Cranking up the ‘wow’ factor to implausibly high levels is already the calling card of Tesla’s brief existence, and there’s no question that the Model X’s automated doors contribute bullishly to that progressive theme.
The motorised front doors, which gently puff towards you once the handle is pressed, are at least familiar from the Model S.
But it’s the rear doors – which bring to mind a DeLorean and about a dozen other sci-fi movie props – that are the real coup de grâce.
Admittedly, they take some getting used to; they are neither speedy nor particularly elegant in their mechanism, and nor are they as solidly put together as a conventional alternative. They are also extravagantly exhibitionist; any child emerging from their shadow can expect (for a good while, at least) to be stared at.
Egress from them, though, is impressively unimpeded. The advantage of the doors is that they lever a significant portion of the roof off, meaning that occupants simply slide out without having to scrunch themselves into the right shape first.
This is particularly noticeable when exiting the third row, a process that is normally ripe with trip hazards. Tesla claims the doors need less space than the sliding variant often seen on big MPVs, although in our experience the sensors seemed keen to have plenty of room to work with. That’s fine in a Palo Alto parking lot but potentially less so at your local Tesco Express.