a breath-taking experience
Getting those falcon doors to work wasn’t easy. It required a lot of technical know-how and many patents. Thanks to Teslamondo, we can see all the challenges Tesla Motors had to overcome, and the patents that went into the making of Model X. Elon Musk has said in the past that he wants Model X doors to be such a great experience that takes your breath away. Falcon doors have been the reason the upcoming vehicle has been delayed twice.
Falcon doors need dual hinges (patent) and a very complicated control system to operate the dual hinged doors (patent). And there will be several alternative components into the door as a back up, just to prevent any technical glitch from harming you. They will open up in the same amount of space as standard car doors. It shows that Tesla is committed to improving the automobile world. Falcon doors are going to be one of the coolest features of the Model X.
Tesla has to navigate several issues
There are several issues related to the falcon doors. A large number of SUV buyers want to utilize the roof racks. But falcon-wing doors stand in the way. Meanwhile, some Reddit members point out that roof racks would adversely affect aerodynamics, which means lower range. The range of Model X is likely to be around 250 miles with an 85kWh battery pack.
Roof rack isn’t the only issue. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that properly sealing the falcon-wing doors against rain and wind is proving difficult. Weight is another issue. The current Model S sedan weighs around 4,700 pounds. The upcoming Model X is expected to tip the scale at around 5,000 pounds. It will have all-wheel drive system, which reduces efficiency. So, Model X’s range could be significantly lower than Model S, unless Elon Musk loads the car with more battery packs.