Friday, January 27, 2012

New hints on the Model X design

Elon Musk seems to be taking a page out of the Job's marketing handbook with the slow leak of information and buzz that is being generated around the soon to be released design of the Model X on Feb 9th. 

Now they will be live streaming the unveiling, like an Apple Key note this automaker seems to have snubbed the Detroit and LA auto shows to do a private, yet public unveiling via the internet. 

I just read an article in the SJ Mercury News that quotes:

"Theo O'Neill, a cleantech analyst at Wunderlich Securities, has seen photographs of the Model X but has yet to ride in it. As a parent who struggles to buckle his young son into a car seat, he's excited about the Model X's doors, which pivot from the top of the vehicle."

"The doors of the Model X lift up and fold -like the wing of a bird," said O'Neill. "You can walk right up to the edge of the seat. It's the ideal solution for disabled children, or any parent who has to lean over to buckle a car seat."

I hadn't heard this before, or heard about it on the blogosphere. Could what this suggests  possibly be part of what Elon Musk is hinting at when he says it will be the "coolest" SUV.  

The closest concepts I have seen online that think possibly illustrate this idea are below and that would be very interesting:

Or could it be a version of the BMW concept. Instead having the doors that are large like this but they pivot up and then on top of the cars roof like they are folding like the wings of a bird.

All I can say is I'm excited to see what they actually come out with. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Model X Unveiling Feb 9th

Elon Musk is quoted in a december interview for gigaom saying that he thinks the Model X "will be well received". Tesla raised millions in funds for the development of this new vehicle last year in a secondary stock offering, gives the impression they are making a serious push for this vehicle.

The Tesla Model X prototype is scheduled to be announced on Feb 9th which happens to coincide with the Chicago Auto Show. Im not sure if there is a connection at this time. Tesla expects to deliver the Model X to its customers in late 2013 and produce up to 15,000 units in 2014.

Tesla claims the Model X will seat 7, and be roomier than an Audi Q7 and faster than a Porsche 911.

Electric Vehicle News has brought up the question as to whether Tesla will be basing the Model X design on the concept Lotus APX design. Personally I could see how Tesla (who collaborates with Lotus) could have drawn some inspiration from the Model X, but we'll soon see when it is debuted.
I have watched interviews of Tesla design chief Franz Von Holzhausen, and have come to have a lot of respect for this designer. He has designed some of the following vehicles prior to Tesla:

The 2006 Mazda Kabura:

The Pontiac Solstice:
The Saturn Sky

So I am pretty optimistic that Von Holzhausen can dream up an amazing crossover, and when it comes to the new Roadster I'm sure that will be revolutionary given that all these cars above are Roadster type vehicles. I am excited to see what Von Holzhausen will bring us in the coming Model X.

This seems very aggressive for Tesla to produce a new vehicle the year after the launch of the Model S; however this is really exciting and could have the opportunity to piggy back on the success and buzz of the Model S. If people are satisfied with the Model S, then I think a lot of these people will consider buying an SUV/Crossover version, namely the Model X, in the years following the Model S launch. It is important to note that by this time the Toyota Electric Rav4 will have been launched and in production.

Here is an awesome rumors website I have found for Tesla: