On a call with analysts today following the release of its fourth quarter earnings, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked about the rollout of the company’s most recent vehicle, the crossover Model X. He said, in hindsight, the company probably should’ve tried to do less with the first iteration of the vehicle, but he had some grand statements to make about Tesla’s first two electric cars, which were somewhat contradictory.
After answering the rollout question, Musk went on a tangent with his thoughts on the car:
Honestly think it’s probably the best car ever. I’m not sure anyone is going to make a car like this again. I’m not sure Tesla would make a car like this again. I mean, I’d be surprised if somebody buys the X and, particularly if the software is refined, if it’s not the product they love more than any product they’ve ever bought.
Tesla said in a release that it only delivered 206 Model Xs in the last quarter, the first full quarter it was on sale.
Later in the call, when asked to clarify whether the Model X was better than the Model S, Musk had this to say:
This is a question of owner preference. I mean, I personally still prefer to drive the Model S over the X, because I like the lower position of a sedan. And the S, in terms of performance, is about 10% better in an acceleration through handling and whatnot than the X.
Which makes it sounds like Musk actually prefers to drive the Model S, even though he thinks the Model X is the best car ever. To make things even less clear, he followed up with these thoughts:
So it really depends on owner optimization. … One of the best features, maybe the best feature of the X, is the cockpit style front windshield, which gives you this amazing panoramic view as you drive. So a lot of people are like that in an SUV, and that’s the reason they buy that. It really depends on personal preference, and we’ll see what results are once we actually put the vehicle in stores and people take test drives.
So the X is the best if you like the height on the road that SUVs give you, otherwise the S is the best, if you like that better.
And all of that says nothing for the company’s forthcoming Model 3, which Tesla plans to unveil on March 31. Perhaps that will also be the best car ever made, as long as you don’t prefer driving the Model S, or X.