When we first laid eyes on it, we thought it was a joke. How could Elon Musk make a pickup truck so crazy, it looks like the lovechild of a Minecraft vehicle and an Origami made while drunk? And yet we actually love it. Not because it's beautiful but because it's so freakin' radical, so brazenly angular, so unlike anything we've ever seen. Unveiled last night at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Tesla Cybertruck kicks convention in the nuts with steel-toed boots and pretty much doesn't care what anyone thinks.
Take a look at this thing. To say there are body creases is a gross understatement. Just about everything is a crease. It looks more folded than made. The LED light strips in front and back are consistent with the rest of the straight-edged, hard-edged Cybertruck. Even the fender trim looks like it was pulled off a skunkworks Stealth Fighter. Then there's that pointy-peak where the roofline starts ad it angles downward into the retractable-cover truck bed. We're not sure what the drag coefficient is on this, but it's somewhere between non-existent and brick wall. And this supposedly is very close to production. What.
The Cybertruck will have anywhere between one and three electric motors depending on configuration and price. The single-motor rear-wheel drive Cybertruck will have a 250-mile range and get to 60 mph in a conservative 6.5 seconds. It will be able to tow 7,500 pounds and carry 3,500 pounds.
The dual-motor version gets all-wheel drive and will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Towing capacity is 10,000 pounds. Upgrade to the three-motor version, and range is 500 miles, while acceleration will be astounding at 2.9 seconds to 60 mph and a quarter-mile roasting 10 seconds. It will also be able to tow 14,000 pounds, or about 2,500 pounds more than a Ram Heavy Duty truck. Yikes.
The Cybertruck isn't a conventional pickup in terms of construction, either. It's not body-on-frame like a traditional half-ton. Instead, it's more of a unibody design with rigid stainless steel panels and bulletproof glass (the unveiling didn't go quite so well with the windows shattering after getting hit with a big steel ball). Its strength lies in its body, not its frame.
Perhaps even more surprising than the specs is the price: $39,900 base. The two-motor midrange truck will cost $49,900 base, and the tri-motor version will start at $69,900 without every bell and whistle. That's about the same price as a base Model S sedan, which is quite a shock.
The Cybertruck can carry six people, and its innovative bed has a retractable enclosure for security. It also comes with an adaptive air suspension with adaptive ride height that can max out at 16 inches of clearance.
The Cybertruck's bed is 6.5 feet in length, and it has angled bed sides, kind of like the original Honda Ridgeline. We're not sure how practical that will be for truck lovers, but it's clear Elon Musk isn't going for anything remotely traditional. The interior has futuristic-looking seats and a minimalist setup like the Model 3 with a single screen (17 inches in landscape orientation) for most of the controls.
Tesla claims the new truck will go on sale in late 2021 for the base model, while upgraded versions will show up in 2022. Those are always moving dates with Tesla products, so we won't hold them to it. The Model Y crossover will come first and should be the brand's best seller, bringing in much-needed cash to fund these crazy endeavors like the Cybertruck. We can't imagine these will be profitable given the battery size, as well as the tooling and materials needed to create the radical body.
Musk certainly has the attention of the tech and automotive world with the Cybertruck, and we applaud him for doing something truly different. This might just be the first Tesla vehicle we're utterly fascinated with. The real question remains as to whether anyone more than rich hipsters will want to be seen in it.