How the Tesla Model X’s Falcon wings could kill you!

There is a lot of debate and speculation going on about the launch announcement of one of Tesla Motors’ next generation electric-driven cars, specifically the one called Model X and why it is late in being debuted in the market.  Green Car Reports (GCR) listed three possible reasons as to why Tesla Motors’ Model X is being delayed to the market.  Before we go into detail about the reasons, let us take a brief look at what Model X has to offer us.  Model X by Tesla Motors is manufactured alongside its flagship ‘Model S’ four-door sedan.  Model X is an upgraded version and is a Family SUV.  Its design is modeled after crossovers between the Infiniti FX-35, BMW X5 and the Acura MDX vehicles.  Now we are going to look at the three reasons GCR highlighted for the main reasons of Model X being delayed to the market.  They are:

  • Range
  • Falcon wing Doors
  • Towing Capability

Out of these three, the Falcon wing doors seem to be the main culprit in Model X being delayed to the market and possibly will be the reason behind Tesla Motor’s setback of its electric-driven car program as well as the exposition of the design flaws and quality issues of the Model X electric car.  The Falcon wing doors are upgraded version of the gull wing doors which took the ‘50s era by storm and were evident in Mercedes-Benz car models.  However, as decades went by, productions of Falcon wing doors dwindled in large numbers as they were extremely difficult and costly to manufacture.  When the doors were opened, the bulk weight of both the doors are transferred to the roof of the vehicle and therefore, the roof had to be reinforced as well resulting in additional expenses being incurred.  The doors also needed to be heavier to protect the passengers from the sides of the vehicle.

Safety and quality issues of the Falcon wing doors have also come under intense scrutiny.  If Model X involve itself in a roll over crash, the passengers in the rear are trapped because the rear Falcon wing doors are at the back and they open upwards.  Therefore, they cannot open in the event of a roll over crash.  The ‘expensive bolts’ approach taken by Mercedes-Benz to counteract this problem does not do anything to provide safety to the passengers even though the car falls apart and leaving the passenger seats intact.  Tesla Motors needs to address this specific safety and quality issue of the Falcon wing doors if they are to improve the design of the car and successfully launch it in the market.

The Falcon wing doors are simply not necessary at this point.  Most people can live without them to be honest.  Tesla Motors, on the other hand, justified the inclusion of these doors on the basis that they will be easy to open in tight parking areas as they stay within the range of footprints of the car.  However, this one advantage cannot diminish the importance of fixing all the other flaws that lie within the design of their Model X electric car.  Tesla Motors will have to rectify all of these shortcomings regarding the Falcon wing doors of their Model X electric car and hopefully will manufacture and launch a better, upgraded version of Model X in the foreseeable future.


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