Model X

2016 Tesla Model X: Elon Musk Confirms Falcon Wing Doors Here to Stay

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.

These falcon-wing doors are here to stay.

These falcon-wing doors are here to stay.

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.

Musk confirms (again) that the Model X falcon wing doors are here to stay.

Musk confirms (again) that the Model X falcon wing doors are here to stay.

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.

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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  • CDspeed

    I was on the fence with the falcon doors, I think they’re fantastic, but had they not made it to production, no big deal. But since they will be on the production version I’d like to know how high they open at the highest point. Anyone know how high they are when open?

  • Dreck Sheisse

    ” production car will always be better than the show car.”nThat was not true of the Roadster, which never did get it’s 3-speed tranny!

  • Martin

    Looks OK for sale to people who live in deserts but what about those that live where it rains! totally impracticable when you get in and out the car and the inside is wet through. Its bad enough trying to get kids in and out of cars without them trailing in loads of water with normal style doors, without holes in the roof. I also wonder what wind speed they are rated to open in. They look quite large almost like stubby wings so in wind speeds of 55mph they will take quite a battering when open. (55mph wind speeds are quite common where I live)

    • MorinMoss

      Apart from sliding doors,what doors would be safe in 55 mph winds? nThat would be a big problem for hatchbacks and normal side-opening driver & passenger doors.

  • David Galvan

    I must be missing something:nWhat benefit do the falcon doors add, again?nnThey say the doors will make it easier to enter/exit the vehicle when in cramped parking spaces. But how is that true when the front doors (driver’s side and passenger side) are the standard swing-out type? There will ALWAYS be a driver getting in through a swing-out door, having to deal with that in cramped parking spaces.

    • LogicDesigner

      I’m not entirely sure, but I guess it is the same benefit that a sliding door would have on a mini-van (I believe they are called people-carriers in the UK?).nnnAnyway, since it obviously has nothing to do with being an electric vehicle, I suppose it is just meant to add novelty and increase the car’s technological image. I can see how that might draw in a few buyers.

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