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Transportation Technology

Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV 306

thecarchik writes "The new, all-electric Tesla Model X crossover, which was introduced on stage by Tesla CEO Elon Musk (also the man behind SpaceX), isn't exactly a step toward the mass market. But it does take on premium utility vehicles with three rows of seating for up to seven, better maneuverability than a Mini Cooper, and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds—that's faster than a Porsche 911, Musk jeered. But the real oohs and ahs of the evening came when Musk showed the Model X's much-anticipated 'falcon doors' — essentially gullwing rear doors, behind normal hinged front doors." The expected price before tax-credit shenanigans? $60,000-$90,000.
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Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:23PM (#38998771)

    At first I read X Wing.

  • FFS. I suppose it gets spoken about, but a massively impractical non-solution.

    • by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:29PM (#38998845) Homepage

      I fail to follow your point; "Do you want an electric car? Do you need a little more space than the Model S can give you? Here, have a Model X." If your complaint is that it's an SUV, then it is a complaint without merit -- there are certainly practical advantages of this platform over that of the Model S (granted, not everyone that buys one will make use of them). If your complaint is about the gullwing doors, then I still disagree -- the take less space to open than a normal door, offer stand-up exits for mid-row passengers, and allow direct access to the third row. This last point is actually a big problem for anyone with two car seats -- if you can't get to the back row with the seats installed, you'll can't use it anyway.

      I suppose lastly, if your complaint is that it's an electric vehicle, then get out.


      • Ah....for that kind of money, I'll stick with a Corvette....

        If they could just make the roadster in this price range...THEN talk to me about getting an electric car!!

        I'm just not interested in a 'family car'.....which is anything with > 2 functional seats.

        • Then you clearly didn't pass the screening question at the beginning of my post ;) The Model X is certainly not for everyone, but that's not to say there isn't a market for it. Remember that Tesla's goal is to make the best damn electric drive trains they can, and to develop a market for electric vehicles. They've hit the two-seater sports cars, now the luxury sedans, and are moving on to the family SUV. I wouldn't be surprised if their next announcement was the Model T ('T' is for 'truck').

          Personally, I p

          • Think the Model V (for delivery Van).

          • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:21PM (#38999675) Homepage

            When you think about it, this is the ultimate way for a rich person to use their money to flip the bird at other cars as they go by.

            * My car is bigger than yours!
            * My car is cooler than yours!
            * My car is faster than yours!
            * My car is greener than yours!

            Etc, all at once. The other car might possibly best them in one category, but definitely not all. You just *know* there are plenty of rich people who would throw down money on something like that.

        • Dude 0-60 in an SUV in 4.4s not too shabby and only 0.3s behind the 2012 corvette.

      • complaint is that it's an SUV, then it is a complaint without merit

        No, it is a complaint with a lot of merit. The very VERY small percentage of people that actually NEED SUVs(vs. the ones with fat asses and tiny penises, i.e. 99% of SUV owners out there) will not be served well at all with an electric vehicle as in offroad/wilderness situations places to recharge are few and far between. In those situations it's a hell of a lot easier to bring a can of gas or two than it is to bring fully loaded batter
        • To be fair, they call it an SUV, but it looks more like a Mini-Van/Station wagon. Its much lower than most SUVs I've seen, and the third row of seat CAN be useful if you have a large enough family.

          Besides, the main complaint people have with SUVs are that they tend to be gas guzzlers. Why so much hate for an all electric SUV?

        • Sorry, but the term SUV is not limited to "offroad/wilderness" situations; it is, in fact, a sporty-looking utility vehicle; I'd say this qualifies as sporty, and with more space than the Model S, is certainly more utilitarian.

          Having said that, I agree with the other reply below; it is more of a crossover than strictly speaking an SUV; but there isn't much marketing distinction between the two in the existing market, anyway.

      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @06:05PM (#39000293)

        I see one big problem with these doors. They are cool, and functional (much easier to get in and out in a tight parking space), but they're only for the back seats! The front doors are still conventionally hinged, so you don't get the tight parking advantage (only your back-seat passengers do), and if you drive alone or with one person as most people do 99.9% of the time, those cool doors will almost never get used.

    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      Who cares what kind of doors it has? The important thing is that it's electric and has the seating of a large SUV.

      The soccer mom crowd doesn't need long range for ferrying family around, so this would be a great market, and would get a lot of gas guzzlers off the street if they can shave another 20-30k off of the price. The current tiny all-electrics would be terrible for lots of kids, multiple car seats, etc.

    • If you look at the picture in TFA, the doors look, and according to TFA are designed, like they are capable of being opened in a tight parking lot. Hell, they look better than the regular doors for that (though not, of course, sliding doors, which they couldn't implement due to the design of the car). They aren't "gullwings", exactly, they pivot straight upwards, not outwards: it looks like they have another folding joint so they don't even need to expand outwards much, if at all, when opening.
  • Odd summary (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:27PM (#38998813)
    What is "bettb |rer maneuverability"?
  • by jhantin ( 252660 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:29PM (#38998855)
    It's unusual to see /. mention a company that has a lick of design sense unless it's either Apple or someone on the defending end of a patent infringement claim from Apple. So when can we expect to see a lawsuit over the rear doors having too clean of a profile? (To the humor-impaired: the second sentence is a joke.)
  • Top Gear (Score:3, Funny)

    by MatthewNewberg ( 519685 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:32PM (#38998885) Homepage
    I can't wait for Jeremy Clarkson to review this Electric Sports Car/SUV with Gull Wing Doors. I am for sure he will have some great superlatives for how amazingly stupid this thing is. This SUV is the answer for the question no one asked.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )

      More POWAAAR!

      The doors are silly, and your last sentence sums it up completely.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      This SUV is the answer for the question no one asked.

      It's not an SUV, and Tesla never claimed it was. TFS is wrong.

      Low profile road tires, no elevated truck chassis, and little loading space makes it a completely different type of beast. I don't even agree with TFA calling it a crossover - it's a 5-door hatchback bordering on an estate car.

      Looks like a great car, though, whatever it is.

      • It's not an SUV, and Tesla never claimed it was. TFS is wrong.

        from the Tesla web site []: "Blending the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan".

        Low profile road tires, no elevated truck chassis, and little loading space

        Just like the majority of SUVs these days.

      • I believe it stated it has air suspension to raise the vehicle similar to the Porsche Cayenne.

    • Actually, it's the answer for a question a lot of people asked.

      But some stupid people don't know how to ask the right questions. Like...

      - How do I move my whole family, and pick up grandma from the hospital.
      - How do I fit all these packages, or cakes for delivery.
      - How do I shuttle people around town?

      Now the Model X is an answer to a different question. How do I do all of the above, and NOT hurt the environment so much.

      And it's a darn good answer.

      And then, when that answer exists, morons like you who attack

  • How exactly am I going to open gullwing doors in my garage? SUVs are already taller that a regular car.

    • How short is your garage? I admit that I have concerns about this (not legitimate ones, since I'm not really in the market to purchase this vehicle at this time), but I have considered the size of my garage and, although I'd like to take a tape measure to it, I suspect it will be fine. And mine is by no means a tall garage.

      • Maybe not your house garage, but perhaps the parking garage at the mall or something. Those things have pretty low clearance sometimes. However, it appears that only the rear doors are gull-wing, and therefore you could always drop people off outside the garage, and drive in after.
        • Granted; I was only really thinking outside and in your home garage. I don't park underground all that often, but I can only think of a handful of garages in Toronto that I have visited that might pose a problem here.

    • It's a crossover suv so it shouldn't be as tall as a suburban or some such. The doors aren't purely gullwings either, they do a bit of folding. In the pictures they don't look like they'll be that much higher, when opened fully, than the roof of the vehicle, maybe 12 inches at most. Think of a mini van where instead of the rear doors sliding back they slide up and rotate to a horizontal plane instead of vertical.
    • It's not just that- but- they're in the back- kids can't close them as easy that high up.

      Granted it may only be a few seconds- but entrance/exit take longer.

      Safety... if a car door comes open when driving- wind pushes it back closed. If Gull wings open up- everything in the car flies out.

      Gull Wings just arn't as practical/safe/aesthetically pleasing/cheap.

      It doesn't break the deal- all the problems are fairly minor or happen infrequently- but it just seems a stupid gimmic more than anything.

      • I believe they're powered and articulated. And it'd be very easy to prevent drive mode until the doors are cosed.

    • by eclectus ( 209883 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:02PM (#38999381) Homepage

      From looking at the pictures, assuming the gentleman next to the car is 6 ft tall, then the doors don't go much past 7 to 7 1/2 feet. Tall, but not unworkable.

    • How exactly am I going to open gullwing doors in my garage?
      Fix a Gullwing roof to your garage?
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:35PM (#38998957) Homepage Journal

    Or is that just marketing-speak?

  • From the Slashdot summary.

    But it does take on premium utility vehicles with three rows of seating for up to seven, bettb |rer[sic] maneuverability than a Mini Cooper, and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds - that's faster than a Porsche 911, Musk jeered.

    I know that "bettb |rer maneuverability" is just what I'm looking for in my next vehicle.
    (kinda like "bettb |rer proofreading" in my next SlashDot article)

  • Elon Musk (Score:3, Insightful)

    by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:43PM (#38999071)

    Elon Musk just doesn't seem to add up.

    He is only in his 30s, is on his second marriage, has 5 kids is the CEO/venture capitalist for 2 companies, both doing innovating engineering.

    I'm guessing it is just a matter of winning the lottery by being born rich, born intelligent, born with a innovative/push forward temperament, born to parents who will bring those gifts out ( or at least not fuck up the kid enough to shut those things down ) and lots and LOTs of caffeine.

    Am I missing something?

    How does any person, let alone one his 30s end up with all of those situations?

    • >> How does any person, let alone one his 30s end up with all of those situations?

      Especially when they're named after stink that gets sprayed out of a skunk's butthole.

    • Yeah... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shivetya ( 243324 )

      he busted his ass getting to where he is. Instead of bemoaning a setback it probably caused him to try again, if not harder and smarter. You won't find the likes of him posting to some website bitching about how things aren't fair, how he don't get his fair share, how others should be giving he stuff, and so on and so on.

      The biggest barrier to success in this country is yourself. The second biggest barrier is the government at all levels, the third is your competition. Money comes in somewhere on this list,

    • He's not in his 30s. He turned 40 last summer.
    • He is an alien.

      I've noticed his name is an anagram of "SOME LUNK" Lunk is probably a type of space alien that have a vested interest in electric cars.

    • Obviously, with a name with Elon Musk , they guy's destined to be a Bond villain.
      Why else would he be building ICBMs ?
  • You know, while the all-wheel electric drive may do nice things for the handling, I really have trouble imagining a car that can easily seat 7 having better maneuverability than a Mini Cooper (and only the less sporty versions, at that). I won't say it's impossible, but I'd definitely need to see some numbers before giving this claim any credence.
    • Well if it's electric motor(s) is/are beefy enough to get a 4.4 second 0 to 60 time then it should be clear it's got plenty of power to accelerate. All wheel drive means better application of the available power to whichever wheel can utilize it. The battery pack being in the floor boards gives it a lower center of gravity than most cars can manage. I don't see why it wouldn't be able to match a generic mini cooper. The more sporty ones might have it beat out on acceleration but I don't know where else they

    • Probably not in all circumstances. But if it's got a tighter-turning radius, that will give it an advantage in some scenarios.

      The other aspect is that nearly ALL of the car's weight is at floor level (batteries and electric motors). So what you get is a super-super-low center of gravity. And that allows sharp turns with weight applied to wheels and little body lift. ;-)

  • Its ugly enough and almost big enough that the wealthy Americans might buy it.

  • Faster that which porsche 911? []

    Faster than any Pre1990 Porsche? Yes, I guess so. That would be pretty impressive if it were 1990. Really, 4.4s is still very impressive, for any car. But...

    1993 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 0-60 mph 4.3 Quarter mile 12.5
    1995 Porsche 911 Turbo 0-60 mph 3.8 Quarter mile 12.3
    1997 Porsche 911 Turbo 0-60 mph 3.6 Quarter mile 12.1
    1997 Porsche RUF CTR-2 0-60 mph 3.4 Quarter mile11.2
    2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S 0-60 m

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Cherry pick much ? from the same site:

      2011 Porsche 911 Targa 4S 0-60 mph 4.5
      2011 Porsche 911 Black Edition 0-60 mph 4.6
      2011 Porsche 911 Black Edition Cabriolet 0-60 mph 4.8
      2011 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet 0-60 mph 4.9
      2011 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet 0-60 mph 4.6

      So... which Porsche 911?

      It looks like pretty much any normally aspirated Porsche 911... which is most of them out there. Your Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera S, Carrera 4S, Targa, Targa, Targa S, Targa 4S, Carrera 4 Cabriolet, Carr

  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:33PM (#38999907)
    It's about time someone created a car with plenty of room to get in and out. Now I don't need to have my mom help me tuck in my fat rolls just to fit through the tiny doors of our Hummer.
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:34PM (#39001403)

    I am not a fan of Wing doors, but I love the dual motor AWD.

    This gives you:

    Total power control at both ends with no center differential issues (binding, too much slip, too slow reaction).
    4 wheel regen. I read one study that showed a significant increase in regen capture moving to AWD.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel