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Model X - What do we (think we) know, June 2015 summary

Discussion in 'Model X' started by AnxietyRanger, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    #1 AnxietyRanger, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    Back in May I wrote a summary of Model X info and speculation and now decided to update it for June. The bolded parts are new compared to the May summary.

    ***

    The question "is the Model X not that different from Model S" is a fairly common topic on TMC, perhaps used by some as justification to not wait for the Model X, which I think should be viewed a little critically. While I do fear such conclusions can be a bit premature, I understand people sitting on the fence on what to buy and what to wait for must make decisions based on limited and unofficial information. For example, there was this thread: Ground clearance - X and S look similar, now that pics of the mules are out and about There is also a speculative thread on what has changed in Model X since the prototype: How much has Model X changed: mule (2015) vs. prototype (2012) silhouette

    Anyway, here's my take on the differences of Model X compared to the Model S that is currently shipping:

    1) The dash indeed is identical on the Model X mules we've seen, though it was widely different in the 2012-2013 Model X prototypes. It is possible the mules we've seen on the road don't sport the final interior, though, final interior may still lay hidden inside Tesla's premises. We have, though, seen evidence of missing rear-view mirror and missing A pillar crossbeam in the mule(s), suggesting major differences to current Model S in the roof area, though of course the rear-view mirror replacement (if it comes), may later appear in Model S as well. Photos and further reading on this: Model X mules - Do they have an extra tall dash screen? and Inside the Model X mule - Looking closely... In reverse, while I expect Model X to have panoramic roof views, it probably will not have an opening sunroof like Model S.

    2) One thing that we can be fairly certain to be different inside is the second-row interior (and of course the Model X third row faces forward instead of backwards and can seat adults). We have seen a potential glimpse of it recently. Elon is quoted to call this a thing of sculptural beauty. It will surely be movable, but it may also swivel. This is likely a massive separator between Model S and Model X, and it is unlikely that Model S would even in future models achieve similar functionality. Of course there is also very little reason anymore to suspect the falcon wings wouldn't make production, so the Model X will have that major - the rear doors - difference too. Photos (old prototype) and further reading on this: Is this a real photo of the Model X 2nd row seats? and Back seats swivel? Musk's hints: 2nd row seats are a piece of sculptural beauty. and Musk's hint to 2nd row seats in Model X

    3) Model X will likely offer a more straight-up seating position. The latest mules have been seen growing in height (also in the rear) compared to the 2012-2013 Model X prototypes. Considering that one of the pet-peeves people have with Model S is interior height (alleviated somewhat by the panorama roof), this is an area where it is fair to expect Model X is better. It will also allow sitting up more straight and easier entry. Photos and further reading on this: How much has Model X changed: mule (2015) vs. prototype (2012) silhouette

    4) Ride height has been discussed and noted that Model X is not a real SUV, but a cross-over or CUV. Traditionally these kinds of cars do not quite match the ride height of dedicated SUVs, similar examples being Audi's allroad range the BMW's GT's, which feature around two inch to minimal ride height increases. It is very likely, though, that Model X will have superior ride height compared to Model S, but maybe not quite SUV levels. Photos and further reading on this: Ground clearance - X and S look similar, now that pics of the mules are out and about There is also a discussion on the correct label for Model X, SUV, MPV, CUV etc.: Model X more an MPV than SUV?

    5) "Auto-pilot 2" of some kind is almost a certainty in my mind, although I also expect it to trickle down to Model S in the near future - but I expect this to be beyond what is currently shipping on Model S. Elon is quoted as saying they will ship something with Model X that is beyond what they currently do on autonomous front. This is also an area where Model S currently is behind the competition. All this may mean one or more of the following: additional cameras, an upgrade to the EyeQ3 (EyeQ4?) chip, a new chip from nVidia (theoretically DRIVE PX but could also be any Tegra upgrade) and/or addition of more radars such as rear radars. Currently Model S only has two cameras (one front, one back), one front radar and the twelve ultrasonics. The average German high-end competitor has, in addition to the usual twelve ultrasonics, at least four radars (two front and back) or more and at least six cameras or more. "The X will have a step beyond what we’re currently shipping on the autonomous front" While it seems unlikely to me EyeQ4 (new schedule discussion suggests too late) or DRIVE PX (probably too late) would make it to Model X, an upgraded use of EyeQ3 and/or otherwise upgraded nVidia hardware could enable all-around cameras – there is new photographic evidence of something on B pillars tested on the black mules.

    6) Coupled with the previous I expect all-around view for parking as well as potentially replacing rear-view mirror (or eventually side mirrors). Some of the mule(s) have been seen with what look like fog-light area and high-up B pillar cameras for these purposes. Of course the mule(s) have also been witnessed doing what look like active lane keeping. Photos and further reading on this: Model X mule(s) show signs of nVidia Tegra X1 Drive PX platform - no rear mirror! and B pillar mounted side camera on the Model X mule(s)? Model X side mirrors (cameras on prototype, real mirrors on mules) have, of course, also been a hot topic: Model X Side Mirrors Currenly I'm leaning on initial Model X shipping with similar regular mirrors than Model S, but who knows. There was also talk of competitors concepting see-through A pillars and video that looked like Model X might be testing the same, but it turned out to be just a missing panel (Theory: Model X has A pillars (see-through video)?).

    7) Towing is of course expected, has been confirmed in talk by Tesla and has been seen on all the latest Model X mules. There are measurements/estimations of the U.S. receiver size on TMC: Hitch receiver size? There is also speculation Model X might use an adaptive spoiler to add range while towing. Photos and discussion on what look like a spoiler: Model X mules show signs of a new spoiler? Talk of spoilers and towing: Model X mules show signs of a new spoiler? - Page 13 Now, it is possible Tesla may add towing into future Model S too, or it may not - those threads also include photos of Model S towing mule(s). A difference in Model S's benefit may be that it may be easier to carry skis and ski boxes than on falcon winged Model X. A thread on the workaround(s) Tesla might offer for Model X is here: Cargo connection points on Model X mule rear/roof?

    8) Then of course there is the speculation of a frontal Tesla facelift, either just for Model X compared to prototype (more likely) or both Model X and Model S (wildly speculative). There is the September 2014 leakster (who got some credibility by having Tesla pull his CAD posting from TMC that didn't show the front) saying the nosecone would be gone. There is also the comment from Tesla's head designer that the one thing he'd change on the Model S is the nosecone. The latest Model X mules have also shown fairly significant changes to the "lines" of the car, so an overall "facelift" to the Model X has definitely happened since the 2012-2013 prototypes. Front remains the most camouflaged part, although does show the shape of a nosecone, which may or may not be final. Obviously it is purely speculative that any changes to Model X front might trickle down to Model S, but it would seem fairly logical - Model S is age-wise prime for a mid-like facelift that often in competitors included changes like new bumpers, lights and masks. Photos and futher reading on this: Model X mules - is the nose cone gone?

    9) Model X prototypes had a steering wheel with small touchscreens instead of buttons (MotorTrend: Tesla Model X Steering Wheel), it also reportedly had a 19" main screen (17" Screen sticks up) instead of 17" on the Model S. Finally, compared to the competition, Model S currenly is very lacking in any kind of rear-seat entertainment and basically any other rear-seat convenience (beyond seat heating). There is also no HUD on the Model S (nor has one been seen on Model X mules), while many competitors have HUDs. It thus seems likely that there could be some upgrades in front and rear electronics, although some or all of these could also trickle down to a future Model S. Beyond what we've seen on the (partially fantastical) 2012-2013 Model X prototypes, this is quite speculative though, based mostly on the logical next steps (compared to competition) Tesla might take as they develop their product offering further. Then again, in things like rear-seat entertainment and control Tesla might go revolutionary rather than evolutionary, as shown by their mobile app control for the new Model S executive rear-seat heating (instead of physical or electronical controls as on competing cars): Model S Executive Rear Seats With Arm Rest

    10) Finally, the drivetrain has generated its fair share of speculation from all-wheel steering like on the new Audi Q7 (Will Model X have all-wheel steering? - Page 4) to larger battery packs, suggested by the 70D upgrade on Model S (New battery option 70D, is 105D next?). There was even speculation, based on mule photos, that Tesla might offer opposite-side charging port, although I doubt any such thing will materialize in the final version: Does it mean anything: Model X mule(s) show signs of opposite-side charge port? If real, some or all of such changes could, of course, trickle down to a future Model S as well. A recent sighting confirmed a Model X mule charging from the usual Model S location, although this of course doesn’t automatically preclude opposite side ports – discussion on the matter found secondary ports unlikely for design and fitting reasons, e.g. CCS/CHAdeMO would not fit into the Tesla styled charge port area.

    11) Latest sighting (as supported by Jersey Girl sightings) speculatively suggested Tesla testing in Michigan in addition to the much-seen California sightings. More interestingly, research suggests this leak came from a guy in the electrochromic window/display mirrors industry. There is now speculation Model X might come with a Gentex full-screen rearview mirror (certainly supportable in a way by the previous mirrorless discussion, as hiding this feature in some mules might be useful) and that the car might have electrochromic window(s) similar to Mercedez Benz magic sky. Considering the vast cross-beamless windshield/front panoramic window extending, we expect, all the way from bonnet to falcon wings, electrochromic window(s) might come in handy. Of course it needs to be noted, Gentex is also the current supplier of auto-dimming Tesla mirrors - and we have no visual proof of the speculated fullscreen mirros and/or electrochromic windows on Model X mules.
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    lol, gotta love the insane dedication. I say that half in jest, because really, I just don't have time to keep up anymore (I skim the threads), and a summary actually is pretty helpful.
     
  3. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Thanks. I much prefer Insane mode to plain old crazy... ;)
     
  4. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    Given the controversy, conspiracy theories and some craziness we've seen on these forums lately, I think this is a great summary of what many of us believe.
    I'd classify some of the above as more speculative than others, but I don't think any two people will be in full agreement of the above.

    You seem to have skipped the whole side track of "intentional leaks" and "this is nothing like what the final one will look like" etcetera... not that I mind you skipping it.

    For ride height, won't the naturally taller car be able to naturally fit a higher range of suspension height variance (i.e. very high can be higher, even if low is the same low as the S) given appropriate hardware?
     
  5. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    cantdecide: Thanks. :) I appreciate that.

    And I agree, there certainly is a wide range of wildly to mildly speculative stuff in the summary. Hopefully my commentary therein has managed to set these at least a little apart, that was my attempt anyway.

    For the ride height, I don't have enough expertise, but from experience and interest in the Germans, some points in the appropriate thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Unmentioned by my summary above, pmadflyer pointed out the past Gorilla glass speculation. It could make some sense given that assumed huge swath of glass in the front from bonnet to falcon wings.
     
  6. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    A new claim has surfaced on how Model X would have the nosecone facelifted and how Model S would follow suit - of course this first time poster can be anything from a genuine Tesla contractor in hiding to an Internet troll in plain sight:

    Nose cone will be body colored on the X
     
  7. aaeverett

    aaeverett Member

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    I love your analysis...i cant wait for the Model 3 reporting (hopefully you arent going to retire after the X) :)
     
  8. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Thank you, feedback like yours is the second best thing on TMC. After high-resolution mule sightings, of course.

    Who knows, I might be in the market for a Model 3 too for a second vehicle. Luckily its launch schedule seems such that once this one is all said and done, before the next round it allows me to recharge my batteries a little (free at a local Supercharger near you). :)
     
  9. n88

    n88 Member

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    AR, a word of caution... in a throwaway comment made by Elon at the shareholder's meeting, he mentioned TM having sent out some emails chastising some MS owners for charging at local Superchargers and reminding them that the superchargers are free for interstate travel only. Does anyone have any further information on this?
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Elon said a few people were abusing supercharging only - they'd probably receive a note (not that any had been sent out). That's not quite 'chastising for charging at local Superchargers' :).

    But here's a very long discussion about it ... Supercharging - Elon's statement that Daily Supercharging Users are Receiving Notes
     
  11. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

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    Superchargers are primarily for long-haul trips, not for regular everyday charging. Tesla will look the other way if you do it every now and then, but if you make it a habit, they are going to have to come up with a solution, especially at busy Superchargers.
     
  12. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    n88: I know, it was a light-hearted joke on the debate on my part. :)
     
  13. AziwA

    AziwA Member

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    Hi AnxietyRanger
    what would be your best guess for an unveiling date? For deliveries to start in 3-5 months wouldn't production and options/colours by customers have to be selected relatively soon? Do you think by mid July we should see the full picture?
     
  14. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    That is a question I'm may not be the best to answer, I think long-time and more investment oriented TSLA followers have a better grasp on the latest investor letters, employment ramp-ups, U.S. manufacturing lead-times for cars and so forth. For example, NigelM has weighed in with knowledge in the past, perhaps he can answer and bonnie is #2 on the Signature list, so they might have genuine insight on that question more than myself from across the pond.

    That said, the latest I remember hearing is Elon's general meeting commentary suggesting 3-4 months for deliveries from that date, putting the date into September, early October maybe. And I believe we've been lead to understand Model X would be unveiled finally only as deliveries start. So, while I think a summer unveil might be possible if by delivery start they suggest merely Founders Series, but if they wait until they can ship the first few units, we might be looking at Septemberish for the unveil.
     
  15. AziwA

    AziwA Member

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    Interesting. Quick question though is how would they deliver the first cars without customers being able to customise and select options? If they are producing say 1,000 cars per month (at least for the first few months for September delivery). I would assume max 500 founder series that could be kept confidential with no public unveil but other customers will need to see the car to finalise their order.

    Does anyone remember how far ahead the S was available to customise online before first delivery?
     
  16. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    As said, there are probably far more well-versed people here on the topic of manufacturing and deliveries than myself, but I think what has been pondered is Tesla might deliver a few cars at the launch - perhaps only the Founders Series, or maybe the token Signature Series first-reservers have configured under confidentiality agreement - or from a list of choices, but without seeing the complete final vehicle. I guess it all depends a lot on how much configurability Tesla plans for the Signature Series or more like, how little. Most deliveries, and orders (Signatures included), I'd of course expect to happen after the unveiling.

    If by 3-4 months Elon referred to volume deliveries and some early low-volume deliveries might happen sooner than that, then perhaps the unveiling, with the first deliveries could already happen in the summer. After all, it will take a while for the next deliveries after that, because you have to give people time to order, lead-times for parts etc. (although for the latter one can prepare). All this, of course, assuming Tesla is not late again - as they have been.
     
  17. AziwA

    AziwA Member

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    Good points. Could you explain to me the difference between signature series and founder series?
     
  18. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Tesla could have produced a couple model X units for stores at the point they open up the ordering queue. It seems normal to allow people with low queue numbers to go see one before committing. This keeps the first cars within the company as initial issues are sorted out. It also drives a lot of traffic to the stores, and makes the release less of an internet only event.
     
  19. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Founders Series is the first production series, that go to special Tesla owners and peeps. Who those are, someone else here is probably better positioned to answer than myself. Elon Musk is probably one of them. :)

    Signature Series is the first public production. Signature series was available for public order, it took a larger deposit and it gets a priority in deliveries. Limited number of reservations were available and the cars will probably feature a few distinguishing features, like a Signature label here or there, maybe a special color option inside and/or outside.

    After these comes the regular Production reservations and new purchases.

    There is precedent of this three-tiered system on the Model S at Tesla and information suggests the same applies to Model X.

    - - - Updated - - -

    FWIW, bonnie who has been following things closely and personally I believe, has #2 Signature reservation in the U.S. and often says she expects to buy and receive the Model X without getting a chance to test drive it. I think that is quite possible and she has been following that side of Tesla. Some of these senior members are better than me at this speculation. I'm more of a "product guy". :D

    Even for many German cars in many markets (perhaps excluding U.S. where they come usually a little later?), it is not uncustomary to make the first factory orders before seeing or driving the car in person. Of course some launch material usually exists on paper, Tesla is probably a little more secretive than the Germans on Model X.
     
  20. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Some new areas of interest since the summary:

    - Model X and Model S mules seen with a multitude of cameras: Model X mule(s) show signs of nVidia Tegra X1 Drive PX platform - no rear mirror! - Page 12

    - The odd spoiler area still shows in latest sightings: Model X mules show signs of a new spoiler? - Page 14 and Model X Mule Sightings - Page 93

    - New great photos of Model S vs. Model X ground clearance have popped up: Ground clearance - X and S look similar, now that pics of the mules are out and about - Page 5

    - Model X concept images in various colors and nose-cone styles: [Concept] Model X image without nose-cone and A pillar cross-beam

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