2013 NAIAS: Tesla Model X Prototype

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The most distinguishing feature, at least from a styling standpoint, of Tesla’s upcoming Model X seven passenger crossover, is the use of what Tesla stylist Franz Von Holzhausen calls “Falcon winged” doors for the rear doors of the vehicle. At least a few cars have used “gullwings”, most notably the Mercedes-Benz SL300 and the Delorean, less notably the Bricklin, but this is the first falcon-winged car. It’s also likely to be the first production car that combines conventional doors with those that open upwards. One potential problem with gullwing doors is rollover safety, since it’s hard to open the doors when the car is on its roof. The Model X’s doors are hinged to allow the lower part of the door to flip open in the case of a rollover. A more practical consideration is that the doors will work in a tight parking space, taking up about as much space when operating as a minivan’s sliding doors.

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