41 Comments

Summary:

At a sneak preview in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, electric car maker Tesla unveiled its third car, an all-electric SUV called the Model X, for the first time to the public. And yep, true to speculation it’s got so-called “falcon wing” doors.

Elon Musk explaining falcon wings

Elon Musk explaining falcon wings

At a sneak preview in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, electric car maker Tesla unveiled its third car, an all-electric SUV, minivan hybrid called the Model X, for the first time. And yep, true to the rampant speculation on the Interwebs, it’s got so-called “falcon wing” doors, which are a Tesla-designed double-hinged play on gullf wing doors, named after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Falcon rocket line for his other company Space-X (yeah, Tesla is just one of his three companies).

In contrast to gull wing doors that sweep out and up and take up considerable horizontal space, the Model X falcon wings lift up and have a double hinge so they take up a lot less horizontal space. Tesla designed the doors not only to add that extra cool-factor, but also to appeal to, say, a Mom or family driving to the mall and parking in a tight spot.

Because the doors open up vertically there’s also room to stand in the car while getting in and packing cargo (see photo) like kids and groceries. I fully stood up in the car with the doors open and I’m 5’11 and I had ample head room. The Model X is as roomy as any minivan out there and then some — it seats seven, and has cargo space in both the back trunk, and the front trunk (please don’t make me say frunk).

Rear of the Model X with trunk closed

The Model X is built on the backbone of the Model S, Tesla’s sedan that will be delivered to customers this Summer, and the Model X prototype that we checked out on Thursday was Tesla’s most advanced prototype at a launch to date and little will be changed for the production version, said Musk.

Tesla execs drove us around a short driving track and the car handled like the Model S — it has the same low, long, bottom battery pack design. It’s pretty amazing to ride in a minivan/SUV that can handle like a sports car. Musk says the Model X can go zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Think of it as the first cool, green, sporty minivan.

The Model X will be priced similarly to the Model S, said Musk, (Model S costs $50,000 to $70,000) and will have about the same electric driving range, with potentially 10 percent less range, because it’s a heavier car (the Model S has three range option, 160 miles, 230 miles and 300 miles).

OK, enough talk, I know you want to see the first photos of Tesla’s Model X! So here you go:

 
  1. Looks great, can’t wait till it reaches Australia. But how do you get out in underground parking? Maybe Model S is a better bet…

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  2. Wow I want one!

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  3. When I see a blatant error such as “gulf wings” repeated in an article, I must ask myself how many other facts are in error.

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    1. +1

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    2. Dude, you just gotta chill. A typo in news on a website that is only one hour old, and it is not perfectly proofread? ZOMFG, call the copz!

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    3. Seriously, “gulf wings” is beyond. yond idiotic, they so lost the right to ever cover automotive news….. Smh

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    4. Do you mean the sentence that starts “In contrast to gulf wing doors…”?

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    5. It’s just a typographical error. They are made every day. The question is why are you picking on this one? Is this a past time hobby?

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    6. Ill fix that.

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    7. i’ll see the error you saw, and raise you the error that you made. clearly the article has 2 l’s and the f really isn’t an f.

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    8. Yes, you have an excellent point! No one EVER misspells ANYTHING on the internet! Our civilization is doomed.

      Seriously though, wonderful article. I consider your coverage of Tesla Motors some of the finest reporting out there. Much more thorough and interesting than most.

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      1. It’s not about spelling, it’s about confidence in the author’s understanding of the topic (especially when the ‘mistake’ is repeated.

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  4. I can just see it now…
    Mom comes to get her little boy from soccer practice and sis rambunctiously closes one of those gullwing doors on her brothers hand crippling him for life. Gullwing doors on a family vehicle. Absolutely genius!

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    1. Richi Jennings Friday, February 10, 2012

      Riiight, because that can never happen with convention doors.
      Oh, wait…

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  5. Chill out Terry. It’s obviously a “quick post” article to benefit from search traffic, so it might even be an autocorrect error.

    Which other facts do you doubt?

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  6. Ok, it can either be “all-electric” OR “hybrid,” not both, as is stated in the first sentence. Which is it?

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    1. It is an electric vehicle, the sentence says it is a minivan/suv hybrid, not a gas/electric hybrid.

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  7. These vehicles are looking top notch! One thing about those doors on the Model X is if someone is setting in the back and you had to open the door for someone when it is raining, the people in the back seat would get wet.

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  8. Great! The logo is trading in higher price. That’s all. Is there anything that packaging anything for the alternative energy technology distribution for the public infrastructure to engineering yet? Noop, none, and zero are all about Tesla so far.

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  9. your English teacher Thursday, February 9, 2012

    “Gulf wing”, lol
    I have agree with Terry on this one.
    The auther is probably in his 20s.

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    1. English Teachers English Teacher Saturday, February 11, 2012

      author*

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    2. “in his 20s”, lol.
      The author is a she, idiot.

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  10. Haha yeah I rolled my eyes at the “gulf” wing doors too..where do these people come from? ..oh look, another flock of gulfs just flew by..:)

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