Tesla finally debuted the production version of the Model X, following what seems like years of teasing, “concepts” and unmasked testers driving around. So imagine my surprise when the final product, well, surprised me, though unfortunately not for the right reasons – it seems someone forgot to remove masking tape from the front…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for product differentiation within a brand, but Tesla’s new “non-Model S” snout seems like a last-minute knee jerk attempt at differentiation, rather than something they really thought through. So, instead of giving the Model X its own identity by making it look more like the crossover it is, Tesla gave it an inflated Model S look which slavishly copies that car’s proportions, window line and lights, but then attempts to look different by changing the one thing that companies generally view as key to brand identity – the grille. For comparison see the “Concept” version below:
Beyond that, I have to wonder if the Model X is different enough from the Model S – both are super-powerful, optionally 4wd electric vehicles, the X’s ground clearance does not look that much higher than the S’s, and both can be had with 7 seats. Then there are the “gullwing” doors on the X, which I personally view as ugly and not that useful – access to the rear seats still looks very hard. I will ask again – would Tesla not have been better off by producing a car more in the standard mould of the BMW X5?
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