Photo: Courtesy Tesla Motors
With the introduction of the Tesla Model X late yesterday, one of the big talking points has been the “falcon doors” in the rear of the car.Tesla has said they are the “first of their kind” on a four door car. There’s a reason for that.
It’s a bad idea.
Don’t get us wrong, scissor doors and gullwing doors are incredibly cool looking. They’re a conversation piece. The amazing hinges on the doors of a Koenigsegg are an engineering masterpiece in themselves.
But Tesla just put them on the back of a family car. Kids often sit in the back.
If you haven’t noticed, children tend to be short. How are they supposed to open and close gullwing doors on a tall crossover without dangling from a height of six feet?
(UPDATE: While it was not in the press brief, our contact at Tesla has confirmed that the doors are motorised. We still believe there is the possibility of danger for a child getting hit in the face or dangling from it, since kids like to do that. And if the car has no charge, they will have to opened manually.)
Another concern of ours was what happens in a tight parking space but it does look like Tesla handled this. The hinges are tight and it looks like the doors open in the same amount of space as a traditional door.
But here’s the big one: roll over accidents. Like the Mercedes SLS, we are expecting the Model X to be equipped with explosive hinges that will release the doors when the car is upside down.
Think about that for a second. They have to put explosive hinges on the car to make it safe. You know what opens even when the car is upside down and doesn’t need explosives?
A regular door.
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