Ok then, Tesla is here to stay. You can’t destroy this many metrics and remain a niche player for long. Best crash performance. Best rollover rating. Best air quality including a medical-grade bio-defense mode. Best windshield. Best ingress/egress. Best cool factor. Best acceleration. Best green cred.
Not the most fluid or thorough presentation, but true engineers aren’t polished politicians or actors. They’re real. And today’s presentation confirms that Tesla is, unfortunately for big auto and big oil, a very real problem. How will VW execs, for example, answer the engineering tour de force we saw tonight? With pretty drawings of fantasy cars, of course — assuming they’re allowed to doodle in prison.
* No nose cone. Good riddance! Time for EVs to stop the masquerade and embrace their true grill-lessness. Hope the nose paint job can handle the inevitable sandblasting on freeways. Tesla should offer a clear bra as factory option.
* “Monopost” second-row seats offer nearly infinite adjustment, plus storage underneath.
* A ghost chauffeur opens and closes the driver’s door for you. He’s visible only in infrared light and resembles Alfred from Batman.
* The falcon doors handle tight flank space better than normal doors. Bonus: they shut themselves all the way, in non-ghetto fashion! So now we can all be jelly.
* Tesla has released the most interesting vehicle in a very long time. Let the fun experimentation begin. Everyone is going to throw perfect-storm predicaments at the falcon wings to see how they respond. Will someone find a scenario Tesla hasn’t anticipated? Will an OTA update solve it? Will someone actually put a Model X on its roof to see if the doors can right the turtle, so to speak? Then again, the sensors would have to be shut off first.
* This vehicle, more than the Model S, will solidify Tesla as a cultural icon. You’ll see the X in everything from rap videos to soap operas to Hollywood blockbusters to advertisements for totally irrelevant products. Some people still don’t know the Model S. They’ll know the X first.
* People will want a piece of this brand. The stock will rise. The Model III unveiling next spring will make this one look like a lukewarm opening act, because we’ll be talking about a car you might actually order.
* A young, coarse, playful, rogue engineer now commands the full attention of the entire automobile world, and is forcing change in an industry overpopulated by grumpy, silverbacked gorillas in suits. He’s revealing them as uninspired laggards in a generation uncomfortable with risk and unwilling to adapt to technology. They balk at it. And we know that balking allows the runner to advance to scoring position . . .