Is the Model X sexy enough? That was the question that vexed Musk a few months ago. Result: delay.
Is it tough enough? That’s the new question as Tesla goes about bashing the doors. Result: delay.
Tesla probably can’t draw on a big pool of industry knowledge about the Model X’s signature falcon wing doors. Few automakers have chanced even plain old gull wings, never mind Tesla’s tighter-opening variation with different hinging. No wonder true sci-fi novelty is hard to find in the auto kingdom. So much agita!
Don’t forget that the Model S was strip-searched for months by the NHTSA because of that newfangled battery in its gut. Luckily, that ended well, but now we’ve got these newfangled doors to ponder. They’re begging to be dissected by the safety Nazis. And begging to be a plaintiff’s Exhibit A. And begging to be demonized by salesmen from rival automakers. They need to be more robust than any door ever built. And they need to open and close too.
TLSA investors surely long for a positive catalyst after the horror of yesterday’s earnings beat. A nice Model X spy shot or something would help. Hearing about another delay feels like having another three months tacked onto your prison sentence at the 11th hour. But think about the stakes for Tesla. The Model X is the follow-up to what the public considers a platinum debut album. It can solidify Tesla as a bona fide threat with talons sinking doubly deep into the market, and clear the way for Gen III. The Model X needs to be more than a home run. It needs to leave the yard and break a windshield. If Tesla miscalculates and whiffs, the company will smack of one-hit wonder. Headlines will harp on the company’s teething pains and growing pains, because journalists always seize a chance to be buttock pains.
How about no pain and all gain? Worth the wait.