Apple may never buy Tesla, but Tesla’s CEO has fully bought into Apple’s penchant for keynote stagecraft.
At the unveiling of the Tesla Model X SUV, Elon Musk had a lot to show off, but one of the most anticipated features of the new vehicle was its Falcon Wing doors, a close relative to the gull-wing doors that have been a trademark feature on various other cars — most famously on the DeLorean.
Musk had a surprise for the crowd, though, particularly any doubters about the practicality of such doors in tight spaces. To show how the sensor-laden Model X doors can open even in tight spaces, Musk slipped the Model X in between two other competing SUVs on the stage, simulating a extremely tight parking situation. Then this happened:
Musk then showed how the regular doors on the other two SUVs couldn’t even fully open far enough for a person to get in and out in such a small space, but he could easily slip in and out of the Model X, since there was no door in the way.
Tesla says the doors are double-hinged, and they open upwards before they open outwards, which means they only need about 12 inches of space on the side of the vehicle to open at all. They’re also equipped with three different kinds of sensors — capacitive, inductive and sonar — to check for obstacles as they open.
Of course, when your vehicle starts at $132,000, you’d expect nothing less. That and an interior capable of withstanding an anthrax attack.