While Tesla has been on a seemingly-unstoppable roll, designing the Tesla Model X has proven “damn hard”, delaying the all-electric SUV for another year. With production now pushed back until 2015, one has to wonder what sorts of difficulties the Tesla design team is running into.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Elon Musk said that it’s “damn hard to make SUV…that is beautiful yet incredibly functional at the same time.” I wonder how much of the design woes center on what Musk called falcon-wing doors or the all-wheel drive system? It also answers the question of why the Tesla Model X wasn’t on display at the Detroit Auto Show this year, though there are other issues keeping the electric SUV from production.
Musk cited issues like focusing on Tesla Model S sales in China, and increasing battery production before building the Model X can begin. But obviously you can’t build a vehicle that doesn’t have a finalized design yet, and the fact that the Tesla Model X has been pushed back for another year could be indicative of other problems. Musk even takes some of the blame, noting that prototypes haven’t lived up to his own high standards.
The pressure is on Tesla to follow up the universally-lauded Model S with an equally-exceptional vehicle, and Musk knows it. It’s better to delay a design than to roll out a half-baked product, but keep in mind the Model X first debuted back in 2012, and was supposed to enter production last year. The fact that it’s 2014, and the design of the Model X apparently remains unsettled, and this is the second delay in as many years, isn’t what I’d call good news. But better to be late and right, than on time and all wrong.
There’s plenty of other issues to keep fans occupied though, from the proposed battery giga-factory to the installation of battery-swapping stations. As for the Tesla Model X? Looks like we’ll just have to wait another year.