Tesla finally unveiled their long awaited Cybertruck on Thursday at the Tesla design center in Los Angeles to a packed crowd. The event started off with a beautiful display of lights And a short intro by a hologram of a young girl in a short dress after which Elon Musk strolled in. The whole event had a very cyberpunk like feel to it with Musk’s assistants dressed like the actors in the Matrix with long trench coats and futuristic suits.
Now coming to the truck itself when I first saw it, I thought it looked futuristic but also quite comical as it looked more like a rendering of a futuristic concept pickup truck or something that I would expect to see in a video game but not in real life. However, by the end of the presentation, I felt like the oddness of its look has sort of grown on me and I feel like the fact that it looks so different from any other truck out there and that they have been so bold in their design without trying to play it safe is part of the appeal as well. It kind of reminds me of toothless from the movie How To Train Your Dragon in the sense that it looks cute but is still very powerful.
The presentation starts off with Tesla’s Chief designer Franz von Holzhausen showing off the strength of the Cybertruck’s external structure by swinging a sledgehammer first to a regular truck door and then to the Cybertruck’s. However, this wasn’t all that convincing as It was obvious that he hit the regular truck door a lot harder. Next was the “armor glass” test which ended up being a complete fail as the glass cracked when Franz tossed a steel ball onto it. However, I’m not sure if they didn’t expect this to happen or whether it was some kind of a marketing ploy but Elon did look a bit unsettled when it happened, so I can’t say. My favourite part of the whole presentation was when they brought in the ATV and loaded it onto the truck while showing off it’s retracting bed cover and adaptive suspension . That was really cool.
Coming to the truck itself, it’s construction features an exoskeleton instead of a body on frame that is found in most pickup trucks. The exoskeleton is made from cold rolled steel which supposedly can be up to 20% stronger than hot rolled steel. The armor glass according to Elon is bullet proof and can stop a 9mm bullet but based on the demo where the glass cracked with a steel ball, I have my doubts about whether it’s true. The truck has 100 cubic feet external storage and Tesla claims that it’s tonneau cover is strong enough to stand on. Payload capacity for the top model is at 3500 pounds which is good and better than the Ford F-150 but nowhere near as much as the F-450 (7640 LBS) or F-550 (12,730 LBS). The towing capacity for the tri-motor is at 14,000 pounds which is again better than and the F-150 (13,200 LBS). The suspension can be raised or lowered by 4 inches in either direction
On the inside, the truck can accommodate 6 people, 3 in the first row and 3 in the second with the center seat in the first row being foldable and there is also more storage space underneath the second row of seats. The 17 inch touch screen features a new user interface that looks very slick ok but it is unclear whether this interface will be implemented in Tesla’s other models. Also, there are no turn indicator stalks and no turn indicator lights in the prototype model that was shown, So it is unclear as to how that will be implemented as there is just a long strip of led lights in the front and back. Unlike in the model 3 and model S where you select the gear using the signal stalks, in the Cybertruck this is done using the touch screen and i’m guessing turning autopilot on and off will be done via the touchscreen as well.
People who have taken a ride in this truck say that there is plenty of headroom in the backseat even for a 6 footer with even more headroom in the front seats as the roof of the truck slopes towards the rear. The dash kind of looks strange and has some kind of a marble looking thing but isn’t clear what exactly it is made of.
Musk has stated on twitter that there will be an option to add solar power to the truck which gives it an Additional 15 miles of range per day with the possibility of adding solar wings that would possibly double the range to 30 miles per day.
The truck comes in three models single motor RWD, dual motor AWD and tri motor AWD. All models come with a 6.5” bed, 100 cu.ft of storage, autopilot, adaptive suspension and a 16 inch ground clearance. The tri motor has the best performance with a reported 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds, 500+ miles of range and 14,000 LBS of towing capacity . Prices are $39,900 for the single, $49,900 for the dual and $69,900 for the tri motor but you will have to pay an additional $7000 for full self driving.
Production for the single and dual motor is expected to start in late 2021 and for the tri motor in late 2022. You can book a Tesla Cybertruck now on their website by paying a $100 fully refundable deposit.