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Evolution of the Model X 5-seater trunk

Discussion in 'Model X: Interior & Exterior' started by AnxietyRanger, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    In the delivery thread Model X 5 Seat Deliveries we have been keenly following the story of the Model 5-seater trunk configurations. Also the threads Speculation: Model X five seater is missing a panel to hide seat bottoms? and 5 seaters, how is your load floor supported behind the 2nd row? have gathered info related to this.

    I decided to do a short history to document the evolultion of the Model X 5-seater trunk. As we know the 5-seater finally started deliveries in late Q4/2016 after a delay of 6 or 12 months depending on your math. The 5-seater trunk introduced a new "storage compartment" in the area where the third row seat bottoms reside in the 6/7-seater. Initially this area was simply left empty, but the design calls for panels to cover this area. This is where our story starts.

    When we first saw our Model X 5-seater, it was through a hasty Photoshop in Tesla's Design Studio, where this storage compartment cover behind the second row was first seen in early November, 2016. There are all sorts of mistakes in this image, for example it shows the third row air vents (removed in the five seater) and brightening the image up shows other areas simply deleted from 6/7 seater imagery.

    But there is a thing of note here that could speak of design evolution, not just Photoshopping skills on the Design Studio team, the storage compartment cover is without any kind of mechanism to lift it. Also, the storage compartment cover is not hugging the sides on the curving walls near the falcon wings, but is straight. Some of this is just the quality of the Photoshop edit, but some will matter in a moment.

    [​IMG]

    Second time we saw the render of the five-seater was quickly afterwards, after a different resolution render was found in the Design Studio (below, in lightened up form). You can note that in some ways this design looks rather nothing like the final, though, as there are weird protrusions/extensions coming out of the second row, but it was a much more production quality image, removing the third row air vent for example. And for the first time it shows the storage compartment, a leather loop on the horizontal storage compartment cover and a new vertical panel underneath the horizontal cover.

    [​IMG]

    Indeed, this image would turn up quite close to the goal of Tesla, but there would be many public iterations in between - and presumably there have been more private iterations. Not even these Design Studio images were not quite final yet, for example the sides of the trunk are wrong.

    The way Tesla basically builds their cars is, at the start of every quarter they make cars for destinations far away from the factory (e.g. Europe) and towards the end of every quarter progressively turn to making cars for destinations nearer the factory, to allow for transit-time and delivery within that same quarter. This matter in the 5-seater story, because cars destined for e.g. Europe will have been manufactured earlier than some U.S. cars being delivered, showing us some of the design iterations.

    The first cars five-seaters we saw in the U.S. had been stripped from any extra five-seater panels and left the rear rather exposed. They also showed how the side panels of the trunk have changed from the Design Studio images, there are no longer left any top shelf "rails" on the sides of the trunk that earlier 6/7 seater Model Xs had. Around this time the second row floor was re-designed a little too (from VIN F022382 forwards). These cars had the usual 6/7 seater rear panel cover the rear of the trunk, though, with the pull-up handle.

    Here is one image of a car picked up on December 30th, 2016:

    [​IMG]

    But, while this is not the first time the five seater was seen in photographic form, my estimate is that the earliest hints of the early five seater trunk design may have come from Norway:

    [​IMG]

    Note how in this image there are two things: a smaller rearward panel, that covers the rear well, shorter from the sides than usual rear panel used in 6/7 seaters to cover either upper or lower level of the rear well. But this image also shows what I believe could be the earliest seen iteration of the vertical panel behind the second row, one that does not extend to the sides, but leaves gaps towards the sides. Note how this early car from Norway also had two cargo-liner hooks on the floor of the storage comparment. These would come and go in future cars.

    The next iteration that was seen both in video form and in some other cars being delivered in the U.S., was the storage compartment cover resting on the side plastics, without the vertical cover underneath. This storage compartment cover did not have any handle or loop to lift it up from, just a small recession in the place where eventually a leather strap would appear. Note also that the 6/7 seater rear panel and the new 5-seater forward panel in the trunk show slightly different shades of grey. Many of these cars still had those cargo hooks on the storage compartment floor.

    [​IMG]

    It was obvious by now that this was the final design and any cars delivered in this incomplete configuration were probably done so by mistake. The Service Centers were supposed to remove any factory installed components due to quality issues and indeed they were also re-installing the second row reclining handles/setup in some of these cars at the Service Centers.

    I started the Speculation: Model X five seater is missing a panel to hide seat bottoms? thread on December 20th, 2016 to speculate on the appearance of the vertical support panel for the storage compartment and first images of this panel appeared on December 25th, this time without any cargo hooks on the storage compartment floor:

    [​IMG]

    Here the difference of the new rail/shelfless side panels could also be witnessed:

    [​IMG]

    After this started a rather wild period of five-seater deliveries, many without either of the storage compartment panel (horizontal or vertical), some without cargo hooks on the floors, some with. Some had just the top storage compartment panel - rather dangerous setup considering it would sit on the side panels without any structural support underneath.

    In one case, Tesla even attempted to install an early Model X trunk top cover to a 5-seater with no place for it, since the 5-seater got the re-designed trunk walls and, also, they tried to apply it to the floor:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously the cars from the factory were coming to Service Centers either with subpar parts to be removed or entirely without parts in these areas. Instruction and training also seems to have been insufficient. Customers were getting very little to no info on when remedies would appear, only that they eventually would.

    In the odd chance that your car came with the vertical support panel, the place where the Service Center would install it seemed rather random. Some were placed a little more forward or backwards than others and the most glaring mistake was in @SMS16 's car, the vertical support installed on the rear seat floor behind the second row, where it basically supports nothing. This car was delivered in February, 2017:

    [​IMG]

    For another sign of the cars that were being built around the new year 2017, we have a message from @krouebi who took deliver on March 31st in Luxemburg. This car still had the 6/7 seater rear panel, with the pull-up handle, but it also got a leather loop featuring storage compartment panel. It must have been built around the same time, possibly even earlier than @SMS16 's car, shipping from the factory with the 6/7 seater rear panel, but was delivered much later, so its storage compartment panels have been later additions at the Service Center.

    The first signs of the final design evolution (so far) - since European deliveries at this time would by design of the logistics show earlier builds - would come from the U.S. a few days earlier: March 26th, when member @TechVP posted a gallery of images from their new five-seater. With the car having both the front and rear panel with a leather loop, it seems likely the car actually came that way from the factory itself and thus may be one of the first cars delivered without Service Center intervention on this - though this is speculation, of course.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, this latest design no longer features the cargo hooks on the storage compartment floor:

    [​IMG]

    Tesla has since fixed their Design Studio imagery to show these panels and the correct side panels for the trunk, so I think this is the final design for now:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    I might be interested in a 5 seat configuration in the future, found this description informative, thanks.
     
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  3. krouebi

    krouebi Member

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    Hi,

    first of all, a BIG thanks to @AnxietyRanger for this excellent resume of the chaotic history of the 5-seater Model X.

    While the "birth process" for US vehicles is factory>SC>customer (and with home delivery even factory>customer), with EU vehicles the process also includes the Tesla factory in Tilburg, Netherlands.

    Apart from putting the battery in, they also do a lot of other "adjustment" work, which in the US is left to the SC.

    This centralized process may be the explanation why in the EU we have so far seen less reports of missing panels on delivery. Our Model X was delayed in Tilburg for a week due to QC issues...
     
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  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Thank you - and good point, @krouebi. It is certainly possible the leather-looped storage compartment cover and vertical panel were added to your car in Tillburg. The week's delay is an interesting tidbit.

    Some say Norwegian cars go directly to Norway, without a stop at Tillburg. Is that so? I wonder if that could explain why Norway got at least one oddly built car that was photographed and shown in my story above as well.
     
  5. krouebi

    krouebi Member

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    Hi,

    I wrote "EU".

    Norway is not EU, neither is Switzerland - and soon not the UK either.

    IMHO, the Tilburg operation is a (quite clever) way to avoid EU import duties.

    The vehicles are completed in Fremont, and then the battery is taken out. Battery + vehicle loaded into containers, train and ship transport to Tilburg, battery back in + minor adjustments = Vehicle "made in EU".....
     
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  6. Saxman

    Saxman Member

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    Thanks Anxiety Ranger for taking the time & effort to try and put it all in perspective. Very nicely done.
     
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  7. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    @krouebi I know Norway is not EU. I am just not 100% sure Norway cars do not go through Tillburg. Only 90% sure. :) Anyone can confirm?
     
  8. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Final Model X five-seater rear panels finally retrofitted to earlier cars starting in April 2017. Detailed photos:

    Model X 5 Seat Deliveries
     
  9. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    For those seeking an a lower level trunk well solution as in this Norway image:

    [​IMG]

    Turns out - thanks @krouebi - that Model S trunk well cover works quite well on the lower level of the Model X trunk well as well:

    [​IMG]

    Source and more images: Model X 5 Seat Deliveries
     
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  10. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat related, seems like Tesla is taking their entire Model X fleet towards the matte look of the five-seater back seats, though of course many five-seaters shipped with glossy front seat backs and sides.

    As discussed elsewhere, even the six/seven-seater monoposts may be getting the matte treatment, though so far cars have shipped with matter backs, but glossy monoposts.

    This certainly adds to the interesting mix of Tesla vehicles out there with a huge amount of variance in looks and parts...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. TechVP

    TechVP Active Poster

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  12. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Interesting Tesla went for a mat that seems specific to the later five-seaters (room for the leather loop in the back) and not a generic mat fitting all post-October 2016 newly shaped Model X trunks (that have metal pull-ups instead of leather loops).

    I guess the reason is the trunk floor length is different in the 6/7 seater... Or maybe they just consider the leather loop hole something even those without can live with (sure...).

    All these small changes must be frustrating to Tesla's accessories department. :)
     
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  13. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    I would have thought all of the variants would have used the same space in back of the middle seat (that is, one mat no matter if 5 or (new foldown) 7 seater), but it appears there are differences in the back from other component changes?

    I can't tell from the website now if they even have one that fits the 'new' 7 seater. All it says is the after October 2016 date. I think that's what it says, the shop.tesla.com website is offline right now, shades of Apple! :D
     
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  14. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    The new folddown 7 seater is the same as the old non-folding 7 seater built after October 2016 (and indeed the same as the current 6 seater) from third row to back. They all seem to use the metal pull-up for the rear trunk floor panel too, not the leather loop...

    It seems the 6/7 seaters built after October 2016 have this new mat:

    [​IMG]

    The five seater mat is larger as it moves onto the space where the 6/7 seater have the third row floor space:

    [​IMG]

    Seeing these images it makes sense that the five seater has its own mat... it also kind of confirms (as far as anything can in everchanging Tesla world) that the leather loop rear panel is just for the five seater and the 6/7 seater are getting the metal pull-up going forward as well...
     
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  15. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    #15 boaterva, Aug 13, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    Ah.. I was thinking both 5 and 7 went all the way back. So they don't. 7's go as far back as where the 3rd row starts. Right?

    We really need an overhead view of the insides of all cars and all the various mats. At least I do. :D


    Edit: I can't tell from Tesla's descriptions what's up. It appears to cover only aft of the second row with the third row folded down (or absent for 5 seater). Is that their definition of cargo mat?
     
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  16. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I believe they do.

    But the mats don't cover the folded second row at all, so these mats are just about the trunk (and third-row where applicable)... hence the 5 seater mat is bigger because the 5 seater trunk is longer than 7 (or 6) seater's trunk + folded third-row...

    Cargo-mat-wise the new 7 seater is the same as old 7 seater and current 6 seater (October 2016 forwards) - so the mat covers the folded third-row and the trunk.
     
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  17. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Gotcha, thanks. As I said, an overhead view on the accessory site would be a great help. :)
     
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