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Suggestion: set a threshold (in % of potential buyers) for falcon wings alternative

From going over on-line comments I'd estimate at least 30% (if not 50%) enthusiasts and/or potential buyers who don't like the falcon wing concept but do like everything else about the model.
At some threshold surely it makes more sense to keep both models, doesn't it?

Also, from a general perception / psychological point of view wouldn't it be better to at least compensate for the 10% drop in range even if it means a higher price tag?

Going for a lower range from one model to the next, for any reason seems a bit like going backwards.
As an observation, I think this could be a potentially very important issue, both for the number of cars sold and the market cap. People are not just buying a car. They are investing in an idea...

Just to clarify on the second point,
I think something of the sort of a third (higher end) battery option, that would push the range even further would go a long way to impress people. It would make more headlines than 4.4 seconds for what is essentially a family car...

I expect the falcon wings are Tesla's first serious attempt to demonstrate that what you don't think you want is in actual fact what you've always wanted, you just didn't know it at the time.

I hope it's a success.

The falcon wing doors are a must for Tesla because they want to avoid the minivan image, so no sliding door. I have a Ford Flex which I really like, but it is impossible to use the third row seats without first folding at least a second row seat. (Imagine a car seat that has to be removed first.) Also, the third row seats are quite high, and there is not sufficient head or leg room for an average sized adult. The Model X on the other hand, has more room for both passengers and cargo, and the third row is easily accessible without moving the seat.

As far as percentages of people who would prefer non falcon wing doors, it is pure speculation. I doubt that it is even as high as 30% because in general it is more often those who are strongly opposed to things that voice their opinion. The car is going to attract attention without opening the rear doors, just as the Model S does.

@bent
Yes, I also think this is the case, which is what gets me a little worried.
The Steve Jobs like mindset of 'I know what you want better than you do' might not work so well for cars... IMO. People go to buy a car with a much more conservative mindset compared to consumer electronics. And rightfully so. These doors could just be too far out of the comfort zone for many potential customers.

Unless the cost to do so is prohibitive, I'd suggest it's best to go with both options. You could always ask the dealership network to promote the falcon wings more heavily.

drz, people are already used to reduced miles per gallon in ICE SUVs and vans, so a 10% drop in range on the X is not a big deal. Physics.

Elon says Gen III will get 200 miles per charge, so the pattern is already being set for reduced range on future releases. I'm thrilled Gen III will have reduced range, that's the only way me and millions of others will be able to afford one.

What will happen in time is Tesla will continue amping up (pun intended) their packs, higher kw options will allow X owners to go 300+ miles if they want to pay for it. Battery price/tech is not there yet though.

@Iowa92x

Ok perhaps the 10% drop is not such a big deal, but I would disagree with the notion that comparing to an ICE is the right way to look at the issue.

The starting point is that, for the next few years the greatest challenge for people to buy the car is 'range anxiety'. Not price – otherwise they would be going head to head with Nissan, Mitsubishi etc.

In terms of future price I'm not as worried, there is a great debate on TMC trying to estimate the cost of the pack, based on the price of 18650's mostly. A fair conclusion is that Tesla should be able to pass the 200$/kWh rather soon if they did not already. If those estimates are correct with scale they should be able to really reduce prices.

They need to convince people of exactly what you said: “...higher kw options will allow X owners to go 300+ miles if they want to pay for it”. People should be able to imagine that.

Part of the solution is the fast charge network, its a great job they are doing there. So is the 'swap' concept (little worried with that considering 'Better Place' experience...). I think more is needed.

Bottom line is: this is a psychological issue, not (just) a engineering one. It would be best to keep tackling the perception around range. That, IMO is the largest issue at the moment.

Have you all missed the Teslive bomb Elon dropped? They already have a 500 mile pack but haven't released it because the cost is so high. ;-)

There will be door options on the X like there were color options on the Model T. You can have any door you like as long as it's a falcon wing door!

Cheers!

The 500 mile pack has been know about since the S launched, not a bomb or even news.

Hmmm, I must have missed that news. Thanks for clarifying Vawlkus!

I don't get it. The Falcon Wing doors were a feature of Model X prototype from the get go. One of major reasons that my order #677 was placed, and without it this order would be cancelled.

@jdb

My point was that perhaps having ONLY the falcon doors will limit the total addressable market, because (based on just reading online comments, really), there could be many customers who will buy the car only with sliding doors.

I am suggesting both options if demand is high enough. That could be easily assessed in a survey.

IMHO ... I bet having a sliding door option will be as popular as a 40 kW battery ;-)

Edie;
+1

@dz4

If Tesla were to create a survey on the subject, who exactly would you want them to send it to?

I would imagine that MOST current owners of Model S would vote Falcon. Model X reservation holders would vote Falcon...

Would they just have a public survey? Cause if you want a minivan, buy a minivan?

General Public are still not the target audience for the X anyway.

I don't know, I just don't see more than <1% of people that are interested in the X, wanting sliding doors. May just be me though.

cloroxbb;
+1

cloroxbb:

very well put ... TOTALLY agree !!

"The Model M" Tesla Minivan? Could happen.

How do you put a kayak on top of an SUV that has falcon wing doors?

"Sports" Utility Vehicle.

I love the falcon wings but it’s also the one thing that stop me from ordering a model X. It fits all my needs with 4x4 and 7 seats, looks awesome but as others have mentioned – where do I put my skis etc for the weekend trip up in the mountains? Whit another door type it would be the perfect car for me, and it could have fill all my needs and been my only car. The problem is that I would need another SUV for the trips where I really need the SUV :(

Driver and passenger doors are standard.

Driver exits, removes kayak/skis/whatever. Opens falcon wing doors for access to/from 2nd/3rd row seats.

No offense Brian, but you've obviously never been a skier. The X is just not going to cut it for serious outdoor activities without some kind of roof mount storage/rack system.

gone;
You misunderstood. Here are all the implied steps.

Allow backseat passengers (if any) to enter by falcon wing doors.
Install roof rack.
Place skis on rack.
Enter by (standard) driver's door.
Drive to ski hill.
Exit driver's door.
Remove skis (and rack, if necessary).
Open falcon wing doors for rear passengers (if any).
Ski.

TM has indicated they have a satisfactory and surprising solution, in any case. Very curious to see what it is.

No, actually I didn't misunderstand. I'm telling you that is not practical. It may sound like a reasonable option for you, but I would not deal with it.

Just so we're clear though, I have an X reservation and am a skier. However, I do not plan on taking it skiing with any more than maybe 2 others. If the skiis or other gear won't fit inside the X will stay at home. Unless there is a more practical solution that I am not seeing.

Cheers!

Another point regarding safety, how are the backseat passengers supposed to exit in an emergency if they are locked in due to there being a roof rack that doesn't allow them to open the doors?

Agreed with @goneskiian...three kids here and we spend a lot of time at the mountains. Current vehicle is a Toyota Sequoia with a Thule roof box. The amount of gear required to bring 5 people to the mountains for a day of skiing virtually mandates alternative storage (especially when all that gear is wet and smelly at the end of the day). I've used a lot of different styles of racks over the years and none of then are easy to put on/take off. Between our gear and the kids gear it can take 20+ minutes just to unload and gear up...followed by the mandatory bathroom break for the kids even though they already went...the joys of skiing. The LAST thing I need to do is take an extra 10 minutes in the freezing cold trying to get the racks on and off!

I'm seriously considering an X as my SUV (drove a buddy's MS two weeks ago and did an "official" test drive of a S last week) but simply don't see a realistic way to replace the Sequoia...unfortunately. I'm hoping Elon has come up with some innovative storage/rack system but I'm not holding my breath. The closest thing I can imagine is a tow hitch option but that comes with its own challenges (there is a reason that 98% of the racks in a ski parking lot are roof...not tow hitch).

So I guess towing something is totally off the table?

I have waited for this Model X since the Roadsters launch. I am a Honda Pilot owner and want the larger higher up off the ground vehicle. I do put a roof rack on the Pilot when using the kayak. It will not fit inside.

The fact that you can not put a rack on the Model X limits it as a SUV. The falcon doors are great looking and really do provide the room to get into the third row seats. There needs to be some kind of a trade off. Maybe an option to mount a roof rack and be able to disable the falcon doors. Maybe an option for the falcon doors for a standard door.

I personally do not need a third row but if there has to be one, make it a folding down one like the Honda Pilot has. The little ones can use the hatchback door to enter and exit. In the seven years I've had the Pilot, I have only used the third row two times. I have them folded down all the time, and use the room for other items.

I am a Tesla stock holder and believe in all the concepts for electric vehicles. I have just had solar panels placed on my house roof. My next plan is to reserve an X. Tesla, please address this problem.

goneskiian;
+1

Unless Model X is just made for driving around, looking good and impress neighbors, the possibility for roof rack/roof box is a must. Wintertime I have 5 paris of skiis on the roof and summertime I often bring bikes. I'm sorry TM - you come up with a solution for this!

Might it be that skis could be stashed between the battery pack and the interior of the vehicle? I guess this resolves the ski issue, but is the reality that people use the term 'skis' when in fact they mean skis, roofbox, bikes, etc? Can't see the designers getting around this with falcon wing doors.


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