The “year of the Tesla Model S” is upon us, but the company is kicking off the year by introducing a new car – the Model X. Tesla’s plan has always been to start with a roadster, follow with a lower-cost sedan and then build out the lineup from there.
Tesla aims to be a full-fledged car company, and you can’t be that with just one model. The platform that underpins the Model S has been developed to be modular and flexible, enabling multiple models to be based on it. That kind of platform utilization will be needed if Tesla is to generate the necessary margins to survive. Introduction of the Model X is just a few days away – February 9th to be exact.
The reveal will take place at a private event in Hawthorne, California where Tesla’s design studio is located. Like the Model, S, the Model X is slated to have a striking design. It is said to be sized like the Audi Q7, but with 40 percent more room and performance like a Porsche 911. The end goal is a car with the “functionality of a minivan…[and the] consumer appeal of a sports-utility vehicle.”
Space in a purpose-built electric car is improved – part of the reason that is able to shoehorn two child-seats in the rear loading area of the Model S. That might give the Model X one of the first usable third rows in the segment – yippee! As far as striking design goes though, the San Jose Mercury News reports the doors of the Model X “lift up and fold – like the wing of a bird.” Another report via Green Car Reports refers to them as “falcon doors.”
This would be a groundbreaking feature of the Model X; one that shakes up conventional thinking. While a boon for practicality, it will be interesting to see if they attempt to find any solution for safety – as in rollovers that block opening of the doors. All this is making us more excited for the car’s debut on Thursday. Stay tuned.