back to article Tesla X e-SUV to sport monster touchscreen on the dash

Car writers are focusing on the Tesla X's gull-wing doors, but it's the electric SUV's touchscreen-tastic dashboard that does it for us. Like the Model S that the e-car company showed off at the Detroit Motor Show in January, the X will sport a 17in touchscreen as the basis of its control system. Satnav, in-car entertaiment, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice Doors

    Much as I love the look of gull wing doors they are no use here in Blighty.

    Most house garages and car park bays seem to be based on average size of an original Mini (as a lot hark back to the 60's) I can see I'd be unable to get out of it once I'd parked unless I clamber in and out through the boot.

    1. Simon 15

      It looks like they must have driven it into the garage with the doors up/open in that fist picture....

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Those doors actually take less horizontal space to open than conventional doors. Notice the position of the hinges. The door goes almost straight up.

      1. Local Group
        Thumb Up

        Good point

        Thanks. I thought it was Photoshopped.

    3. Reginald Gerard

      Gullwing doors need less clearance than normal ones

      Try that with your standard doors....

  2. aj87
    Thumb Down

    I like gadgets but this looks horrible... like when Renault "integrates" TomTom into the dashboard by just having a lump stuck out the middle.

  3. jai

    i like the touchscreen dash

    i like the lcd screen for the drivers display

    i very much like the gullwing doors (with the exception that i'd never be able to get our of my car if the cars on either side of my parking bay were present)

    but i don't like the look of the car at all. are all electric cars going to look so ugly? it's got frikken gull wing doors, why doesn't it at least look a bit like a deloran?

    1. Piro

      Hold on a minute

      Teslas so far have looked gorgeous, and I think this looks pretty good too, although I think the crossover element is pointless, just give me a Model S.

      But seriously.. ugly? Have you looked at the competition for this? Look at a BMW X5 and tell me that looks better, seriously.

      1. Bassey

        Yep, ugly

        Sorry Piro but he is absolutely spot on. This is one of the ugliest cars I've seen since the Porsche Cayenne. That rear-end is enough to induce fits of vomiting.

        Not sure about the gull-wing comments. Hasn't it been shown that gull-wings open is LESS side-space than a conventional door? Of course, if your garage roof is low you're buggered. But then, if you can afford to drop that sort of money on the Bride-of-frankenstein's hideous grandmother then you can probably afford a house with a decent sized garage.

      2. Lamont Cranston

        It looks like any modern Jag/BMW.

        ie. fugly. Shame, really, as gull wing doors are awesome. Make it look like Matt Tracker's Thunderhawk , and I will start saving, just so I can drive around with the doors open (flight, optional).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: gull wing doors

      Because the 300SL is probably still copyrighted.

  4. dotdavid

    LCD dash

    I wonder why more car manufacturers aren't looking at LCD dashboards. Are there legal issues about what dials/readouts have to be displayed to the driver, which cut down the desirability of being able to move and resize widgets on screen to your personal preferences?

    1. druck Silver badge

      They've had them for donkeys years

      It's nothing new our 2009 Modeo Titianium X has got an LCD dash.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      a dash right out of a 1980's flight simulator

      I would love to have instruments that change location/size based on the position of the steering wheel's crosbars and my arms.

    3. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

      I have a glass cockpit in my plane. It's awful, difficult to read in bright sunlight and the digital information is not so instantly interpretable as that from an analogue dial. But then, I'm an old git, what do I know.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Touchscreen controls are a dreadful idea. You can't find the button/knob/switch you're after by feel, so you've no choice but to take your eyes off the road to stare at the thing. Then you hit a bump and your finger jumps across the screen. Before you know it instead of turning on the air con, you've gone and preset all your radio stations to Vanessa Feltz.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I tried loading my tablet up with MP3s for a car journey once. Trying to control the thing without looking was pretty much impossible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        more tech needed

        The tablet should be able to tell that its facing the drivers seat and that the car is moving. It shoud then be able to integrate with the steering wheel controls; volume up/down on the left and track previous/next on the right. Do you need more controls than that? Probably not while driving.

    2. Local Group

      "Touchscreen controls are a dreadful idea."

      You're always right, AC. When all those shaking, trembling, jittery octogenarians try to turn on the windshield wipers or the defroster, their eyes are off the road for a couple of minutes. Plus, it'll take them a couple of years to figure out how it works.

      Also consider that they're the only age group that can afford to buy the new cars that have touchscreens and buy gasoline to drive them.

      I'd like to see a lot more controls on the steering wheel spokes. Maybe all the controls. The eyes aren't off the road as much when the neck nods up and down as when it twists.

  6. Silverburn

    LCD dash's

    The centre console as LCD I can live with, but from a pure safety aspect, I prefer the main driver display should be the goold ol' fahion variety. With physical dials and needles. More reliable, cheaper, and most importantly - easier to read in bright condtions, and with less eye fatigue.

    Re: these pics - check out the fit and finish on that S dashboard, and the hideous emergency switch. Lets hope that a pic from the prototype...

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Well, you say that....

      ....but I've had any number of physical rev counters and speedometers fail in vehicles I own. I have never yet had an LCD or LED one fail.

      Bright conditions have only ever been a problem, and then a very minor one, on motorbikes. In cars, the displays are normally shielded from any direct sunlight. Eye fatigue has never been a problem, either.

      So, no, I vote electronic, every time, personally.


      1. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Yeah but

        that 17" display is not shielded. It also looks like a glossy one too - even worse with reflections.

      2. Jonathon Green
        IT Angle

        Geoff "Steamed Mod" Campbell:

        " I vote electronic, every time, personally."


        My "working" 'bike for the last 6 years has been a Ducati Multistrada with an all electronic (apart from the tacho, which is on a stepper driven by the eclectic brayne) instrument and idiot light set-up hanging off the CAN bus.

        Sophisticated electronics on an Italian motorcycle. What could possibly go wrong...



        1. Geoff Campbell

          Ah, JG

          What, indeed? Do report back and let us know, won't you? :-)


    2. Jonathon Green

      Silverburn: "from a pure safety aspect, I prefer the main driver display should be the goold ol' fahion variety. With physical dials and needles."

      In an awful lot of modern cars the dials are operated by stepper motors (or similiar) driven by a computer, in my last 3 cars as far as I could work out the only connection between the dash and the rest of the vehicle appeared to be power, ground, and the multiplexed data bus (CAN or similliar) - as far as I can see the only contribution the physical analog dials made to safety compared with presenting the whole lot on a screen was to introduce additional points of failure...

      This is not to say I don't like proper dials, in an ideal world the dashboard software would have been open sourced and I'd have been able to hack it to make the speedo and tachometer behave like old-skool Smiths/Jaeger chronometrics :-)

  7. Powelly

    Display good, controls v. v. bad

    As AC points out (12:22), touchscreen controls are downright dangerous. The big advantage of physical controls is that you develop the muscle memory for where the regularly used stuff is and can therefore do things like adjust the heating, turn on the hazards, etc without looking away from the wheel. You can't do this with a touch screen because your fingers get no point of reference. This reeks of style over usability.

    Big LCD display instead of the usual dials probably isn't so bad assuming that the reflections are managed. Probably saves costs as well.

    1. Mike Dimmick

      Total agreement

      The touchscreen console for heating/air-conditioning, radio/CD, and information in my second-generation Prius (2004-2009, mine's a 2007) is awful. Thankfully many of the options you want are on the steering wheel controls and the radio has a few knobs on it for tuning as well. It's annoying not to have proper control of A/C inhibit, fan speed or vent output, though.

      Toyota deleted it from the 3rd generation Prius, though this may have been more to do with cost - the 2G display unit has an MSRP of $7,000, while the monochrome dot-matrix vacuum-fluorescent display in the 3G is $4,446. The new Aqua/Prius c has a colour TFT LCD information display but it's just a display, not a touchscreen. Toyota GB do have a new touchscreen interface, but only for interacting with a Bluetooth or USB-connected phone or MP3 player, and built-in sat nav if it's fitted. I'd still stay away from integrated sat nav, it's far more expensive than a standalone unit and usually isn't easily updateable to the latest maps.

  8. danielwalewis

    Those doors

    Nightmare in any multi-story car park round here. You'd only be able to get out of the car if you'd parked on the top floor without a car next to you.

    Also, some scrot will try to have the screen out.

  9. Jeff 8

    I like it

    I actually like the look of it. The first thing that struck me though, was how would I get out of the car in a tight parking space. The second thing was, where are the side/door mirrors?!

  10. James Geldart

    what happens when it hits 88mph....

    1. PaddyPower

      It stops and takes 12 hours to recharge.. but it gets to 88mph pretty quick..

  11. Zog The Undeniable

    Touchscreens are lethal

    You have to take your eyes off the road to use them. FAIL.

    Also, what is the range of this behemoth going to be? An all-electric SUV soulds like a bit of a non-starter, since the aerodynamics and tyre width conspire against any kind of efficiency, even if the weight problem is partly solved by regenerative braking. I'd be surprised if they manage 60 miles in the real world.

    1. Piro

      Huh, I guess the RAV4 EV never existed then

      RAV4 EV can do more than 100 miles highway, and their NiMH batteries are long lasting. Many anecdotes around the web on them.

  12. Tom 38 Silver badge

    85kw in an SUV gets you how far?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you mean 85kWh

      Asking how far 86kW gets you is like asking how far 85bhp gets you.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only the rear doors are gullwing

    the front ones open as you would expect so in low spaces those in the back can just exit via the front doors as they would in a 3-door hatch.

  14. Charles Parker

    Well the CAD dashboard shot looks nice and good quality. The reality dashboard shot looks disgusting and cheap, seriously for the price they are mugging you! More like an interior from a 1980s Fiat

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I wonder if they will let Top Gear play with one?

    Gull wing doors. Oh dear.

    Touch screen controls. Oh dear, oh dear.

    I fear Clarkson & Co would be merciless.

    Given the *usual* shape of American SUV's I think it's not bad but I'm not putting my name down.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does have its own airbag to prevent the driver getting sliced up by it in a Accident?

    1. Local Group

      Of course.

      But is there a curtain airbag for the touch screen?

  17. Eddy Ito

    SW not SUV

    Can we finally call this what it really is? It's a station wagon like all other station wagons were before some clever marketing droid decided to swap W for UV. Gull wing doors indeed; that alone kills any UV functionality. Seriously, good luck going on a ski trip with the family unless the boot is seriously impressive. The lines are fine, if a bit like an over inflated Renault but I just don't get it. I guess this isn't about going to pick up the kids, some potting soil and a few framing studs during the week and hitting the slopes, surf or fishing hole on weekends.

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