Tesla debuts Model X, forgets to remove masking tape… [w/ Poll]


Tesla Model XTesla 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:

Tesla Model X Concept

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?

What do you think of the Model X?

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  1. Hi Krzysztof and Bart,

    I was expecting to read an analysis coming from Left-Lane concerning the VW scandal “Dieselgate” .
    Do you plan to publish your thoughts on this ? Would be interesting.


    1. @d3ns:
      you’re very right to expect an analysis of this matter from us, and I agree it’s taken too long to come up with something. I’ve been extremely busy with other commitments these past few weeks, but I’m working on an article right now. Expect that to be online within the next few days.

  2. I think they’ve made the right choice not to give the Model X a traditional grille, because electric cars have totally different cooling needs than their internal combustion engine counterparts, making the grille a cosmetic compromise designed to keep the front-end design in line with the expectations of the public. The faux-grille of the Model S seems like an unnecessary piece of plastic surgery to me now.
    One could argue the same for headlights: why do cars still have these huge headlights, while the current technology allows an LED strip to provide more light than an “old-fashioned” halogen or xenon bulb? Because that’s what the customer is used to and expects. Change will come very slowly so the customers can get used to the changing faces of automobiles.

  3. I don’t mind a small or non-grille if executed well (think Passat Mk III, Punto Mk II, many late 80s and 90s Hondas), but the grille on the Model X just look like they changed their mind at the last minute, without going back to the wind tunnel and simply removing the fake-grille insert

    1. I see what you mean, so what would you have thought if they hadn’t started with the fake grille on the Model S in the first place and had done it like this from the beginning?

  4. Just stranded here. Quite interesting to see the concept version from 2015 when knowing how the current Model X actually looks! Shame on me, i didn’t know it.

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