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

AnxietyRanger

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Aug 22, 2014
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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

attachment.php?attachmentid=84625&d=1434709010.jpg

As June draws to a close (well, last weekend free time in June anyway), a moment to summarize the recent rumblings. If the last point bears any resemblance to reality, it may be we won't be needing these kinds of threads much longer.

- Adaptive rear spoiler or airfoil was seen and photographed up on a mule, confirming months of i-spying and speculation on this on TMC. It seems to be the type that is open underneath and seems to be able to take - at least - the downwards pose useful in an airfoil for reducing both lift and drag. This obviously also rules out speculation for some other uses of this area, including the wild idea presented by some that the holes in the area might be involved in cargo carrying (not that many put much weight to such flights of fancy). Unfortunately the spoiler image is low-quality and not much detail could be made out of it.

Model X mules show signs of a new spoiler? - Page 14

- A big hooplah over the nose of the Model X, which was found ugly and perhaps swapped-in, but research found no evidence of this - the 2015 mules have consistently shown the same nose, suggesting we are probably seeing fairly final design. Some camo may be removed and some trim added, as well as panels further adjusted, of course, in the final version.

How has Model X nose changed since 2012 - and has it changed in 2015 mules?

- Also, the topic of electrochromic/special/whatnot glass got some further speculation but nothing conclusive. Maybe it is worth keeping this special glass angle alive if for nothing else, the long panoramic windshield:

Will Model X have electrochromic windows? - Page 3

- On the manufacturing front, this quote is reassuring: "We were encouraged to see Tesla's new body line (called Body Line 2) beginning to pilot Model X shells, and we view this as a good sign toward the company being able to launch the vehicle "on time." Compared to Body Line 1, the sheer size and greater number of production robots (we'd estimate 3x to 4x) was evident, and we couldn't help but notice several buses worth of new employees receiving training for the new line. To say the mood in the factory is one of "gearing up" would be an understatement," said Erickson.

Pacific Crest Analyst: Model X Shells Piloted in Fremont

- Not directly related to Model X, but as this was discussed in this thread, finally here is Elon's long-winded comment at the June general meeting on the future of Superchargers and battery swap transcribed here in full:

Supercharging - Elon's statement that Daily Supercharging Users are Receiving Notes - Page 74

- Further hints at a mid-July configuration date for Model X, after similar "mid-July" hint fron Elon Musk in May during the investor call:

"Configuration in "Mid July", according to the TM rep who just called tooffer an upgrade to the sig list."

"I was speaking with Tesla yesterday, and they said we should know more next month. No matter how much I tried, they would not give away any more information, but were very nice about it! They also said that they had not spoken to someone who's reservation number was so low - made me feel good!"

Model X configuring in July 2015 - Page 4

Looking forward to that Model X Design Studio! :)
 
As June draws to a close (well, last weekend free time in June anyway), a moment to summarize the recent rumblings. If the last point bears any resemblance to reality, it may be we won't be needing these kinds of threads much longer.

Small possible addition - Tesla just discontinued 14-30 and another UMC adapter, which could be a sign of clearing stock while preparing for an improved UMC in the near future.

(No, I don't think the UMC will be offered with a wood finish option to match the cars any speculation about that would be ludicrous).
 

AnxietyRanger

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Small possible addition - Tesla just discontinued 14-30 and another UMC adapter, which could be a sign of clearing stock while preparing for an improved UMC in the near future.

(No, I don't think the UMC will be offered with a wood finish option to match the cars any speculation about that would be ludicrous).

Wasn't there talk some months ago that Tesla would eventually replace the UMC, someone interpreted that as an UMC recall, but perhaps it was just talk of a new UMC for new cars.

Would it be in any way related to Model X, or just some unrelated on-going improvement process, I guess I would lean on the latter.
 
Wasn't there talk some months ago that Tesla would eventually replace the UMC, someone interpreted that as an UMC recall, but perhaps it was just talk of a new UMC for new cars.

Would it be in any way related to Model X, or just some unrelated on-going improvement process, I guess I would lean on the latter.

Agree they are likely independent, but they can time those rollouts to create a bigger bang effect. I'm under the unfounded belief that they want Q3 / Q4 to be another stream of announcements.
 

AnxietyRanger

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Agree they are likely independent, but they can time those rollouts to create a bigger bang effect. I'm under the unfounded belief that they want Q3 / Q4 to be another stream of announcements.

Indeed. Announcing the new UMC with Model X could be a nice little detail, of course one that would trinkle down to Model S etc. immediately, assuming there is something significantly new in the new UMC.

- - - Updated - - -

Analysts/press are back to quoting TMC. ;)

 

AnxietyRanger

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Out of the new sightings this image has the least speculative material in my mind, but just wanted to take a moment to appreciate how Tesla's roof and rear panel alignment (the area that has evolved the most in the mules) has come together since the March mules. Of course this comparison also shows how the adaptive spoiler has gone from wrapped-up fixings to an actual piece of glass/plastic.

Some thought at the time Tesla was hacking together mules from old parts for disguise, but that probably isn't the case, the progress here looks more like improvements in manufacturing (and less on again/off again test work on those parts of the mules).

model_x_rear_comparison.jpg


Model X Mule Sightings - Page 118

Picture 17 - Spied: 2016 Tesla Model X
 
Out of the new sightings this image has the least speculative material in my mind, but just wanted to take a moment to appreciate how Tesla's roof and rear panel alignment (the area that has evolved the most in the mules) has come together since the March mules. Of course this comparison also shows how the adaptive spoiler has gone from wrapped-up fixings to an actual piece of glass/plastic.

Some thought at the time Tesla was hacking together mules from old parts for disguise, but that probably isn't the case, the progress here looks more like improvements in manufacturing (and less on again/off again test work on those parts of the mules).

View attachment 85745

Model X Mule Sightings - Page 118

Picture 17 - Spied: 2016 Tesla Model X


Kind of reminds me when I saw a beta Model S on a Canadian tour. Fit and finish to say the least was disappointing. However I've learned that Tesla improves this aspect before production starts so I was never worried about Model X sightings with apparently ill-fitting body panels.

BTW, the white production candidate (see what I did there?) in the above photo clearly shows the spoiler area wrapped minus the actual spoiler. The indentations are the hinge/actuator mount points. When I first saw the white PC with that wrap and the indents my first thought was "active spoiler". Glad to see it's a real thing now.
 

heltok

Active Member
Aug 12, 2014
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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

Just to clarify one common misconception. The Drive PX demoed had a EyeQ3 chip on it, but a EyeQ4 might make it to the final design. Some people seem to think that these are separate products, when in fact the first is one component of the other.

Source:
The Future of Computer Vision and Automated Driving by Prof. Amnon Shashua - YouTube
 

AnxietyRanger

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Aug 22, 2014
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Model X - What do we (think we) know, July 2015 update

As an update to the June 2015 update and smaller updates in this thread on what (we think) we know of the Model X. Perhaps we'll get to the Design Studio shortly, but as July draws to a close I'll provide one more update to this thread to make some sense of the recent discussions in July:

How different are the Model X mules from...

One hot topic has been how different are the mules from the production vehicle, with betting going on. I think NigelM and provide quotable counter-arguments on for the pros and cons of Tesla hiding or not hiding the final version at factory. There is also a claim from ElectricFarmBoy to illustrate possibly some changes still on-going at Tesla, design-wise:

Without reopening old discussions: I can tell you that Tesla uses aluminum body panels. Those panels can be pressed on relatively cheap wooden dies (nowhere near good enough for full production, but easy to produce 50-100 sets); Tesla's stamping and pressing capabilities are already in-house. So yes, it's quite easy and cheap to do this.

WRT to plastic parts, IIRC Tesla has some in-house ability to make small number of plastic parts; even if they couldn't do that they could be getting small quantities made by third parties. Or hey, there's always 3D printing. Worth noting how often plastic trim has been missing or mis-matched on color. So that's also possible.

I agree with JST & others that we are seeing release candidates that will not be drastically different than the final product. A) Elon has indicated a couple of times that the X is on schedule and now ~2 months away. B) In May, he said they had "hundreds" of release candidates going through final testing rounds. C) Hundreds of release candidates are being hidden away while so many "mules" are on the road? Meh, I don't think so. D) Elon said they wouldn't "show" the Model X before deliveries began. I agree with the person who emphasized that this meant "have an unveiling." There's a difference between "showing" it and testing it in places where it can be spotted with camo. E) NigelM presents some interesting theories about how they could be cheaply producing the body panels, but I just don't see Tesla doing this. They are working their asses off trying to get this out the door "on time" (if we can call it that), get the Gigafactory rolling, get Tesla Energy rolling, get the Model 3 on track... I just don't see them messing around with wildly different decoys to throw people off. F) Some of the cars in recent pics (like ones in San Fran and the one with the wipers hidden) look pretty darn sharp to me. As AnxietyRanger has pointed out, they've gotten better and better. Why would Tesla keep improving on decoy mules like this? I just don't see it. G) Of course, we'll see minor trim, bumper, etc improvements that will make the X look a lot hotter (don't think anyone disagrees with that). H) I voted in the poll and will join the bet if it's still that thing about putting something in our signatures for a month.

Okay, so not a sighting but something close. I was in the Bay Area this week and bumped into a Tesla staffer. He indicated he'd recently been getting training on the X, that the design studio was coming very very soon, but that there were 3 last looks they were experimenting with and hadn't decided upon. These must be quite minor at this point I'd think, but it does show the situation would seem to be fluid still. He said no matter which is picked they are all spectacular. BUT...he said they are worried about a negative reaction due to the range of the X being less than what we're used to with the S. That would imply that no magic 100kWh is going to be jumping out of the cake...

Also, a much-discussed topic has been how different are the mules from the 2012-2013 prototypes(s). A photo thread and subsequent debate illustrates: How different are the 2015 Model X mules vs. 2012-2013 prototype(s)

attachment.php?attachmentid=86592&d=1436257133.jpg


There was also discussion on whether or not call the 2015 witnessed cars Betas, Release Candidates or Mules: Model X Mule Sightings - Page 144 My personal opinion is calling them mules is simplest for discussion, because we don't know what they are, but I agree they can be camoed Betas or even Release Candidates with some trim missing/camoed.

Speaking of prototypes and mules, 1208 some time ago noted the nose shape of the Model X mules looks like the Model S prototype, which I think is an accurate description - whether or not that front remains (it is by far the most camoed and unfinished-looking part of the mule sightings of past six months) for production remains to be seen of course:

attachment.php?attachmentid=82337&d=1432796110.jpg


Is the (finished) Model X delayed?

Big hooplah came from the anonymous claim from Eds, as quoted below. In the end, Eds made some weird back and forth on the nature of the claims and his location - whether this was indicative of trolling, trying to hide his tracks/sources or merely back communication, is unknown.

As all OEMs do Tesla are committing to “launch” Tesla X in few / couple months. This will be as follows:

  1. Build few hundred, mostly, press cars
  2. Deliver less than 100 cars to customers by end of the year
  3. Call it successful launch of the new model
The real story is as follows:

  1. Tesla are still doing design changes to some components as they are realising post RC1 build that they have significant number of “challenges”
  2. RC2 build vehicles will be “sellable” vehicles but will have number of prototype components that will not be at final specification and therefore inferior to production components that will come in early next year.
  3. Several suppliers do not even have their new machines up and running to provide components; their production tooling is only going to be completed around late Oct / early Nov 2015…
  4. Significant challenges in supplier base management. I prefer not to go into details at this point
  5. All this is because Elon M does not want to see the share price plummet by announcing that they will miss the launch of Model X this year and that there are number of important issues that they have not resolved/do not know how to resolve yet
  6. I would not buy early cars as they will be severely compromised in numerous areas

A little something was also made from factory tours not being on last week of July or first week of August. There was also debate on confidential information on TMC and some notes about an NDA tour participating TMC members received from Tesla.

Mules with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

Second topic has been sightings of Model X mules with numerous cameras attached to them as well as potential Model X/S mule sightings with rear corner radars and rear middle or lasers.

Best sightings of those camera setups from gordo:

attachment.php?attachmentid=88398&d=1437710848.jpg


Potential rear side radar locations of Model X and Model S mules (links to the threads above):

attachment.php?attachmentid=88191&d=1437535547.png

attachment.php?attachmentid=88089.jpg


Both of the mules also show what look possibly like rear middle radars. The Model X of course has been sighted several times with a gaping hole in the rear bumper, which has been speculated as either radar testing or folding tow testing or something to that effect.

Here is the Mercedes Benz S Class configuration, to give some idea of the extended front and rear radars Tesla might be looking at. Currently Model S only has one front radar, one front camera (plus one rear camera) and the ultrasonics. In comparison, current high-end Germans sport four to five radars, around six cameras and the ultrasonics.

S-Class-copy-image.jpg

Source: Model X Mule has front bumper camera(s)? - Page 3

Of course there has also been the comparison to nVidia DRIVE PX camera locations, although I guess it is widely agreed by now DRIVE PX may not be the technology itself being used, but it could also be a (combination) of technologies like EyeQ3, other nVidia, Bosch etc.:

attachment.php?attachmentid=76869&d=1428086422.jpg


Cherish the pale green dot

The discussion on the green dot is still very much alive (original sightings here), with the concensus seemingly being it is either a sticker left over from testing/pre-production or it is a light relating to auto-pilot (autonomous drive) status.

attachment.php?attachmentid=88287&stc=1&d=1437634201.jpg


Personally I'm leaning on a sticker based on this image, just like with the missing A pillar panels and adaptive spoiler looking like mere rear glass sometimes low-resolution photos can do tricks to your mind. We can not place too much emphasis on details made out of low-resolution photos, but it is fun to speculate of course.

attachment.php?attachmentid=88226&d=1437580284.jpg


Any lights flashing in the are are probably just camouflaged third brake light showing through?

here is where the light started flashing as I approached the Model X. I could see it with my naked eye when both my vehicle and the Model X was stopped. Maybe it was the clouds or something or is it a sensor of some sort

View attachment 88282

Regarding autonomous drive, a really cool Model S mule but potentially unrelated to any current production preparation work, was recently sighted too.

attachment.php?attachmentid=88094&d=1437416741.jpg


Ludicrous Mode

The Model S P90 launch brought us some information of a Ludicrous Mode for Model X as well. 0-60 times of around 3.0-3.3 seconds were quoted or speculated, based on a remark from Tesla. Of course this announcement has also affected the 105D speculation for Model X, suggesting maybe we'll now see just Model X 90D, instead of 105D, at start (plus perhaps 70D). As illustrated by ElectricFarmBoy quote early in this message, it seems (and discussion has followed), Model X will probably sport lesser range than Model S. 100+ kW battery isn't impossible, though of course.

That's no moon, it's Model X's front glass!

The pondering of Gorilla Glass and/or electrochromic windshield has gained some new momentum recently. In any case, it seems pretty much agreed the mules (and thus probably same with production) don't have a cross-beam between A pillars, based on mule interior sightings and September leakster CAD showing such, making for one huge piece of glass all the way from bonnet to falcon wings. Some disagreement has been posted on safety grounds. The September leakster CAD apparently also showed sunvisors attached to A pillars, FWIW.

attachment.php?attachmentid=87576&d=1437075479.jpg

Source: Will Model X have electrochromic windows? - Page 4

On the booty side...

Adaptive poiler has gotten a great look, with a couple notes in tow:

The close-up of the spoiler only shows two mounting points, one at each end, but we also saw a central depression in the spoiler-less mule. I thought that would be used for the raising/lowering mechanism, but maybe it has been removed now.

AnxietyRanger said:
What is interesting about that shot and this old image of mine:

attachment.php?attachmentid=80176&d=1430860194.jpg


Is that just like I speculated, it seems indeed the glass-looking spoiler is sitting on top of another piece of glass - if you look at the above image to the left, it looks like the rear glass extends underneath the spoiler (or airfoil) and when closed these two pieces sit on top of each other looking somewhat like one long piece of glass, with a small lip. The black area in the image seems to be merely a shadow, not a black area underneath the opened up spoiler.

Hard to say, but it certainly looks like Tesla might be going for a much cleaner design for the upwards spoiler than some of the competition listed on this thread. Whether this is for looks or for aero, I don't know.

Finally, Model X was spotted with an interesting vent reflection, to give an idea what an after-market bumper/diffuser could look like... and a tow:

attachment.php?attachmentid=88425&d=1437741683.jpg

Source: Model X Mule Sightings - Page 168

attachment.php?attachmentid=88435&d=1437751249.jpg

Source: Model X Mule Sightings - Page 172

We have also noted numbers on the rear window corners of the mules suggesting tens of Model X mules on the road.
 
Cherish the pale green dot

The discussion on the green dot is still very much alive (original sightings here), with the concensus seemingly being it is either a sticker left over from testing/pre-production or it is a light relating to auto-pilot (autonomous drive) status.

attachment.php?attachmentid=88287&stc=1&d=1437634201.jpg


Personally I'm leaning on a sticker based on this image, just like with the missing A pillar panels and adaptive spoiler looking like mere rear glass sometimes low-resolution photos can do tricks to your mind. We can not place too much emphasis on details made out of low-resolution photos, but it is fun to speculate of course.

attachment.php?attachmentid=88226&d=1437580284.jpg

Right there is probably definitive proof that the sticker is in fact a sticker. Were it an in-built green light then it would not have switched sides and would be pretty amazing if Tesla somehow managed to build it into the glass roof.
 

AnxietyRanger

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Aug 22, 2014
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Thank you. :)

As an additional comment, discussion on the rear bumper came up and got me leaning on the theory that Tesla might have made Model S design-based rear bumpers (perhaps even front bumpers) for the mules, as in same design but sized to fit Model X, to hide the actual front and back. The Model X rear bumper and diffuser indeed looks quite a bit like Model S, although not sized the same - same with what is visible of the front. As a theory, it seems plausible at least.
 
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Any ideas on rear row head room? The roof appears to slope down quite early, compared to e.g. a Honda CRV (2015 Honda CR-V - 360 View & Color - Official Site), which has sloping window lines but a fairly flat roof.

The frunk in the 2012 reveal was cavernous. I guess that was shown without a 2nd motor, which on the Model S has dramatically shrunk the available storage space. Do we know what the D has done to the X's frunk?

I won't need all 7 seats - can any be removed (e.g. the middle second row, to spread out the kids :) )
 

AnxietyRanger

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Aug 22, 2014
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Any ideas on rear row head room? The roof appears to slope down quite early, compared to e.g. a Honda CRV (2015 Honda CR-V - 360 View & Color - Official Site), which has sloping window lines but a fairly flat roof.

The frunk in the 2012 reveal was cavernous. I guess that was shown without a 2nd motor, which on the Model S has dramatically shrunk the available storage space. Do we know what the D has done to the X's frunk?

I won't need all 7 seats - can any be removed (e.g. the middle second row, to spread out the kids :) )

Good questions. I always assumed at the 2012 reveal that the frunk was merely a deeper (as in more height) than what we later came to know as the Model S "D" frunk and did in fact house the front motor. I guess it is not completely unreasonable that the larger height of the car might give Tesla an option for a reasonably sized frunk even with front motor? Unless they of course sacrifice some space there for extra batteries, although my speculation there would be simply to put them under the raised passenger cabin floor - if the battery is larger than on Model S, that is (speculative at best).

As for rear row head room, I think someone else is better at commenting on how well it was on the Model X 2012-2013 prototype (it looked OKish in reveal video?), but two points: Some have speculated since there is no gasoline tank, the third-row seats can sit lower than on gasoline cars. Also, Tesla seems to have raised the rear roof profile on the 2015 mules compared to the old prototype, suggesting perhaps improvements in this area too.
 

walla2

Member
Jul 15, 2012
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248
There is precedent of this three-tiered system on the Model S at Tesla and information suggests the same applies to Model X.

Actually their were 4 tiers.

1. Founders
2. Signatures
3. Roadster owners non Sig
4. Production

There has yet to be any indication Roadster or Model S owners will be part of a group 3 this time and are likely just in the regular production group.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
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Actually their were 4 tiers.

1. Founders
2. Signatures
3. Roadster owners non Sig
4. Production

There has yet to be any indication Roadster or Model S owners will be part of a group 3 this time and are likely just in the regular production group.

There is no special category for Roadster or Model S owners for Model X. Just Founders, Signatures, Production.
 
I checked the updates in this topic after the 17 July 2015 conference call but I don't see any messages about that. During this call Elon talked about the Model X and gave some important information. Listen from 12:40 here. Based on that information, I would expect the following Model X versions, EPA and weight numbers:

Car ModelEPA range (mi)Weight (kg)Weight (lbs)
Model S 70D2402090
4608
Model S 90D2862188
4824
Model S P90D2682239
4936
Model X 70D2162299
5068
Model X 90D2572406
5304
Model X P90D2412462
5428
Calculations explained:
1. S70D has 240 EPA. 10% worse is 216 EPA for X70D
2. S85D has 270 EPA. Therefore S90D should have 270*90/85= 286 EPA. Therefore X90D should have 257 EPA.
2. SP85D has 253 EPA. Therefore SP90D should have 253*90/85= 268 EPA. Therefore XP90D should have 241 EPA.
 
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bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
9,937
Columbia River Gorge
Actually their were 4 tiers.

1. Founders
2. Signatures
3. Roadster owners non Sig
4. Production

What were the deposit differences? I can't plop $40k down today and become a founder, can I? I assume Founders orders will be filled before the signatures orders and general orders.

Founder is 'by invite only' and is usually board members, major investors in the company, etc. I believe there were about 34 Founders for Model S and expect there will be about 10 for Model X.
 

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