When Tesla first announced that it was producing a pickup truck, the world wondered what Tesla founder Elon Musk had up his sleeve, and after months of teasing, rumors, and mystery. Tesla has finally taken the veil of secrecy off of its latest pet project, and the results are interesting to say the least.
The exterior styling of the Cybertruck will arguably be the most controversial aspect of the project. There are plentiful amounts of angles, creases, and wedges throughout the exterior. Some folks have compared it to a doorstop, while others highlight its resemblance to stealth fighter aircraft. Either way, it will turn heads, and be a potent debate starter for years to come.
The body panels steal a page from the DMC Delorean, and are made out of a special stsinless steel alloy to help resist the effects of dings, dents, and even rust. Musk even upped the ante by saying it can resist a hit from a sledgehammer and 9mm bullets. The windows are just as rugged, and are made out of a special armored glass. But it appears that Tesla engineers have more work to do, with the material shattering two times when struck with a heavy object. Our theory here is that the concept didnt have the actual armored glass installed, and instead used regular grade windows for showong purposes, with the demonstration being unplanned.
The bed (or vault in Tesla speak) utilizes a motorized cover to help protect cargo, and the tailgate even has a built-in ramp to help ease loading of small items including the Tesla ATV that the company unveiled near the end of its event. While the ramp is a welcome feature, it also takes away room for more practical features like the assist steps seen in Ford F-150 models.
But it wouldn’t be a proper Tesla if Elon Musk did not reveal otherworldly statustics, and at least in this guise, this truck can indeed cash the lofty checks it has written. For example, 0 to 60 takes 2.9 seconds for tri-motor equipped models, with these variants also posting a 10.8 second quarter mile time. Tesla also claims that the truck “corners like its on rails” a distinction typically reserved for Lotus offerings, so we are curious to see if this considerably bigger vehicle can indeed pull it off. Tesla revealed that owners can get up to 500 miles per charge in its most efficent guise, with base models achieving 250 miles of range.
The Cybertruck uses a trick air suspension that can give up to 16 inches of ground clearance with the suspension even being able to be lowered on the fly. The rear end can also be lowered separately to help ease loading as well as to make full use of the ramp. The interiir is very simplistic, but Tesla’s massive infotainment system is still present, and the roadster’s steering wheel makes the leap into the Cybertruck.
But can the Cybertruck for all of its futuristic flair and charm, indeed be a true pickup? Tesla certainly thinks so, with the company claiming it can haul up to 3500 lbs, and tow 14,000 lbs. Electric charging ports and even seperate air lines are baked right into the core package. Elon Musk also claims that a properly equipped Cybertruck can tow “nearly infinite mass” but we are waiting for more information on that front before we make an opinion on that ambitious proclamation.
Pricing for the Cybertruck is a potent trump card for the model, with the base model starting at $39,900 for the base single motor model. Opt for the top of the line tri-motor model, and it will only cost $69,900 before taxes and fees. Keep in mind, this price nets you a truck with hypercar performance, a 14,000 lb towing capability, and a 500 mile electric driving range. If you had to choose between the Tesla or a similarly priced F-150, it would be a very tough choice for some customers.
That said, the Cybertruck is facing an uphill battle, with Tesla not only having to contend with the manufacturing superiority offered by the domestic Big 3, but also a rapidly growing pool of EV contenders including the Rivian R1T, the all-electric Ford F-150, and even an upcoming EV truck from General Motors.
Musk revealed that pre-ordering for the Cybertruck has begun, with deliveries of the entry level version expected to begin in late 2021. We are curious to see if Tesla can maintain this timetable, considering the firm’s past track record with other model launches. Also check out Tim’s thoughts on the Cybertruck in the video below.
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