There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t hear some crazy rumor about Californian automaker Tesla Motors or its larger-than-life ‘super smart’ CEO Elon Musk. And this week is no exception, with Musk hitting the headlines for stating his belief that artificial intelligence is just five years away from causing humanity some serious, Terminator-style headaches.
Alongside his genuine fear that we really don’t understand the potential problems artificial intelligence pose for our near future, Musk took some time to slap down a rumor that Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] would be bringing its 2016 Model X crossover SUV to market without those famous (and troublesome) falcon wing doors.
The doors, used to give access to the Model X’s second and optional third-row seats, hinge upwards like gull-wing doors, but also fold in on themselves to facilitate access in cramped parking spaces.
Never-before used on a production vehicle, the falcon wing doors have caused Tesla Motors a bit of a headache, with Tesla struggling at times to ensure that the falcon wing doors of pre-production Model X prototypes have correctly sealed each and every time they are used. Even Musk admitted as much a few weeks ago on the official 2014 Tesla Motors Q3 earnings call, where he talked about some of the specific engineering challenges that the Model X team had faced because of the falcon wing doors.
That, combined with the news that the Tesla Model X would be delayed until Q3 2015, has led some (non-automotive) news outlets to claim that the Model X’s massively complicated falcon wing doors wouldn’t make it to production, questioning how Tesla Motors would be able to produce a car that retained the necessary structural integrity with such a large, unconventional door design.
It didn’t take long for Musk to reply to the rumor using his preferred rumor-quashing format, Twitter.
Rumors about canceling Falcon wing doors are false. At Tesla, the production car will always be better than the show car.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2014
Even if Musk thinks the world will be taken over by killer robots in five years’ time, then at least we’ll all have those neat falcon wing doors to play with.
We’re glad that one’s settled.
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