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Model X Middle Row Seat Design - possible reason for current design

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,422
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
Ok guys, simmer down. Throwing around phrases like "cult" and "drinking the kool-aid" and such are disrespectful and not productive or conducive to mature discussion. Just because someone's opinion differs from yours doesn't make it less valid and doesn't mean they are following a cult and not capable of rational thinking. Stay polite and respectful of others' opinions.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,500
5,449
I was specifically addressing this mentality that puts Tesla on a pedestal.

Mercedes-Benz did a great job designing the V-Class 2nd row seats (see pictures above), meanwhile Tesla screwed up. No need to drink the Tesla branded Kood-Aid and attributing it to safety or design aesthetics.

A SUV/Crossover that cannot carry a bookcase is actually kinda pathetic.
I don't see how that is "putting Tesla on a pedestal". To put it more clearly: if Tesla had a choice of a four star crash test rating with folding second row seats or a five star rating with the current seats, I am speculating Tesla would not be choosing the former choice because one of their marketing points starting with the Model S is the goal of getting five star ratings all across the board.
 

Aljohn

Member
Oct 17, 2014
907
505
Georgia
Let's see, one thread is redesigning the Front Windshield, another is complaining about the self-presenting front doors, still another is talking of the waste of engineering for the Cabin Filtration and then there is this one "put SUV other seats in.....etc.

The fact is the Seats have been designed and are framed perfectly in the opening of the Falcon Wing doors (don't go to the thread complaining about Doors). Tesla designed an super fast, amazing Cross Over. It wasn't designed to be a pickup truck, a camper a mini-van or like any other vehicle that we have had in the past. It appears Tesla worked very hard to bring us a Vehicle we have never had and others were afraid to build. It is compelling, fast, futuristic and different than any thing else.

Not only are thee reservation holders trying to re-engineer the entire vehicle to something familiar, some are now insulting one another. For Shame on all of you. Being hidden on the internet seems to bring out the dangers of the id.

I was fortunate to be at the event (yes there is a thread complaining about it also), it was fun, exciting, and the Model X was not what I expected.... I left realizing, it was something I WANTED. If I need to haul lumber, I will rent a truck from Home D for $9.95. I await my Model X the the anticipation of the kid awaiting Christmas.
 

Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,902
1,380
Sonoma, California
To me it is obvious that the reason the second row seat do not fold is all about the seat belts and that they are attached to the seats and not the C pillar. This of course is because of the FW doors and the fact that there is not a C pillar to attach the seat belts to. I would guess that the proto-type was just that and once they had to design the real thing they realized they could not meet the safety requirements and also have fold down seats. It would have been nice for Tesla to communicate that to all the Sig holders as soon as this issue became apparent, but that did not happen. There are a few things I have issues with but will wait to see one in the showrooms before I can decide if I will buy.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,276
13,947
West Vancouver, British Columbia
@Merrill, I agree but in addition suspect (of course do not know for sure) that the top safety rating Elon wanted to achieve could not be achieved if the 2nd row seats folded. We know that other vehicles have folding seats with seat belts that are completely attached to the seats, and they are legal and allowed on the road. But it may be that their safety rating is not as high as the X. This is just my speculation.
 

EarlyAdopter

Active Member
Jun 24, 2012
2,822
2,048
Redmond, WA
What about the lack of crumple zone in the Model S 3rd Row when you get rear ended? No side curtain airbags either correct? Can't ignore that if we are gonna rave about the frunk and lack of ICE in a crash.

Incorrect. The Model S 3rd row has over two feet of crumple zone, protected by the same double octagonal intrusion beams that protect the front of the car as well as a reinforced, high strength boron steel rear bumper.

There is more energy absorbing crumple zone free space in the rear of the Model S than there is in the front of most ICE cars.

There is also more crumple zone between the 3rd row seats and a side impact than the outward seats in the 1st and 2nd row. No need for curtain airbags back there as there are no side windows.
 

PoweredByRain

Member
Jan 5, 2014
692
104
Victoria, BC
There is a lot of speculation why the second row does not fold.

I bet that after we have all convinced ourselves that we have finally found the definitive reason, Tesla would announce the availability of foldable 2nd row option and all the theories get thrown out of the window.....

That's pure speculation. :)
 

BerTX

Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,566
Texas/Washington
@Merrill, I agree but in addition suspect (of course do not know for sure) that the top safety rating Elon wanted to achieve could not be achieved if the 2nd row seats folded. We know that other vehicles have folding seats with seat belts that are completely attached to the seats, and they are legal and allowed on the road. But it may be that their safety rating is not as high as the X. This is just my speculation.

I do NOT know of other vehicles with folding seats and integrated seat belts. I keep asking for examples, but haven't got one yet that meets the constraints Tesla is working under:

1) seats able to fold flat
2) seat belt integrated into the seat
3) seat back not attached/locked into to the frame or pillars (not possible in the X)
4) currently sold in the US (models that were once sold and discontinued are out. Models that used to have seats like this and they were changed are out. Vehicles with seats that are only sold outside the US may not meet the safety standards, and Tesla MUST meet these standards)

The closest thing I have seen are the FRONT seats of some convertibles that are folding and the seat belt is integrated. They are a possibility for a design source for Tesla, but I'm not sure how worried convertible manufacturers are about safety.
 

BajaSurBoy

Member
Sep 16, 2015
32
0
Piedmont Ca
"The Mercedes V-Class is The Benchmark to follow."

Benchmark of what? Tall boxy commercial van with Old ICE technology with base 0-60 at 12.1 seconds. Top of the line at 9.1 seconds. The folded seat looks like it wold leave about 2 feet clear to an X's roof. The Fact that the folded seat did not make it to US points to tougher regulations, Maybe V in Europe is treated more like a commercial bus.

 

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,075
18,272
North Bay, CA
I do think this is a reasonable guess, but obviously we have to stop there. It goes hand in hand with why those seats don't recline, as well.

On that note, I'm surprised that the lack of reclining ability is not brought up more often as a downside to these seats. Having even just a touch of recline can be really useful on long trips. Just enough so the head doesn't fall forward. To be clear, I'm not talking about driving with a huge recline, as I understand the dangers there.
 

Mark Z

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,848
1,325
North Orange County
...It would have been nice for Tesla to communicate that to all the Sig holders as soon as this issue became apparent, but that did not happen...
Tesla Motors could have made a major difference in buyers attitude by "selling" the features. If I had seen a video on September 1 of those seats moving independently and an arm rest in the center, that would have made a major impact later for the Six or Seven Seat Interior. Likewise, showing both interiors in a video with various objects being loaded into the back or side would give instruction on how to load cargo and the amount of space available. All the features need to be "sold" to a buyer to teach them of the advantages. Little things, like the ease of cleaning the smooth plastic seat backs can make a difference in a person's mind and help them see the advantages, rather than the disadvantages.

The designers and management sat for hours debating all these things in the past. Now is the time for Tesla Motors to explain in detail why each of the choices is best for Model X and will be a thrill to admire, use and enjoy in the future. Elon Musk's stage presentation helps, but adding video presentations that drive each fact home will allow for more Model X to be driven home to the garages around the world.
 
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MrBoylan

Member
Aug 2, 2013
945
267
New York, NY
I was specifically addressing this mentality that puts Tesla on a pedestal.
Well this is a Tesla Enthusiast forum, after all. So when most of your posts are critical of Tesla cars (subtly or not so much) expect to get some push back. But I think plenty of people here see things realistically and are not Tesla apologists or blindly "drinking the Kool-Aid."

Mercedes-Benz did a great job designing the V-Class 2nd row seats (see pictures above)
Sure, if people want to buy a full size ICE passenger van, it looks like a great choice. When you have that much space to work with, you can make different design choices. BTW, you seem to know a lot about Mercedes. Is that where you work or do you work for some other auto manufacturer?

, meanwhile Tesla screwed up. (EDIT:Let Me Rephrase This) Let's not believe that Tesla is infallible or when they do make a questionable choice simply attributing it to safety or aesthetics.
The fact is Tesla released the Model X with a different seat style than what they showed in the prototypes. Is it better or worse? That's subject to discussion and is a matter of opinion. Personally, I love the way the seats look, found them to be comfortable (albeit only sitting in them for 15 minutes or so) and I'm impressed with the results of the Model X safety tests. I'd love to have seats that look and behave like this, but also fold flat. But Tesla is not currently offering that. To me the advantages of the Model X outweigh the disadvantages by such a wide margin, I'll happily configure my Model X as soon as I get the opportunity rather than waiting and hoping that some day they have even better seats than what I saw at the reveal.
A SUV/Crossover that cannot carry a bookcase is actually kinda pathetic.
I guess it depends on how big the bookcase is, and how often you need to carry bookcases in your model X. Most bookcases that I've bought come unassembled and would easily fit in the back of the Model X with the rear seats flat and the middle seats forward. There are also roof racks that are compatible with the Falcon Wing doors. Musk already tweeted about the suction-cup based racks that are rated to speeds up to 140 MPH. I've seen a surfboard on top of a Model X using one of these racks. It can be done. Safely. And if anyone is uncomfortable with this, there's always the trailer hitch-mounted racks that can take more than just bikes or skis or luggage. There are always options.

The Model X isn't perfect, but what I've seen of it so far is perfectly awesome.
 

X-Wing

Member
Sep 30, 2015
98
0
Canada
Well this is a Tesla Enthusiast forum, after all.
IMHO, a forum is as much a place to celebrate the joy of ownership as well as a place to discuss problems and shortcomings so that the manufacture can address and improve upon.

I hope by participating in a forum and voice my opinions that Tesla will eventually come up with a Model X that better fit my needs. Maybe they don't care to, but that's okay I tried.

BTW, you seem to know a lot about Mercedes. Is that where you work or do you work for some other auto manufacturer?

I do not work for any automotive companies or part suppliers. Just a very knowledgeable consumer that is good at doing my own research.

As for the V-Class, I'd buy one in a heart beat as my company car. Too bad the Metris is so watered down.

The fact is Tesla released the Model X with a different seat style than what they showed in the prototypes.

Yep, that they did. And people try to come up with all kinds of excuses for Tesla.

This is an oversight. Model X is supposed to be an EV substitute to the ICE SUV/Crossover/Minivan. Model X is not about reinventing the wheel or telling the consumers that they don't need to carry a bookcase.

I guess it depends on how big the bookcase is, and how often you need to carry bookcases in your model X.

How often do you need to drive more than x miles a day?

How often do you need to carry more than y number of passengers?

How often to you get into a collision and need these seat belts and airbags?
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,463
1,774
Kansas City, MO
I agree that the end result is likely a compromise dictated largely by safety needs (also by comfort and style, but less so). The integrated belts are desirable to maintain ease of access and possibly required due to the falcon wing doors. However, once you do that, the entire base and back of the seat need to be able to, by themselves, secure a 350 lb man in an accident, and engineering that is likely more a challenge than most were expecting, limiting the options.

Those V seats can serve as an ideal concept to aim for, but in practice, it looks like even those are more an ideal concept than an ideal implementation. Apparently they are not available in the US? And even if they were, look at how much vertical space they consume when folded. They are also a bit ugly. Plus the X seats leave space underneath for extra stuff, which is nice.

One stupid thing I have to give Tesla props for is where the seat belt comes out of the seat. Every time I see an integrated seat belt on some other car, the design around that point looks very bulbous and unfinished, like from a car out of 1980's. The Tesla seat, on the other hand, looks clean and stylish. Again, it's a stupid thing, but I keep noticing it.

I do wish Tesla would make removable head rests. If I buy an X, I'll probably go 6 seat config just to get the middle seat head rest out of the rear view mirror.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,276
13,947
West Vancouver, British Columbia
On that note, I'm surprised that the lack of reclining ability is not brought up more often as a downside to these seats. Having even just a touch of recline can be really useful on long trips. Just enough so the head doesn't fall forward. To be clear, I'm not talking about driving with a huge recline, as I understand the dangers there.
My understanding is that the X 2nd row seats can tilt back individually slightly, so they do in fact "recline", but the seat base moves with the seat back.
 

gfb107

Member
Sep 3, 2015
210
101
Cary, NC
i think tilting back is a fine alternative to reclining, although it isn't clear to me that the seats do that. If so, it is critical that the front edge of the seat doesn't rise too much, raising the knees to the point feet are pulled off the floor. Not an issue for me personally, but it could be for people with shorter legs.
 

X-Wing

Member
Sep 30, 2015
98
0
Canada
Wait a second, did Tesla just put racing bucket seats in the 2nd row then?

If the seat only tilts and the seatback cannot adjust independently from the seat bottom. That's only found on the most hardcore sports cars (e.g. 911 GT3).

Of course many cars have fixed non-adjustable 2nd row. But then again most 2nd row in SUV fold.
 

tomp

Member
Dec 3, 2013
425
33
Durham, NC
The 3rd row of the MS has *over 2 feet* of crumple zone? Can you clarify that for me?
I have two young kids, and use my rear seats often. I am under the impression they are the safest seats in the car. But I'm not sure how you measure 2 feet (or really how one defines a crumple zone). It looks like 2 feet measures from the outer edge of the rear bumper to the 'lip' of the 3rd row seats - meaning somewhere around their knees/thighs. Maybe I am not clear on how to define a crumple zone?
Thanks!
Incorrect. The Model S 3rd row has over two feet of crumple zone, protected by the same double octagonal intrusion beams that protect the front of the car as well as a reinforced, high strength boron steel rear bumper.

There is more energy absorbing crumple zone free space in the rear of the Model S than there is in the front of most ICE cars.

There is also more crumple zone between the 3rd row seats and a side impact than the outward seats in the 1st and 2nd row. No need for curtain airbags back there as there are no side windows.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,500
5,449
The 3rd row of the MS has *over 2 feet* of crumple zone? Can you clarify that for me?
I have two young kids, and use my rear seats often. I am under the impression they are the safest seats in the car. But I'm not sure how you measure 2 feet (or really how one defines a crumple zone). It looks like 2 feet measures from the outer edge of the rear bumper to the 'lip' of the 3rd row seats - meaning somewhere around their knees/thighs. Maybe I am not clear on how to define a crumple zone?
Thanks!
It is possible for the crumple zone to be inclusive of where the passengers are. If you look at the Wikipedia entry for the train you can see that it includes the driver's cabin.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumple_zone#/media/File:JR-East-E217-Side.jpg

However, that area can still be a safe zone as long as it deforms around you and leaves space. The crumple zone deforms but is not going to be crushed flat.
 

EarlyAdopter

Active Member
Jun 24, 2012
2,822
2,048
Redmond, WA
The 3rd row of the MS has *over 2 feet* of crumple zone? Can you clarify that for me?
I have two young kids, and use my rear seats often. I am under the impression they are the safest seats in the car. But I'm not sure how you measure 2 feet (or really how one defines a crumple zone). It looks like 2 feet measures from the outer edge of the rear bumper to the 'lip' of the 3rd row seats - meaning somewhere around their knees/thighs. Maybe I am not clear on how to define a crumple zone?
Thanks!

Just went and measured - from the front of my daughter's knees to the outside edge of the rear bumper is 25". That's going to be the distance you have available to dissipate crash energy from a rear collision. What I don't know is how big of a gap there is between the plastic bumper cover and the reinforced metal beam inside, which is where you will really start dissipating, so in reality it's going to be a little less.

Here's what happens when a Model S gets rear ended by a semi. The Model S drives home. The semi does not. The hit was hard enough to knock the Tesla 100' off the highway, up an embankment, puncture the radiator in the semi, and knock a component off it.

As you can see in these photos, the rear space of the Model S was held intact nicely. Note, the reinforced rear metal bumper has been removed (you can see the 8 bolts where it connects on each side to the double-octogonal intrusion beams)
And the day was going so well... - Page 10
 

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