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Elon, please make the falcon doors optional!

I want to see Tesla succeed yet I am concerned that forcing a new vision for rear-car access via the falcon doors may turn many buyers off. I love the concept. I see the benefits of the falcon doors. I even like the style of them. But they will not work for many people. Those who want a roof rack, those who have low-ceiling garages, those who are concerned about rain or snow falling into the cabin when opened, etc. There are just too many potential negatives to some demographics. Therefore, if they were optional they would not hinder sales. Yes, I know that engineering an optional traditional door would cost more, however I'm sure the additional sales would more than make up for it. You already have rear doors on the S so I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to design a traditional door for the X. Even further, allow the option of having just 1 falcon door and 1 traditional door. That would free up some roof space for racks.

There are only negligible chances that other type of doors will be available for Model X. We are too far in the development cycle and those things are not only a production issue, but a design issue. Safety and how the entire body works together are hard problems, and "optional" door design would be too much in such a short time for our little company.

For mild rain, falcon doors are arguably better. For heavy rain, you have the place to use an umbrella under the door (who knows, maybe there will be an integrated option extending from the open falcon doors :) ). For a bit of snow, is more or less the same. If you have a (half) foot of snow on your car, you should take down most of it anyway, otherwise you put everybody else on the highway at risk. As for the ski rack, Tesla may simply block one door and allow that on half of the surface of the roof (if it is not a safety concern - the door may unblock if there is an accident, eventually releasing the rack in the same time, after the crash, of course).

On a big picture / philosophical view, Tesla is a bit like Apple. They build things that people do not know they want until they try them. I remember Franz saying that they had to go on many conventional routes with the design of the Model S, otherwise the risk of not being understood / accepted was too big. They did not want to put Tesla in danger with that. But they will push more and more innovative / revolutionary designs with each model. Some will not get it
There may be even the occasional failed product from time to time, but this could not be Model S.

Tesla's cars will not be for everybody, at least not before 2016. They will choose to serve only some customers, already forced by the high price of battery + aluminum body, but also by design choices. It's a huge market and a small company can find relatively easily its growth niche.

I am ready to bet that falcon doors will be and nothing else for the Model X.

Nicu; +1

It will include a free large slender brush to clear snow off the roof for all purchasers who live north of 45° latitude, or so. ;)

Although I do understand your reasoning I'm really sorry about it. I was hoping that since many of the buyers are from EV friendly Norway the climate there would count. I guess, since TM are based in US the US marked must be first priority.

If you make half of the roof available for a roof box that would make a great difference I would think, but please hurry up with a solution in order to make us preorder. The lack of roof box possibilities is the main drawback according to Norwegian forums.

It sure wouldn't be nice if a (large) number of Norwegian reservations would be cancelled due to the Falcon Wing doors.

I live in Finland and I don't see any real problem with falcon doors. Only potential problem would be lack of roof rack, but doors themselves would not be problem to me. Frankly I don't get what the fuzz really is, snow is not a problem if you clear most of it before opening the door, in rain it would protect whoever is under it, if it rains horizontal then it would suck, but only a little bit more than ordinary door.

I think this all is pretty much tempest in a teapot.

Is it possible for children to open the Falcon doors while an adult is driving the Tesla Model X? We all know that children always try to do things that they are not allowed to do, and they sure like to push buttons etc. Could there be a safety issue with the Falcon doors?

I would really like to get (see) some clues on how Tesla plan to handle snow and rain on Model X. I really don't see how it is possible to remove ALL snow before opening the doors. Nobody is driving around with (half) a foot of snow on the roof, but it is the last millimeters that drop into the seats when the roof opens up! And it melts, and it gets wet, and people sitting in the car gets it in their heads...

Please come to Norway to experience real winter and snow!

Timo +1
Benz -1

The details of rain gutters etc. over the doors will determine all that. Close-up inspection required!

@ Brian H

May I assume that you do not know the answer to my question. It's about safety of the people who will be in the car. Don't you think that that's important?

@Benz: how about any other 4-door car? A family friend's kid opened the rear door and rolled out. After that happened, my dad would only buy 2-door cars. But that was 45 years ago. That problem has been solved for long.

Just tell me if it's possible or not? Did they think about this when they designed/constructed/manufactured/assembled the Tesla Model X Falcon Wing doors? Could you just please answer my question? Safety is a pretty important issue, I think (like many others).

Agree with Timo from Finland, this seems to be tempest in a teapot. I grew up in northern Wisconsin, know snow and ice and do not see big issues here. As reservation #677 (US) on Model X, I love the falcon wing doors, and the AWD feature seems aweome. I got delivery of Signature Model S two months ago, car far exceeds expectations, by far the most enjoyment ever driving a car. But I do have big problem: My wife wants to drive it all the time, even though it was my idea to purchase. So am looking forward to Model X in 2014 so I can also drive a Telsa. Cheers.

If you think a kid can open the doors when the car is in motion, you believe the TM engineers are idiots. Write to Elon and warn him.

@ Brian H

No, I don't think that the Tesla Motors engineers are idiots!!

You could have just answered the question saying: "no they cannot do that". Very simple.

And I was not "assuming" that children can do that, I was just asking "if" it was possible for children to do that.

So, is there some kind of a safety lock on the Falcon Wing doors?

Groan. Write Elon and ask him.

I am not sure if any modern car does not have a child safety lock that controls whether the rear doors can be opened from the inside.

This car is controlled completely by computer. I cannot imagine not being able to activate a child safety lock either from the control panel or via a manual switch.

Bottom line is that nobody knows for sure because the car is still a prototype. Is it too much to ask you to have a little patience and wait and see? Or at least give Tesla the benefit of the doubt and figure they've probably thought of this already? Even if they haven't I'd bet money there is a law somewhere that requires them to lock when the car is in motion.

I'm with Timo. Tempest in a teapot.


OK guys, let's be patient for a while. I am just being curious about it. And I just write down the questions that come into my mind. Just to get a clear picture for myself about the Tesla Model X. I think that is important to do before I make a reservation for such an expensive car. We are not talking peanuts, you know. But I am not saying that the car ain't worth the money, let that be clear!!!

You know what, I sure would like to meet Elon Musk once or twice. And to be on a photo with him, that would be real nice. I shall thell him that I like is vision for the future very much, and that he is doing a great job with his three companies. And I shall wish him good luck. By the way, does anyone know if Elon Musk is coming to Europe in 2013?

@ Brian H

On February 6th 2013 you wrote: "Write Elon and ask him."

What Elon Musks e-mail address?

Honestly I like the falcon doors, but do not need the space of the Model X. I am all for making them optional on the X, I would like to see them as an option on the S!

Hey I think you are assuming that the doors have to open simultaneously like in the little demo on the website, but just like most minivans, you could open one side at a time. If you open just one falcon wing door, it will just push the snow off the opposite side of the car, then you can close that side and open the other side. problem solved!


You are at least as smart as the average bear!

Being a Norwegian, I have to agree with the comments that are negative to the falcon wing doors. Wisconsin? The furthest north is 50 degrees north. Oslo, our capital is at 60 degrees north. In winter we have 5 hours of daylight per day. The northern Norway is way above the polar circle, having no daylight at all at mid winter. Greenland goes as far south as our capital.

We don't know how the final design will be, but snow moving sideways in light or strong winds will fill the car with a thin layer in less time that it takes the door to open and shut. A normal door does not need to open all the way for people to get in.

Walking to your car with your kids, biting cold -20C (-4F) and windy finding it under 25cm (10 inches) of snow, will make you swear. There is no way to open the falcon wing doors without a significant amount of snow inside the cabin without removing the snow from the car. To get the brush, you must remove the snow stuck around the top and edge of the front door, get your snow brush, and start removing the snow. Sending three kids < 5 years in the front door is not an option in a car with no key needed to start. So you start removing snow. A minute passes. the bottom snow is partly melted due to the warm cabin of the car when you parked, cannot be brushed off as it is now ice. In the small bumps on top of that, a lot of fine snow is also not possible to brush off. This is when you start to scratch your roof trying to remove the ice so the door opens. Alternatively you open the door, and start removing the ice and fine snow falling in. The wind bringing more snow in trough the huge opening. After a couple of minutes of putting the kids in their seats, all from the same side to avoid doing the same procedure on the other side, you resume removing snow. The kids screaming because of cold hands and feet, wishing you could do the same.

A similar procedure has been done by yours truly about 50 times this winter, and it is getting old even with normal doors. The only reason I am still on the list for X is that I am getting a garage, and I am building it tall enough to get a big car inside.

Opening one door will push the snow over to the other side? Have you ever seen fine snow at 0F or less? A broken bean bag is a day in seventh heaven compared to how snow spreads and moves around. The falcon wing door is not a good option for areas with proper winter, there is no need to even discuss that. Having a hill to my house that is 200 meter (700 feet) and 14% inclination, I have two dream cars. X with normal doors and/or S with four wheel drive. Given that the platform is supposed to be the same, why not 4x4 version of S?

Being in Montana 70 miles from the Canada border I can understand your concerns. In our case we have no kids and we can pick when to take grandkids. I love the falcon door concept, especially for loading, but I also have a few concerns. Will the large seal area present a problem for wind noise? Will the seals become damaged if snow or ice should fall in seal area and should this happen will the door close properly without damage. In my case I am willing to try them weighting + and - 's.

Nicu: Now that the X is said to be a year late, maybe a redesign of the doors is within reach?

I’m also a Norwegian that would love to have Model X. But as you have pointed, there are a lot of things that will make me and a lot of other Norwegians not to by Model X with falcon doors. Pity because I think there is a huge marked for X here I Norway.

Im wondering: four wheel drive is particular nice for places whit winter conditions, and falcon doors for the opposite climate!
So, if they would love to make a car with falcon doors:
why couldn´t they do two wheels drive with falcon doors for “summer climate” and four wheel version with ordinary doors for “winter climate”?

I support your dream: Model X with normal doors and/or Model S with four wheel drive. But I would also like to have “a plug in tow bar” for small/light trailers.

There are still a few years before its available so we can still hope there will be changes!

I have an S for delivery this summer and has ordered an X in addition.

In Norway a SUV without a skibox iscrearly observed during winter. It would be sensible to offer a roof rack/skibox option, but how to combine this with the wing doors?

Could it be a possibility to sacrifice the rear door opening possibility on the left hand side and add fixation points to the roof with sensors that would block the rear left hand side door. This would allow for a specialized rather short roof rack/ ski box option on the left hand side of the car. Not a 100% solution, but a possibility?

Does anybody know the minimal height of the garage ceiling for a X model with falcon doors?

@e_lec | APRIL 13, 2013: Does anybody know the minimal height of the garage ceiling for a X model with falcon doors?

Based on the image of the Model S and Model X side-by-side and counting pixels and taking into account the Model S height of 56.5", I get 79.5":

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