If you’e ever wondered how the Tesla Model X’s Falcon Wing doors worked, here’s a demonstration video complete with the greatest children’s (and adults’, let’s be honest) toys ever: Legos.
Even if the Tesla Model X’s Falcon Wing doors have a bit of a questionable reputation for reliability, it’s hard to argue that the dual-hinged contraptions aren’t badass.
They’re cool not just because they look sexy and can actually make ingress and egress easier, but mostly because of the nerdy engineering that went in their design. A bit of over-engineering never hurt anyone, right?
Here’s a video from YouTuber, Tesla Motors Club member and Model 3 Owners club member Trev Page showing just how the X’s doors work:
Trev Page says there are two hinges on the Falcon Wing doors, one at the door/body junction, and one farther outboard. Right where the door meets the body, there are two torsion springs, which constantly apply a force to help rotate the door upward to open it.
In addition, at that same hinge are two electric actuators that not only help push the door open a bit so the torsion springs can work their magic and open the door, but they also act to oppose the torsion springs and close the doors.
At the hinge farther outboard are two pairs of electrical liftgate actuators, not unlike the ones you’d seen in modern cars with electric liftgates. They’re arranged in a way that allows them to push and pull the outer part of the door to tuck it in or open it up.
When a passenger wants to open a door, the electric actuator at the inner hinge pushes the door open a bit, the torsion springs start to move the door upward, the second hinge tucks the outer door in until the inner hinge’s torsions springs have moved the door all the way up, at which point the second hinge’s two pairs of liftgate actuators open up the outer door.
So yeah, the doors are fascinating, even if Tesla itself thinks they may be a bit too ambitious.