When the Tesla Model X debuted in 2015, just about everyone had an opinion on the new car’s falcon wing doors. Personally, I thought they were kind of cool. Road and Track’s Chris Perkins was not so impressed at the time as he later mentioned here.
I respect Mr. Perkins and his opinions, especially because he is willing to admit when something isn’t all bad. After covering the Model X in New York he wrote the following:
“When I was taking photos of this Model X P100D in a hip part of Brooklyn, every time I raised the doors, people stopped. Attendees of a nearby music festival stopped and took selfies. Toddlers and parents alike looked on in amazement at the bizarre mechanical symphony of the doors going up and down.
I wasn’t expecting this. The Model X has been with us for nearly three years now; in a place like New York City, they’re not uncommon. And I struggle to call it pretty. It features lots of nice details, but to be perfectly honest, I think it looks like an egg from many angles.
All I see is a frumpy family transporter. And yet, with the falcon doors, the Model X gets attention like a supercar. And that could be Tesla’s greatest achievement yet.”
Love them or hate them, the Model X doors do force your attention. So how do these weird wonders work? We will try and provide a brief explanation.
There are two hinges on each of the falcon wing doors. One of these is located where the door meets the body and the other further to the outside of the vehicle. Two springs aid the hinges by applying enough force to raise the door up. As the springs raise the doors, two electric actuator motors help by pushing the door open. Conversely, these motors also oppose the springs when the door is closed.
At the site of the other hinge there are a pair of electrical liftgate actuators, much like the ones found in more traditional cars with liftgates. After a driver or passenger presses one of the sensor buttons to open the door, the electric actuator closest to the inner hinge opens the door slightly. The springs then start to move the doors up as the other hinge tucks the door in towards the body of the vehicle. The inner hinge’s springs then move the doors all the way up. The liftgate actuators then open the outer door.
Clear as mud? Sound too complicated? Check out the video below from Trevor Page who explains things in a clear concise manner using legos. Yes, you read that right, legos!
What do our readers think about the falcon wing doors on the Tesla Model X? Any Model X owners ever get bonked on the head by one? Are the doors an amazing engineering achievement, or just plain gimmicky? Please drop by the comments section below and give us your opinion.
Source | Image: Tesla Motors
Source | Video: Tesla Owners Online