Tesla Cybertruck Debuts With Sci-Fi Personality And Gobs Of Power
22 November 2019 - motor1
Elon Musk’s crazy vision for an electric pickup truck is finally here.
Surrounded by iconic vehicles from Hollywood's Sci-Fi history such as Blade Runner and Back to the Future, Tesla unveiled its interpretation of a sci-fi-themed electric pickup this evening in Southern California, and it's called the Cybertruck. There's something very different about this machine versus all those others, however. This isn't science fiction – it's fact.
There's absolutely no mistaking this truck for anything else on the road. Its body is comprised of a steel alloy that Musk says is dent-resistant, scratch-resistant, and per a demo onsite at the reveal, sledgehammer proof as well. In fact, he also says the Cybertruck is bulletproof to 9mm shells, and the glass is also said to be extremely strong, though not quite as strong as Musk apparently hoped since the Cybertruck's glass did shatter rather spectacularly on stage. We have no idea if that was planned or not, but hey, welcome to a Tesla vehicle debut.
So yeah, the body is super strong, but what about vehilce stats? Musk tossed some serious numbers out for the bonkers pickup, not the least of which being 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds for the highest-performance all-wheel-drive model. That machine will also turn a quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds, and it's said to "corner like it's on rails." In its most efficient trim (Tesla will offer three versions) it can exceed 500 miles on a single charge, with base models achieving over 250 miles of range.
At first glance, cornering on rails might seem rather impossible, but the Cybertruck rides on an adaptive air suspension setup that can give the truck as much as 16 inches of ground clearance. The suspension can also lower on the fly for on-road use, and it can employ a load mode to hunker down just at the rear, allowing for toys like Tesla's nifty ATV (which also made a surprise debut at the event) much easier to stow-and-go.
So okay, it sounds pretty shocking performance-wise, and it certainly looks crazy, but can it perform as an actual truck? The Cybertruck comes with an industry-standard 6.5-foot pickup bed and a 3,500-pound cargo capacity, and it's available with either a single-motor / rear-wheel-drive setup, a dual-motor / all-wheel-drive setup, or a tri-motor / all-wheel-drive arrangement. For off-roading, it features a 35-degree approach angle, 28-degree departure angle, and it can tow up to 14,000 pounds. And since this is an EV truck with an air suspension, electric outlets and air lines for power tools are literally built into the package.
Crazy wedge body notwithstanding, the stats all sound pretty darned good but then you get to price. The Cybertruck will start at $39,900 for a single-motor RWD model with 250-plus miles of range and a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds. That's not bad, however, the insane tri-motor flagship model starts at only $69,900. Mind you, that's for a truck with hypercar acceleration, a 14,000-pound tow rating, and an electric range of over 500 miles. Given a choice between this or a fully-loaded F-150 for the same price, which would you pick?
Yeah, the windows might break if you throw metal balls at them, and the body really does look like something from Blade Runner, but it's hard to deny the shock value and sheer capability proposed by this machine. Musk says preorders are being taken now, and deliveries of the entry-level model are expected to begin in late 2021.