The Tesla Model X SUV’s Falcon Wing doors have been a target of criticism all the way back to when they were first revealed, several years ago. Many have argued that the doors are impractical, and are/were likely to work terribly in the rain or snow. Early reports seem to not corroborate these assumptions or arguments though, and most of the owners that I’ve heard from have had no complaints on the matter.
With possible issues in mind, though, Tesla released a firmware update for the Model X a short time ago that introduced an “Umbrella Mode,” which allowed one to open the Falcon Doors only partially, in order to limit possible issues with rain or snow getting into the car.
Following his great many earlier videos on the Model S, Model X owner and semi-celeb Bjørn Nyland of Norway recently posted a video demonstrating how the Umbrella Mode works. Enjoy.
Teslarati provides more:
In essence, opening the falcon wing door using the icon that’s center of the opening arch shown on the touchscreen display allows them to open more quickly due to a shorter distance of travel, but also at a different angle with higher pitch. That increased pitch should theoretically better facilitate the runoff of rain and snow.
…With the door partially open, passengers must scrunch down a bit to get in or out of the vehicle, but its because of the lower opening height and angle that it provides some protection against rain, snow, or sleet — especially if there is a breeze blowing against the side of the car.
On that note, CleanTechnica will be performing a long-term review of the Model X over the coming months (and longer) so hopefully we’ll get an idea of how well the doors function in rain and snow sometime soon. The review will be conducted by an owner that lives in California though, so maybe we’ll have to wait a fair bit, until it rains and snows…