Posted on December 15, 2015 by Matt Pressman
Recently published interviews with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk reveal more about the overall design approach of the Tesla Model X. In an expansive GQ profile and interview, Musk explains, "I'm not sure anybody really should make this [Tesla Model X]… there is a lot more there than is necessary to sell the car." As evidence, he points out: "This is definitely the most complex sun visor in history—we probably shouldn't have done that… There's never been a car like it. I'm not sure there should be. It's a car from the future."
Image: EV and More
During the interview, Musk gives some background into the design approach of the Model X's now famous Bioweapon Defense Mode, "I really like the Bioweapon Defense thing. I mean, I was just going through it with the lead engineers on the air-filtration system, and I asked them, 'So how good is this? Like, could any virus or bacteria get through?' And they're like, 'No, no, it's definitely gonna stop anything. So you basically wouldn't even be able to measure it—it's such a tiny number that it wouldn't cause an infection, just as it would be for a hospital operating room.' So I was like, 'Wow, so if there was like a genetically engineered super-virus, you could get in your car and be safe?' And they said, 'Yes, we believe so.' So, like, 'Cool—we should call it, like, Bioweapon Defense Mode then.’ ”
Source: Tesla Motors
More clues into the Model X design approach emerged earlier this week when Electrek reported on an interview between Tesla Board Member Steve Jurvetson and Elon Musk that took place at Stanford, "In response to a student’s question, the CEO explained his approach to design. Musk says that it’s fairly easy to make a car look good by making it low and slim, but the difficulty is in balancing aesthetic design with functionality, which he described as being the biggest challenge with the Tesla Model S and X. Musk tries to find the elements that can 'trigger the emotion of appreciation of beauty in your mind'. A great example, but not in the discussion: Musk was so determined to make the Model X’s Falcon Wing doors open like the swan arms ballet move that he actually made the engineers watch ballet." Here’s the video starting at the design question (at about 43 min into the video)...
Source: Every Elon Musk Video
Does Musk's account of the Tesla Model X design vision match the final product? Some early media coverage of the Model X seems to validate Musk's comments. The Tesla Model X, as striking as it looks, still has remarkable utility, take a look at its towing capability -- it's rated at 5,000 lbs of towing capacity when using the Class III trailer hitch. To see this in action, check out this spy video (appears to be at the Tesla factory in Fremont) just posted last week, see below...
And what does a super-early Tesla Model X owner think about his new SUV? Well... our good friend Sylvain Juteau over at EV and More published a first-hand account from Tesla Model X owner (VIN #3 ) Mark Templeton. Templeton's comments seem to mirror Musk's vision for the vehicle; here is what he says, "I have to admit that I like it [the Tesla Model X] better than my Model S... The multi-purpose aspect of the X is stunning. The storage space is amazing. In fact, the deep trunk allows two of the 34″ rolling luggage pieces to stand side-by-side! Add the folding third row, it far exceeds SUVs of similar size. The underseat space is great – more comfortable for passengers and added space for storage. The seats are by far the best of any vehicle I’ve owned – design, comfort and function. And, I love how the middle row sets tilt and slide... The priority [at Tesla Motors] being placed around quality of the product and ownership experience is second to none. That takes time and tremendous attention to detail. Tesla is amazing at that." For proof of Templeton's passion and loyalty for the brand, check out his three Teslas below...
Image: EV and More
Okay, I'm jealous. As we anxiously await our very own Tesla Model X, these collective comments are certainly not making the wait any easier. Yes, we admire the impressive design approach Tesla CEO Elon Musk took when envisioning the Model X, but, we're sitting on pins and needles waiting for our delivery. In any event, we'll be sure keep you abreast of any new info we come across related to the much-anticipated (and amazing) Tesla Model X.