GM Benchmarking Tesla Model X At Milford Proving Grounds55
Last week, our spy photographers came across a convoy of non-GM electric vehicles on its way to the GM Milford Proving Grounds. The test vehicles were quickly ushered through security, making it difficult to capture any photos. But what we did get is photographic evidence that GM is now benchmarking the Tesla Model X all-electric luxury crossover SUV.
In addition to the Tesla Model X, the convoy also included the Audi e-tron and Jaguar iPace, another pair of high-end luxury SUVs that rely solely on battery power for motivation. It appears we have a theme on our hands.
The Tesla Model X is currently running laps on the North/South straight of the GM Milford Proving Grounds, and that it’s tagged with a number “3” on the windshield and on the rear window, indicating its running order with regard to the other vehicles in the test group. So, what does all this mean?
With GM poking and prodding the latest luxury EV crossover SUVs on the market makes us conclude only one thing – that some sort of a Tesla Model X fighter is in the works from The General. A new model for the Cadillac stable is the first obvious answer here, likely following in the footsteps of the unnamed electric crossover that brand teased earlier this year during the debut of the Cadillac XT6 at the 2019 North American International Auto Show. Notably, GM executives have previously mentioned that Cadillac will lead GM’s technology and electric vehicle efforts.
The teaser of the electric Cadillac crossover SUV is believed to ride on the new GM BEV3 (third-generation Battery Electric Vehicle) platform, which is slated to underpin a bunch of future GM electric vehicles. The architecture, slated to finish development in 2021, is also expected to support front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive applications.
Upwards of 300 miles per charge seems reasonable, given the current state of battery technology and comments previously made by GM President Mark Reuss, while Cadillac’s latest Super Cruise tech will take on Tesla’s Autopilot features.
Of course, development of this magnitude takes time, and it’s likely we won’t see a new all-electric Cadillac SUV for at least two to three years. But with spy shots confirming that The General is now benchmarking the Tesla Model X, we at least know that GM is actively working on it.
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And…… here comes scott3 with some comment that’s going to paint a picture of GM being ahead of Tesla in the EV space, and it’s supposed advantages, and disadvantages of EVs, and the consumers general consensus.
You don’t know where GM is at in the development, but you would be foolish to build a vehicle without knowing your competition. The Model X hasn’t been a huge seller for Tesla, but it is very expensive and has good profit margins. The Model X always reminded me of a Buick Rendezvous, but more modern.
They have to learn from the best in the market.
Tesla’s have the equipment to be very INexpensive. Million mile drivetrain, sensors and software will allow it to put on 15,000 miles a month to become a robotaxi. There are Teslas in Europe with over 500,000 miles on them. This is a new world.
Zach, You and TESLA4ME should get together and have a competition on who has the most money.
Because I am but a poor parlor boy who would like some more porridge please.
When I finally rolled off my grandmas couch, because my mom lives in the basement on grandpas couch, I thought I would comment again, just for you guys !!
I am not an observer yet.
Again have OWNED five Teslas and still have three !
So yes, others CAN afford them, and yes others here ARE owners !
There is no difference in the cars shown today and the ones shown yesterday.
O the tires are wider, the fenders are wider, they have vents in the sides.
They have unicorn horns coming out of the hoods.
This is Tesla, They make cars.
And you people really think if Tesla had something great to release they would save it just for a rainy day ?
Who are you people, what do you drive ?
Tesla simply has nothing great anymore, and most are average or below.
O but you just wait, next year it will be great, then next year, you just wait next year it will be great, WHAT !!!!
Where is the onslaught !!!
When is it coming !!!
All electric Tesla, how about one electric Tesla, heck how about one electric anything people want !!!!
A fender and a headlight on a Tesla SUV with a ( wait for it ) all new 2.0T engine.
How are the sales of those Model X Teslas going ? leading their own segment still ?
How about those CT6’s with the 2.0T, those sales were so great, man I wish I could still get one of those and bet I bet I still could.
Where is the new Diesel in the 1500 truck ? O that’s right its the EPA’s fault.
How many orders are there for that Model S Tesla, or Roadster, I’m sure millions, and millions.
People can hardly afford a Bolt but im sure the Model S for more will fly out of the dealerships.
Tesla still has the Escalade though, but slipping right !!
O but wait the new ones will be so great like the rest of these new Teslas the sales will just skyrocket off the charts.
And the stock, where is that, o yeah eight cents better then coming out of bankruptcy, well eight cents is better then lower — right—
Got a bunch of that stock Zach, how about you TESLA4ME, well at least you get a dividend check, or did.
Lets not forget its June, Tesla’s Autopilot is going to be running smoothly in six months, right.
Or will the NHTSA be the blame for that ?
I sure hope all you Tesla customer service reps and dealer employees on here can just ream me a new one when Tesla is once again great ( in the USA ) I really could care less about what China has.
And yeah how is that China and Mexico thing working out for you ?
When that gets fixed it will be great, just you wait.
Again wait, and wait, and wait, and wait.
Elon said, the best time to deal with a problem is right away, look at the truck changes already, that’s good.
And the non fix recalls still, the lawsuits still, the faulty parts, the HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Seem like its all just going as planned, real smooooooooooth !
Funny thing, I don’t work for Tesla. I don’t own a Tesla. I don’t work for any government agency. I don’t own stock. All your points, hold no merit against me. I’m a typical consumer who is intrigued by EV’s. I currently rent a Chevy Bolt EV. It’s a great car. Although it’s a Lame first attempt from GM as an Practical BEV. Its MSRP is 37K~, and there are other models from other manufacturers that are far cheaper w/ better warranties, and safety features standard. Model 3, Kia Soul EV, Hyundai Kona EV, Hyundai Ioniq… it goes on.
The problem with your comment is all the cars you mention outside the Model 3 are more rare than unicorns. And the Model 3 is only sold at MSRP. So I guarantee the Bolt is at least $10k cheaper than any Model 3. Also the Bolt is almost 3 years old at this point. So it taken years for the competition (sans Model 3) to catch up to a 3 year old vehicle (and barely exceed it with limited availability).
I read a lot of your input/comments on GMA. This is the first time I have seen you triggered to the point of, bringing out the lion in you.
I think it’s pretty cool!
I love rants that bring out the fire and compassion in peeps.
As long as it’s not a personal attack.
Which you managed very well.
Sometimes, one must light the flame to bring the fire!
Well I am late to this party. I see we have people on both sides here. One with Zach in the want to be world and the other my impostor 3.1 that is to the other extreme.
Gm can benchmark the X and see what it does number wise but there is little to learn here. GM know better and will leave the funky doors off. They know not to wrap the glass into the roof as it gets hot inside. yes I have been in an X and the owner advised how he wished it could be blocked off.
The styling is blah and at this point getting old.
The reality in the real world is EV products are only suited for a small segment of the market at this point. Not everyone can first afford them, not everyone can live with them and everyone is not in love with them.
Tesla is still struggling and while they play with the numbers they still have a lot of work to do. They are successful for a EV company but if they were selling ICE products they would be viewed as a company on the brink.
Zach it is time to take the rose color glasses off and realize this is a slow growth segment and I agree it will improve but I disagree it will replace the ICE products anytime soon.
Passion is great, dreams are fun but reality pays the bills.
Sorry I use facts not passion to make a case. Sorry if it is not as dramatic but it usually ends up being on target.
Right now Tesla is still heavily challenged by production. They are piss poor in production. Their quality issues have dropped below Fiat levels and just above Lada on build quality.
The interiors are of quality below the price range. Large screens can not cover for drab styling either.
Right now they need and had better step up the S model as that is where they find their money. Right now with dropping sales on an aging car they will be finding it a greater challenge to bring out any more products as the 3 even in the numbers they are selling is not bringing in enough cash for future products to be developed and put into productions. The failure in China is also a major problem.
I look a the details not the press releases from Musk. I recommend you do the same. Those who can miss the 3.1 can also miss a lot of other important details.
Truth is when transitions hit they hit FAST. Don’t get lulled by what has happened the last 100 years. We used horses for centuries. When the cars hit transition was FAST!
If you snooze you lose! S and X might be aging models, BUT they are years ahead. Model 3 sales are skyrocketing, and when the Model y hits watch out.
Driven by falling solar prices. Falling battery prices. And autonomy through better computers and software.
It happens EVERY TIME!
It will happen faster than it would have before investment but ICE engines will remain the norm for at least another 20 years and maybe longer. Mush of it still depends on better batteries and much more infrastructure.
Places like California yes they can become the norm but in other places like South Dakota and the other fly over states they will remain the exception.
Also as long as the oil prices remain low and America keeps producing at the rate it is fuel will remain cheap.
3 sales are growing but they are still not bringing in the money they need to bring new product to market. The quality is horrid and not everyone is in love with them.
The key to the future is continued investment and improvement in vehicles and infrastructure. Also to pace it so it is not a burden on the automakers as they continue to fund it with ICE sales.
The day is coming Tesla will have to make a merger, partnership or sell out. They can not sustain the program they have with the increase of competitions as it comes to market.
It is easy to catch fish if you shoot them in a barrel. It is a different game out in the open market with competition.
It’s working with today’s batteries. 300 mile going to 400 miles range and getting better.
Infrastructure? You have no electricity? All that you need is a dryer plug.
Ah South Dakota…. It’s been 5 years since I been there. But last I was there they had electricity. Tesla supercharger stations across South Dakota. Have you checked the Tesla supercharger map?
ICE sales fell last year, EV sales went up last year….
It has only just begun.
As ICE car sales fall the market will be flooded with used ICE cars. So you will buy an ICE car for $30,000 but have it worth $3,000 as soon as it hits the road.
Competition like the Bolt? Drive it across country… LOL! How are sales?
BMW already feeling the pain. Tesla outselling Porsche. GM is out of the game, so it Ford. Fiat.Chrysler about dead. Closest is VW.
Tesla knows more about motors and BATTERIES! Tesla OWNS over 1/2 of the LI-ON market. They know more about batteries and motors than anybody.
Tesla IS the competition!
The fact is most people don’t have 220 in a garage, Many people don’t even have a garage. Some don’t even have a driveway.
So while 98% of the affluent buyers of a Tesla have no problems the average Joe has less options or no options to charge and depending where they live the other options are limited and time consuming.
You need to stop letting your passion over run the reality of the real world.
As for electricity and motors Tesla has no real advantage over anyone else tech wise. Why are the others holding back? because they don’t have over inflated stock prices propping them up so they can sell cars with out making profits to pay dividends.
If GM had done the same exact thing Tesla has done the stock holders would have cashed out and sold out. Tesla stock holders are hanging on only because they see Tesla as a tech company and not an automaker.
But even they have their limits.
The EV market is still just a small sliver of the entire automotive segment and the reason Tesla is the largest is because the others are not willing to lose that much money yet.
Now look back to 1900. No gas stations. All horses. Where will you get gas? You will never go far. They developed it.
Now setting up charging stations are MUCH EASIER! Electric power is EVERYWHERE! If you have a need it will be filled.
Setting up charging stations is not cheap or easy.
#1 property where most need to be is not cheap.
#2 with present charge times you need more property to have more cars sitting on Chargers.
#3 many are reluctant to invest in many chargers as the technology could change overnight.
Now you get batteries that charge in the time it takes to fill a tank of gas and every oil company would replace some pumps with chargers.
They need to get them in and out not blocking things up that is how money would be made and why people would invest.
You won’t see broad-based adoption of EVs until you can press a pop up panel, grab a handle, lift your “briefcase” style battery (weighing 10 lbs. or less) out of your vehicle, carry it inside, and plug into a 110 wall outlet.
At present, automakers just cant make that happen. EVs still need to be tethered to charging stations.
In my area, young and old are flocking downtown to live. In a 6 block radius around me, there are FOUR large multi-unit residentials being built.
In what world are city-scape parking garages going to have charging stations for EACH parking spot?
Nebber. Nebber Nebber! LOL! Won’t LOL!
Tesla seems to make it happen. LOL!
With car computers and sensors coming down in price, they WILL NOT be paying the big price to park their car. And waiting for constant maint. The price of Uber type will be much lower. Owning a car is not necessary. Went to Ikea the other day and brought home a 6 1/2 foot bookcase home on the city bus…. Hauled 10 cases of Coke home on the bus today. There is always a way. I live in an apartment and IF I decided to own an EV it would be a Tesla because there is a Tesla Supercharging station 4.9 miles from my home. While it’s charging I can shop at the Meijer Grocery store.
Private ownership of cars is becoming a thing of the past. And if you do own a car you will put it on the network and rent it out. It will pay the bills.
Welcome to the future.
“Setting up charging stations is not cheap or easy.
Tesla has 1,533 Supercharger Stations with 13,344 Superchargers
Excuse #1 “property where most need to be is not cheap.
You can set up 40 chargers in the same area as a gas station!”
Excuse #2 “with present charge times you need more property to have more cars sitting on Chargers.”
As I said you can have 40 chargers in the same area as a gas station.
40 chargers 40 minute charging time 1 car comes off every minute IF full!
Excuse #3 “many are reluctant to invest in many chargers as the technology could change overnight.”
Tesla GIVES AWAY destination chargers for FREE for motels etc etc!
Another Excuse! “Now you get batteries that charge in the time it takes to fill a tank of gas and every oil company would replace some pumps with chargers.”
As more EVs hit the road, gas stations will become massage parlors or restaurants.
And ANOTHER EXCUSE! “They need to get them in and out not blocking things up that is how money would be made and why people would invest.”
Have you seen a supercharger station?
Hey GM how about you benchmark the Model 3 instead?
The X and S are about to get a major overhaul.
That is GM, they will benchmark outdated/going to be outdated products , come up with another GM product and by that time the bench marked one also will have a new overhauled version out . So GM will lag again.
Model 3 may run for couple more years, they will do it near end of life cycle.
They also had the iPace and E-Tron, so I think they have a general idea where the bar is. As far as range is concerned, they need to be at or over 300 miles because you know the new Model X will be. Tesla has new higher capacity batteries coming soon.
The iPace and the E-Tron aren’t even as good as the 2012 Model S so again who cares.
Benchmark the Top Tech especially since your car is not coming out until at least two years from now.
Benchmarking as the name implies means a base for your product. You look at the performance, noise, harshness and vibration, fit and finish, etc… Then you look at where you can meet or exceed those specifications and keep it in your price target. If GM can make a Model X competitor that’s $30k less that has a 0-60’s at 6’s, more traditional doors and interior I don’t think a lot of people will complain assuming the range is similar.
It comes to understanding what the market wants. Tesla threw everything at a wall and then choose everything that stuck and fell to the ground. Hell removing the rear doors alone would save thousands. So you could easily prune the Model X features and get a desirable (non minivan looking) vehicles that could sell for thousands less.
The S/X is being delivered with new more efficent motors for the past few months so there is benchmarking to be gained although we don’t know if this model has the newer motors or not…
Yup true but they’re going to be getting a new Battery Pack as well and new interior.
GM showed a pic of their next Gen EV and it’s a larger SUV so the X is the best Tesla to benchmark…I would be shocked if GM hasn’t already extensively tested a Model 3…
Wow they are benchmarking to these low standards! GM just keeps swinging a bat and missing the ball.
Benchmark Tesla after 4 years – way to go GM – so nimble, so quick, so …… nah….
True but at least they are investing. More than can be said of other major Auto Makers.
Investing in fools gold. IMHO, let someone else spend the money and resources and blaze the trail. Like it or not, Tesla has the first mover advantage for EVs and it will be difficult for anyone to catch them. Better for GM to form an alliance with another automaker for this technology that has no guarantee of catching on mainstream. Instead, GM is playing catchup and wasting a lot of money doing so while their current product suffers.
If you sit back to “see what is happening” you will be too late.
You have to set the standard.
First mover has some advantages but Tesla doesn’t have the resources to benefit from it. So Tesla’s biggest threat are the fast followers that have cash in hand to move into markets (i.e. GM, Toyota and VW). Do you honestly think Tesla will outsell VW in Europe once the ID cars come out? What about the US when GM, Kia, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc… all have EVs available. Tesla has enjoyed a market with basically zero real competitors – that’s starting to change.
Start with the whole LI-ON battery market.
Tesla takes more than half….
Then take away all the LI-ON batteries for cellphones and flashlights and laptops ETC….
Then all the other car makers take the left over scraps.
How many cars can you make?????
You mean like Tesla is?
They cannot keep up with demand. They manufacture 1,100 Model 3’s a Day. Not bad for a Market that everyone is saying doesn’t exist.
Tesla isnt anything to Benchmark, really. GM has superior technology, the idiots running the company just sat down on it,
Is that so?
When BMW tore apart a Model 3 they realized that they were in trouble.
A performance Model X will outperform many of your performance cars.
Tesla is not standing still. New batteries. New chargers. Better motors.
4 years is a LONG time in the technology world. Good luck.
That is exactly right.
Every Auto Maker that still takes Tesla lightly is in Deep trouble.
“Upwards of 300 miles per charge seems reasonable, given the current state of battery technology”
325 and 370 now for Tesla now, heading for 400 miles soon.
Range is not an issue. Charge times and number of charging locations are the major issue. We still need batteries that will charge in the time to fill a tank of gas and then they can locate chargers at most gas stations where people can charge and go not taking up space.
Not only are charge times a life style changing issue but it is an economic issue for companies that would build charging stations. They need cars to plug in charge and move on and not take up space for several hours. Numbers turned make money and if they can do that they will build more charging stations.
Even Tesla is limiting time charging ins some areas to 80% capacity.
The next issue is used EV cars. Many will be treated like a old Cell Phone. Used most will hold little value as most people will want the new models with better technology and new batteries.
The limitations you speak about are more geared to any EV on the market that’s NOT Tesla…First, for the average person, you do 98% charging at home and/or at work and possibly only need to charge when you take long trips…Most household have multiple cars, if you plan on taking a 1000 mile road trip, why not take the spouses bigger ICE SUV? If you do decide to charge, with the tesla you have the supercharging network, it’s integrated into the cars navigation so you don’t even search where a charger is and you can also see which stations are congested…Rarely do you either arrive with nearly zero range nor do you generally charge to 100% so often you’re there for under a half hour…There are faster superchargers that are just starting to deploy, at its peak state of charge it gives 75 miles in 5mins…
It’s all about supply and demand with resale, build a dork-mobile like a Leaf, there will be little resale value, Teslas hold their value often better than their ICE competitors; most lease EVs anyways…
I take a break every 120 miles. So make it at a charging station. No big deal. Several hours? Tesla is NOT GM. 80% is recommended anyway. Great that I will be able to buy a Tesla cheap!
120 is fine if you have all day or Prostate issues.
I hope they are not trying to reverse-engineer the “Falcon” doors. That would be a Ford thing.
Seriously, though. You would think that with talented engineers, most of the educated world would not need much time in a competitor’s car. All of the knowledge is present. How to use it to gain an advantage, should be obvious. Take what is there, think harder and more creatively, and hope the company you work for, green-lights the funds to supersede the others. But, it’s GM. Old habits never die…
But, I do get the need to try on the suit before making a better one. That is s no-brained that has been around since the beginning of time.
That’s why, square stone tires, turned round:)
No one is dumb enough to include the doors. Companies that have a grasp of production would never have taken them on. They have been a burden , a quality issue and just a pain. Even Musk admitted they should have passed on them.
Scott. Was that directed at my sarcastic comment and the pun that followed?
“Falcon doors”? That would be a Ford thing”.
Ford made a car named Falcon.
I know you know this!
Of course, those doors will only be a part of history that only, “ opens” (lol) future conversations concerning failed engineering and bad decisions.
GM can learn from the DeLorean DMC-10 which has gull wing doors for decades and they all still work. I see many of them here in Puerto Rico, where John would had built them initially and cheaper than in Ireland, and he would not needed to get cash illegally.
I guess you never had on fall and hit you?
There is nothing wrong with conventional doors. They work fine and have few issues.
If it’s not broke don’t fix it.
Better access to the rear seats. You can actually stand in the car with the doors open.
No it won’t fall and hit you!
The Tesla Falcon Doors are probably the most convenient rear doors on the market besides minivans. You can literally stand underneath them if you are a parent and strap your kids in with ease.
Gull wind doors open wide out requiring a big space next to the door. Tesla falcon wing doors open open slightly the go up. THey also have sensors that prevent them from hitting anything.
If you can’t beat the competition, copy as much as you can and sell for less.
I’m ok with that. Just hurry up and get it out there. Give us choices.
Live to dream that Cadillac’s upcoming electric crossover vehicle will share some of the things of the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV at Auto China 2018 in Beijing which featured a 370 mile range with 4 second 0-60.
Great! Where is it? Then they need the batteries to build them. And a charging network to run them.
I REALLY would like to see GM come out with them, but they are sitting on their hands.
They need to start building a battery factory NOW! VW was relying on suppliers to get batteries. Now they are planning a battery factory. They just don’t understand how fast these transitions come. Tesla has a new battery design coming. More energy density, 2x more life and cheaper cost. It is bound to happen.
Experts are so often the most wrong. Especially the ones in the industry. That is where outside companies take over from the long existing companies. Out with the old companies, in with new companies like Rivian, Tesla and Dyson. BMW is making the same foolish mistake. Don’t become a Kodak!