Despite all the advancements made in car interiors, the sun visor remains a relic of the past. It was introduced in the 1920’s as an exterior-mounted option, relocated inside the cabin in the 1930’s, began to be upholstered in the 1940’s, and was equipped with mirrors and vanity mirrors in the 1950’s. It’s since remained largely unchanged.
Tesla Motors, however, just reinvented the sun visor — and it’s pretty spectacular!
The Tesla Model X is perhaps the automaker’s greatest feat. It’s an all-electric, all-wheel-drive SUV that can drive up to 250 miles on a single charge, seat up to seven passengers, and blast from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It’s also luxurious and cleverly engineered.
A lot of the Model X’s features — from its falcon wing doors to its panoramic windshield — are blazing new trails in automotive design. However, as upholsterers, its sun visors stuck out most to us.
Because the Model X features the largest windshield in production, Tesla engineers had to find a new place, other than the front headliner, to house the sun visors. But the visors still needed to be accessible and both quick and easy to use. After a bit of experimenting, they chose to hide the visors in the vehicle’s A pillars.
Teslarati recently published a three-step guide and video showing how the reinvented sun visors work:
Step 1 – Detach the Model X Sun Visor from the A-pillar
The front-facing end of the Model X sun visor is attached to a multi-directional hinge that allows it to swing away from the A-pillar but also pivot up and down.
The rear-facing end of the visor docks into place via a magnet that’s secured to the vehicles B-pillar. To use the visor, detach it from the magnetic force that keeps it in place, and swing it outwards towards the front windshield.
Step 2 – Pivot, Attach and Rotate
The rear-view mirror of the Model X sits on its own halfway up the windshield. To each side of the mirror housing is an anchoring point for the sun visor.
As one swings the end of the visor closer to the rear-view mirror, a magnetic peg will emerge from the visor and attach itself to the side of the mirror housing.
At this point the Model X sun visor should be secured in place yet mobile enough to rotate up or down depending on the desired location. For those wanting extra sun protection above their heads, the visor can be flipped upwards towards the upper tinted portion of the panoramic windshield.
A cover on the visor can be flipped outwards and used as an extension by creating a larger surface area for blocking of the sun.
Step 3 – Using the Model X Vanity Mirror
A narrow vanity mirror is tucked away behind a second panel on the Model X sun visor. Flipping the second panel down will reveal an illuminated vanity mirror.
The design is both intuitive and revolutionary, which is why it’s so great. Check out the following video to see it in action:
What do you think? Why have automakers ignored the sun visor for so long? And what else can automakers do to modernize its design? Tell us in the comments section below.