back to article Elon Musk unmasks Tesla's Model X – the $132k anti-bioweapon SUV for the 1%

Elon Musk finally got to unveil Tesla's Model X luxury electric sports utility vehicle, and showed off some literally ludicrous features the car has to offer. Youtube Video The delayed Model X is a four-door SUV that uses the power unit and drive system of Tesla's Model S sedan and produces nearly as good performance, albeit …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    When I heard about...

    The bioweapon defence system, I thought "Microban door handles" but then I realised Tesla... What door handles?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: When I heard about...

      What door handles...

      Well, it does have door handles, although given that the door just opens as you approach (how much of a pain might that be on a drive - "no I just wanted to walk to the corner shop") and the falcon doors appear to be touchscreen controlled, I'm not sure why they bother with handles at all...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: When I heard about...

        Handles is the in-flight PDA.*

        *Is that too obscure a DW reference?

  2. DrXym Silver badge

    Nice car

    Just too expensive for the hoi poloi. Strangely though he seems to have invited a pack of howler monkeys to the launch judging by all the hooting in the video.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Nice car

      Yup, way too expensive until battery prices come down, which is why Musk is busting ass on his battery gigafactory.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Nice car

        Only the price of a top end Range Rover and a bargain compare to a Cayenne

        And even for a non-car nut that is one cool looking car!

        1. Thomas Wolf

          Re: Nice car

          Really? I think it's unbelievably ugly. Especially the front grille - somehow reminds me of a Ford Fusion or Mazda....$130k for that?!

          At the intro, Musk made a big deal out of being able to get into the car in a tight parking spot thanks to the "Falcon" doors....never mind that you'd then have to climb into the drivers seat - since the front doors are still conventional. Yes, those doors look cool and will get get some stares when your kids use them - but they're mostly a useless gimmick.

          Echoing what another commenter brought up: I thought the X was supposed to be priced similarly to the S. Did I dream that?

          1. Weapon

            Re: Nice car

            It is priced similar to the X, well to be more accurate they said it would be single digit % higher, in this case 5k higher.It is important to note current prices are top end special edition Founder/Signature models. After those are out of the way they will begin production of the lower end models and non-signature models.

          2. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: Nice car

            So the front doors are no worse to get into than any other car, and the back doors are loads better. How is that a bad thing?

            Price - erm, had a look at catalogue for BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus etc. recently? SUVs are generally more expensive than saloons given the same basic platform. And as another commenter mentioned, the 'supposed to' was based on lazy journalism. Besides, given the current supply vs demand profile, I bet they could have charged 10-20k more and still sell their whole production run through 2015 and 2016. It's not excessively expensive compared to equivalent models from other brands (and given the performance, you need to compare the price for the 'M', 'S'/'RS', 'AMG' models from their competitors).

            Looks - To be honest I don't like the looks that much either but that's pretty subjective. After all it's an SUV, and there's some proper fugly SUVs around.

        2. rtb61

          Re: Nice car

          The compact SUV is the logical model to produce, becoming by far the most popular model for reasons of general utility and realistic drive ability. I would bet it will be a much better seller than the previous models. Why have a 'sports car' that you can not drive like a sports car but can only feed you ego with the illusion of a 'sports car' when a compact SUV will do exactly what it claims to do, a compact sport utility vehicle (used in the daily commute and various sporting leisure activities).

          A sensible marketing option at that price range is custom paint and upholstery treatments (pay an extra $10,000 and get the colours and finishes of your choice).

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Re: Nice car

      Just too expensive for the hoi poloi

      Seriously! What is the message here? You can only save the environment at a prohibitively high price? If I remember correctly, I read it was going to cost about half the price given here when this vehicle was originally talked up. Should we expect the Model 3 to follow suit? Again, I believe that was originally talked up as having a target price of $30K - which is now up to $35K. My guess is that actual vehicles will be in the $45K range.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Nice car

        >What is the message here?

        Same message that caused Porsche to grit their teeth and build the Cayenne

        I want a Telsa, we have kids, make me a car, take my money

        I can only afford 1 Tesla, it has to take the kids and I want something that doesn't look like a minivan

      2. Weapon

        Re: Nice car

        The Model X was always going to cost about same price as the Model S. Slightly more. Because it is based on same platform as the Model S. This was said from day 1. Some media outlets made the mistake of thinking the Model X was the affordable car because back in the day, the Tesla Model 3 was called Gen 3 car. The Tesla Roadster was Gen 1. And Tesla Model S was Gen 2. The Generation represents the platform, the Model X is a Gen 2 car. But many media outlets failed to do their research and assumed that Model X being the 3rd car was Gen 3. It is not.

        If you look back at articles when the Gen 3 and Model X was announced, it makes it pretty clear Model X about same price as Model S, Gen 3 (Tesla Model 3) the affordable car.

        Don't blame Tesla for the mess up by the lazy media.

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

          Re: Nice car

          @Weapon, Thanks for the clarification. It's still a shame as I would really like to buy one, but will not at that price.

    3. icetrout

      Re: Nice car

      well it's certainly no DeLorean ... stupid looking........

  3. Tsunamijuan

    Bioweapon mode sounds useful around feedlots

    If it does a good job of filtering out the smell of feedlots as well, than we have a winner. That is always one of the roughest bits of driving the 5 during the hotter months of the year. I could totally see why a someone in the tech industry would want such a feature.

    That or when being besieged by hippies.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Bioweapon mode sounds useful around feedlots

      In a positive pressure kind of a way, can it help vent farts?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bioweapon mode sounds useful around feedlots

      He's so going to get sued if (when) turns out it actually doesn't help for a Syria-like scenario.

  4. Christoph Silver badge

    Gullwing doors - but does it have a flux capacitor?

    1. chemnerd

      RE: flux capacitor

      Only if you check off the dilithium crystal option.

    2. Weapon

      Those are not gullwing doors, gullwing doors are single hinge. Those are Falcon Wing doors (2 hinge)

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I was thinking more...

        Get me Straker on the phone, immediately! You-foe trajectory termination, Southern England.

  5. druck Silver badge

    Two words for those doors...

    ...multi-story car-parks.

    1. petur

      Re: Two words for those doors...

      Two other words to complete your mission:

      roof rack

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Two words for those doors...

        Re 'roof rack' - No you can't put a roof rack, but why would you? The most usual use-cases are skis and bikes (which can fit on the back) and a 'roof box' (which you might not need since there's lots of luggage capacity). And you can always have a trailer for extra carrying capacity.

        If you really, really need a roof rack, get another car, but I think the vast majority of people can do without

    2. Filthysock

      Re: Two words for those doors...

      if you watch the presentation, the doors detect low roofs and adjust their opening arc

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Two words for those doors...

        If they don't open as high, they are going to open wider. Multi-story car-parks have both low roofs, narrow spaces, and bloody pillars everywhere. There is bugger all chance of opening those doors on anywhere but the roof.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two words for those doors...

          Let the passengers out before you drive into the space? And then the driver drives in, parks, and gets out through the conventional non-birdiewing door? Should work.

          1. MrT


            ...the S can do it, can't it? They even make a big deal of the latest ones letting themselves out of a garage and pulling out onto the driveway, all cosy and whatnot, ready to go to the first appointment in your calendar at a time that takes into account the traffic en route. If that's possible, just get out where everyone can see, then have the car tuck itself away. They could even fit the robosnake charging arm to the car and adapt it to pick tickets from the entrance barrier so you can get out before going anywhere near the inside of the car park.

            It'd be nice if they enabled the configuration option for the X on the website so we can all spec up and dream on.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Two words for those doors...

        "the doors detect low roofs and adjust their opening arc"

        Yes, but what if you have both low roof and tight space? If you're widening the arc to avoid a low roof you'll just hit the car/pillar next door. To be fair, it's pretty low for an SUV, and in the demo those 2 cars boxed in the model X tighter than I've ever seen from even the most inconsiderate bastards, so I guess in most cases it will be fine. In the extreme cases, you just squeeze into the drivers seat, reverse out a bit, and then have space to open doors for everyone else. Which is what you would have to do anyway with conventional-opening doors.

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me

    For $132,000 I want the fancy gull wnig doors, only reason to give them to the rear passengers is if I was driving for Uber. But on their salary could I afford one?

    1. icetrout

      thing has no class... DeLorean want-a-be........

    2. Known Hero

      taxi !!!

      5 customers then 2 hour break for the recharge, driving it hard all day 5 days a week. I'd give the battery 6 months.

      Probably not the best choice for a taxi.

      1. D@v3


        Has a taxi company that uses the model S. Apparently works out quite well as it is mostly ferrying people to and from the airport, which is a fairly short trip. Battery lasts long enough for a shift, then charges overnight.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon's Anti-Bioweapon to Compensate for his Bioweapon!

    Elon would never be able to sell enough electric vehicles to compensate for the mess he is doing to the environment with each and every one of his launches... Based on all the recent press, not sure he even knows what to think...

    - Save the environment with electric vehicles.

    - Screw the environment with growing launch business.

    - The environment is screwed so lets start terraforming Mars.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Elon's Anti-Bioweapon to Compensate for his Bioweapon!

      Troll icon is right.

      A rocket launch has an insignificant effect on the atmosphere compared with airliners. Look it up.


  8. Chris Hobbs

    Purpose of the bioweapon mode

    It's in case you get stuck behind a diesel Volkswagen.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Purpose of the bioweapon mode

      When the James Bond villian* in his volcano lair is launching his bio-warfare missiles, he'll want to be sure that he and his henchmen are safe :)

      *not naming any names here

  9. Indolent Wretch

    Trust me, when the revolution comes the the 1% won't be safe behind their bioweapon filters because will be battering them to death in their stupid electro-eco-SUVs with baseball bats.

  10. uncle sjohie

    It's one of the least ugly SUV's out there, but that's like winning the largest midget competition. But to be fair, he promised the first proper electric SUV, and once again he has done what he promised.

  11. Dapprman

    Designing solutions where there's no problem ...

    .... how often do we hear established entrepreneurs with serial successful businesses say this is what you should avoid (lots of episodes of Dragons Den for a start) .... falcon wing doors, hermetically sealed cabins ....

    The S can get away with it's £90k price tag (yes I know it starts at £58, but try adding those things basic in other cars - I priced one up as there's a Tesla garage round the corner from where I work) as it's targeted at other cars in the same sort of price range. This is up against cars two thirds it's price - it's just too much (assuming a suitable charging network is available to you).

    And for those who think the falcon wings solve a problem - have a look at the good old (well not so good in reality) Peugeot 1007 where you have a better solution with no headroom or reach out room requirements.

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