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IMO this happens because AWD design and implementation for an electric car is complex. But eventually the Model X will be even better than an ICE AWD car because it will allow to the Model X the torque to be applied to all wheels more efficiently than an ICE AWD car.
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Why not jump on trying to get Gen III done sooner as it won't be AWD? Or does it literally require the gigafactory-produced batteries?
Plus you have to factor in the infrastructure of all the robots, equipment and personnel TSLA will have to add in order to build a Model E.
A tesla is much more like a computer than a car. Look at the economics of scale for computers and components. The early days of the pentium III processor. They were expensive, then eventually the prices came down as the market was saturated with them. The prices of a p III processors really came down again with the introduction of the p4 chip.
The same thing can be said about iphones.
My point being people who can afford the MS or MX are willing to pay the higher price and thus TSLA can make a higher profit, which they will invest it back into the goal of attaining lower battery prices via economics of scale.
TSLA is wise to build a car that is on the bleeding edge of technology as there is always people willing to pay the premium to have the latest and greatest....
Future Tesla Pickup Owner
While implementing AWD and Falcon doors certainly represent larger engineering problems than the Model S, I believe Elon is on record as saying there is a design challenge with the Model X, namely making a car with much greater height and volume as alluring as sedans and sports cars.
1) tweaks that most owners would not notice, but would make a significant difference,
2) making the aesthetics subtlety even better than what we have seen,
3) increasing ride height and clearance above the Modal S while still achieving reasonable handling and efficiency.
1 and 2 were so related that maybe they should be the same point. 3 might be more projection based on what I hope the Model X achieves above all other CUV/SUV's before it.
I am in area where road clearance is truly needed on dirt roads at certain times of the year which is why I own a CUV. However I hate driving that vehicle because it corners terribly around the twisty roads due to high cog. The Model X has the potential to blow all competitors away in this regard by creating a much lower cog and hence better cornering vehicle than other CUV/SUV's while still providing adequate ground clearance. The challenge of increasing clearance while not taking too much of a hit in handling or efficiency is huge.
I am glad that the Tesla engineers have gained some real world experience via the Model S with customization and optimization of air suspension systems which I believe will become key to solving the above issue for the Model X. If the Model X does not run high enough by default, the air suspension system will need to do better than just temporarily raising up for driveways and parking. I would want the Model X to be able to go at least 35mph in a raised state while still being able to corner well.
But if you want to know what the real delay is about; It's the HC (hover craft) mode their developing to replace air suspension. It even senses large objects underneath and automatically raises the vehicle temporarily to clear them. I -- know -- I remember him talking about that somewhere. It's funny how posting about ones memory of what Musk "said" can serve that dream/wish fulling function so well.
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