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Tesla Model X wins ‘Golden Steering Wheel’ award for best SUV

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 14:36
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Tesla’s Model X has been awarded the Golden Steering Wheel in the ‘Best SUV’ category. The prestigious award first put together in 1978 and run by German publication Auto Bild, recognizes the best new cars introduced each year.

Readers of Auto Bild from over 20 countries across Europe and its sister publications elevated the Tesla Model X to the top spot for its ‘futuristic cabin’ and unique Falcon Wing doors, beating out the Jaguar F-Pace and new Skoda Kodiaq.

“The electric SUV rewrites the rulebook in every way, with a futuristic cabin, clever ‘Falcon Wing’ doors and, most importantly, the astonishing electric powertrain capable of powering it from 0-62mph in a mere 3.2 seconds in P100D form. Despite this, it still manages to seat six and tow up to 2.3 tonnes.

While the small crossover sector is relatively new, the more traditional large SUV market is still thriving. Innovative upstarts Tesla managed to secure the overall gong for its new Model X, beating out the Jaguar F-Pace and new Skoda Kodiaq.”, writes AutoExpress sister publication to Auto Bild.

Tesla was quick to update its blog with news of the new crowning.

“Today, we are truly honored to announce that Model X has been awarded the Golden Steering Wheel (Das Goldene Lenkrad), one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the world. Candidates for this award are nominated by hundreds of thousands across Europe for excellence across six categories. The Golden Steering Wheel jury, composed of professional race car drivers, accomplished technicians, editors, designers, and digital and connectivity experts, then spent three days judging Model X.”

Though the Model X was plagued with early production over the complexity of electronically dual-hinged Falcon Wing doors and self-presenting front doors, Tesla has been able to address the majority of the issues through a series of Model X specific software updates.

As outlined by Tesla, below is a list of how the company was able to catapult the Model X into its award-winning position in just a short six months.

Falcon Wing Doors

  • 2x improvement in door sensor object detection
  • 25% improvement in opening/closing speed
  • Dynamic profile adjustment to indoor mode when roof sensor detects a low ceiling
  • 83% reduction in customer-reported issues with door opening/closing

Powered front doors and remote keyless entry

  • Refined keyfob detection for smart automatic front door behavior as you approach, enter, or leave the car
  • 8x improvement in keyfob battery life; automated alert from the car if the battery gets low
  • Several improvements to power front door movement and latching system, leading to 51% reduction in door issues and improved performance on hills
  • Wind noise customer-reported issues reduced by 22% with a combination of hardware modifications and fit/finish improvements

Interior Temperature Management

  • Introduced Cabin Overheat Protection by managing the maximum interior temperature of Model X through software
  • Improved HVAC performance by increasing maximum fan speed with an over-the-air software update

Second row seats

  • Multiple over-the-air updates have enhanced seat motion, obstacle detection, pitch calibration, and usability
  • Software enhancements have added intelligent behaviors between seats, adjusting spacing differently, for example, depending on which rows are occupied

Infotainment System

  • Touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity improvements via over-the-air software update
  • Largest user interface overhaul since the launch of Model S in over-the-air Software 8.0 rollout

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