1 Thing Tesla Investors Need to Watch in 2013

Each year, the Detroit Auto Show plays host to some of the world's most interesting concept cars. The nagging question (as always) is whether consumers will buy fanciful designs such as Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) Model X when it comes to market in 2014.

So far, the verdict is "yes," but by a slimmer margin that some investors might  expect. When The Wall Street Journal conducted a poll in which it asked enthusiast readers whether they would "build" or "bag" the Gull-winged Model X -- think of the time-traveling DeLorean from Back to the Future -- only 56% said "build."

Toyota's (NYSE: TM  ) new Corolla Furia led the pack, with more than 70% of readers approving of the design, while Ford's (NYSE: F  ) Lincoln MKC rated slightly below the Model X, with 55% saying "build."

Surprised? So was Fool contributor Tim Beyers, especially given how reviewers and premium consumers have taken to Tesla and its Model S sedan, which Motor Trend magazine named as its "Car of the Year" for 2013.

The company needs the Model X to engender as much or more enthusiasm in the year ahead. Will it happen? Tim answers this question and more in the following video. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On January 21, 2013, at 3:35 PM, haid1 wrote:

    The Model X is a specialization of the Model S. It does have some unique bits: towing, all wheel drive option, wacky doors. But its more similar to the Model S than different.

    One doesn't evaluate the red version vs. the blue version of a car.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 12:44 AM, Shiggity wrote:

    The WSJ incorrectly defined the doors as gull-wing doors, they are not. Gull-wing doors have one hinge, the model X 'falcon-wing door' has a double hinge.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0I7dByeTt4

    Doors opening @ 16:20

    The double hinge is specifically designed to open in very tight spaces.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 5:56 PM, JackB125 wrote:

    The "Falcon Wing" doors were designed to require less side clearance than typical minivan sliding doors.

    No roof racks though... But, you probably wouldn't want to screw-up your aerodynamics that way on an EV in any case.

    On a different note, it looks to me like a set of Model X's might make an excellent taxi fleet. Although the initial purchase cost would be high, compared to ICE vehicles, maintenance and fuel costs would be much, much less. And with the right equipment, depleted battery packs could be swapped out for fresh ones in less than 2 minutes -- no need to wait for recharging as long as you have sufficient extra battery packs. As a taxi, the Model X has incredible storage space for luggage, seats 7, and has very easy ingress/egress for older or handicapped passengers. Using the same platform as the Model S, it should also have an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride. If I owned a taxi company, I'd be crunching the numbers...

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