Unveiling The Tesla Cybertruck: What You Need to Know

Unveiling The Tesla Cybertruck: What You Need to Know

Elon Musk unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck
Image Source: Popular Mechanics

On the night of November 21, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk started unveiling the Tesla Cyberbruck at its Design Studio in Hawthorne, California.

The crowd was in awe while Musk was unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck onstage. It’s clearly not your traditional pickup truck. This new Tesla Cybertruck resembles a large metal trapezoid on wheels. It’s more than just a truck. It is a work of art.

Instead of making the common separate cab and bed, the Cybertruck body is created into a single form. Another plausible feature of Cybertruck is its exterior which is made from a newly developed stainless steel alloy. According to Musk, this same metal is used for SpaceX rockets. That alloy makes the Cybertruck “literally bulletproof” against smaller handguns.

While unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck, Franz von Holzhausen hit the sides of the truck with a sledgehammer without damaging it. But when they demonstrated the Cybertruck shatterproof windows, the metal ball thrown at the windows broke them.

“But it didn’t go through,” Musk told the crowd and added, “Room for improvement.”

Unveiling The Tesla Cybertruck’s Capabilities

During the demo, Musk made striking claims about the Cybertruck’s capabilities. He mentioned that the Cybertruck would surpass Ford F-150 in terms of towing and hauling and outdo the Porsche 911’s performance.

Cybertruck’s most expensive version, the Tri-Motor AWD, can carry 3,500 pounds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and go from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. According to Musk, it can even drive up to 500 miles on a full charge. That’s double compared to base models that only have a range of 250 miles!

Aside from its capability to carry cargo in its bed, the Cybertruck also comes with lockable storage spaces under the hood and in the sides. Even the bed itself has a sliding cover. Drivers can also adjust the ride height of the Cybertruck with its adaptive air suspension system. This will be convenient if you plan to drive it on the highway or travel off-road.

Another striking feature of the Cybertruck is its price. Its base version costs $39,900. That’s almost $10,000 more expensive than that of the base model Ford F-150, which costs $30,000! But despite the price, Cybertruck’s base version would compete well with the nicely equipped F-150 Lariat Super Cab which costs around $44,000.

For the price of $69,900, you will own the top-end Tri-Motor AWD version of the Cybertruck! Or if you choose to get Tesla’s “self-driving” option, just add $7,000 on top of the price. With this option, the Cybertruck should be able to drive itself, but we still have to wait for the software to become available.

Is that it? No. Before wrapping up the demo, Musk revealed his final surprise as the presentation.

The crowd cheered when a rider came out from a side room on a small electric ATV. The rider then flipped the truck’s tailgate down, extended a built-in ramp, and rode the ATV up into the bed.

Entering a Tough Market

It is no surprise that Tesla’s new Cybertruck just entered some stiff competition. This electric-powered truck is going up against the two market leaders providing full-size trucks in America – Ford and General Motors.

Ford is currently developing its own electric F-series truck.
Ford is currently developing its own electric F-series truck.
Image Source: CNN Business

Ford is currently developing its own electric F-series truck. General Motors, the company who makes Chevrolet and GMC pickups, is also starting to produce its own electric pickups. According to GM CEO Mary Barra, thoey expect to begin selling its electric pickup in the fall of 2021.

Rivian, a Michigan-based company, also plans to launch its own line of electric pickup next year. Amazon and Ford are counted as their major investors. R.J. Scaringe, the founder of Rivian Motors, ranked third on this year’s Motor Trend Power List, while Musk ranked 24th. Rivian’s trucks may have cost tens of thousands of dollars compared to Tesla’s, but they still look like the traditional trucks.

Now, this is what makes the Tesla Cybertruck intriguing. We don’t know yet what is the market potential for it. But, as of this date, there’s been little overlap between the traditional pickup truck buyers and the Tesla buyers. For example, Teslas and other electric cars are on the rise in America’s coasts, while large traditional pickups are in-demand in the Midwest.

Not Your Typical Pickup Truck

Also, the Tesla Cybertruck looks nothing like a typical pickup truck. The brand-loyal buyers may want to stand out, but too much attention may make one uncomfortable.

Matt DeLorenzo, the senior executive editor at Kelley Blue Book, said that the Cybertruck will be a niche product at best and poses no threat in the pickup market as of today. But he added, “The other downside is that this truck will have no federal tax credits by the time it comes out.”

Even Musk admitted in an interview Kara Swisher on the Recode Decode podcast that the Cybertruck might have a hard time finding a market once it’s officially released.

The brand-loyal buyers may want to stand out, but too much attention may make one uncomfortable.
The brand-loyal buyers may want to stand out, but too much attention may make one uncomfortable.

“You know, I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care,” he confidently told Swisher at the time. But he also acknowledged that if only a small number of people will like the Cybertruck, then they will make a more conventional truck in the future.

Chelsea Sexton, an analyst for the electric vehicle market, said that it seems as the truck Musk showed on the demo may not look like the final production vehicle to be released in 2021. She mentioned, “From a specification standpoint, I believe that’s probably what they’re aiming for, but no question that body style, that is not a high-volume product.”

10 Things You May Have Missed On Unveiling The Tesla Cybertruck

Yes, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been hinting for months that his new pickup truck looks nothing like what we’ve seen before, but that still didn’t prepare us for this truck that breaks all the norms of traditional pickup trucks.

Unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck with its angular, faceted, clipped, and cropped look made those in attendance, the media to drop their jaws in awe. Even the Twitterverse immediately launched into meme mode. At first, some thought it was just a joke, that Musk was just only teasing us about the Blade Runner-vibe, and that the real pickup truck will roll out after that odd-looking trapezoid truck.

But, no! It’s not just some movie truck prop or part of video game homage. This new Tesla Cybertruck that was shown on stage is the real deal! Now, these are the 10 things you may have missed on unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck.

1. Part Cyber, Part Truck

At any angle, this curious new automotive marvel looks nothing like your traditional truck, but the Cybertruck is indeed a pickup truck. It’s stretched at 6.5-foot long, equipped with 100-cubic-foot capacity cargo bed and sit a six-passenger crew-cab. That makes the Cybertruck 231 inches longer than the other large pickups.

Cybertruck’s cargo part wasn’t explored too much during the unveiling, but they showed a sneak peek at it when a rider drove an electric ATV onboard. They also showed it briefly in front of the media when it was driven outside.

As of now, we only know little about how the functions of the bed and the cool tricks that the engineers may have included. But one thing’s for sure, Cybertruck is definitely not a conventional pickup truck in any real visual sense. And that’s exactly what Musk is going for.

2. Go for Specs

No emphasis was also given about the truck’s broader engineering when Musk was unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck. But here at Auto Relec, we’ll explain the 3 electric motors which include the rear-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. Cybertruck’s basic version reaches 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, tows up to 7,500 pounds, and carries 3,500 pounds.

The two-motor variant, on the other hand, can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and tow up to 10,000 pounds. Its most expensive version, the three-motor model, can reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and pull 14,000 pounds! Now, that’s what I call impressive!

These variants’ ranges vary from 250 to 500 miles with a price range of $39,900 to $69,900. All these three models come with an adaptive air suspension which enables self-leveling and ride-height adjustment up to 16 inches. There’s also plenty of room in its interior. Each Cybertruck is also equipped with Tesla’s signature central touchpad, but for this truck, it will be 17-inch.

3. Off-Road Ready

Now, we have talked about the truck’s air suspension which will give it 16 inches of ground clearance. But, another impressive thing about is that if coupled with its low front and rear overhangs, you will get the best approach and departure angles in its class. Although Musk didn’t mention about the break-over angle, this would be perfect for off-road travels given that the Cybertruck has a lengthy distance between the front and rear axles.

Musk also didn’t explain further about the Cybertruck’s off-road handling features such as suspension travel, suspension design, or fording depth. But, he did say that the Cybertruck can run the Baja 1000 race.

That’s hard to agree on since that race runs on extreme nature and you would need excellent lighting and a properly engineered chassis and suspension to go through it.

Yes, it may survive the race, but we doubt it’s going to win anything.

4. “Literally Bulletproof”

Musk claimed that the Cybertruck can dodge the 9mm ammunition fired from handguns or machine guns. He said this is possible with the Cybertruck’s 3-mm-thick, “ultra-hard, cold-rolled stainless-steel alloy.” This alloy was initially created for SpaceX’s Starship rocket but is now used in the Cybertruck’s exoskeleton.

Tesla Cybertruck sledgehammer test
Tesla Cybertruck Body Panel Test Onstage

Tesla design chief Franz Von Holzhausen even hit its door with a sledgehammer, but no dents or scratches were left. Now, that’s what we need to make mall-parking much less stressful!

The glass is armored, too. I know what you’re thinking. How can it be armored if we’ve seen how both the front and rear windows shattered before the onlooking crowd? Well, to be fair, shots really do shatter bulletproof windows, but they won’t actually penetrate.

That said, it is still reckless on the part of Tesla to claim that the Cybertruck is “literally bulletproof” without them having a professional certification to back up their claim. Also, they only specified the 9mm ammunition will not penetrate its windows. But in reality, there are plenty of other ammunition types that will cleanly penetrate through the Cybertruck’s hide and glass.

Well, two years will pass before their official launch. Let’s just hope that during that time period, this feature will be a result of the Cybertruck’s incredible construction, and not just because they actively pursued it. Their adding the biowarfare resistance feature in the Model X SUV just to sell was already weird enough. Let’s just hope this “literally bulletproof” claim won’t just be part of their ad strategy.

5. An Extraordinarily Heavy Truck

Although its weight wasn’t disclosed, unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck’s thick glasses and thick stainless steel surely made the truck extraordinarily heavy. We can safely conclude that its weight is antithetical to one of the core tenets of electrification: Lightness. So whether the power source of your truck is a battery or a 25-gallon fuel tank, driving a heavy truck will consume a lot of power.

Now, add in the already heavy battery pack into the Cybertruck’s overall mass, and you will get that monstrous ride! Cybertruck’s electric powertrain will deal with that adrenaline-rush ride quite a bit, but it will surely cost you its range and off-roadability.

But, okay, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they have a better explanation of why they did what they have done. Maybe their motivations and strategies behind their decisions will make sense. But, still, when you think of what they could have done with a lighter strategy like having better range, greater usability, and less bulk, this truck really looks disappointing.

If we’re on a gamer mode and we just survived the post-apocalypse hellscape, then a Cybertruck is definitely a sensational ally. That and the Supercharger network still functions on that period. But driving this bully truck on a daily basis? Oof!

6. Niche Design

While we agree that the Cybertruck design is rather daring and dramatic, it’s not really a consumer-friendly product or even a functional pickup truck. With it’s odd visual aesthetic, it will surely stand out in the crowd, especially on the road. So, if you’re an owner, you might spend every waking moment of your life defending the reason why you purchased the truck to every curious onlooker. Could you put up with that?

7. Totally Different Final Product

Furthermore, there’s a possibility that not enough people will adapt to this design and only a few Tesla fanatics will patronize this product line. Also, Tesla’s board of directors are notoriously crippled when it comes to voicing out ideas and the production of the company’s projects. Besides, Elon does what Elon’s going to do which means this Cybertruck project is entirely on him.

In the past, Tesla revealed prototype products which later on hit the streets. But in this case, we hope that the final packaging will be a bit friendlier with the option to choose actual body-color.
Are we expecting a totally different final product?

In the past, Tesla revealed prototype products which later on hit the streets. But in this case, we hope that the final packaging will be a bit friendlier with the option to choose actual body-color. Don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the stainless steel exoskeleton. It just gives that highly industrial look. Not everyone would appreciate that. But with the option to pick the body-color, the truck will give a more welcoming aesthetic.

8. Blade Runner-Inspired Truck

The 1982 movie Blade Runner is about Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) who hunts down rogue replicants. The film takes place in November 2019 when Los Angeles has fallen into a climate-induced apocalypse. Could this be a coincidence?

While unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck, the company even kicked things off with a hologram showing the Cybertruck and Blade Runner. To make the event more dramatic, futuristic sound effects were played throughout the night’s entire presentation.

It must be fun if you’re a sci-fi fan who also happens to be a multi-billionaire. You can create things from your childhood imagination just like what Musk did with the Cybertruck.

9. Genius Truck

Cybertruck’s overall design may be awkward and bulky, especially around its wheel wells and some of the proportions. But that’s exactly what Tesla is going for. They created a futuristic and surprising truck, a real avant-garde.

If that’s what they’re aiming for, then the truck is a smashing success. Cybertruck’s front light bar and roof bar is pure genius. Its high waistline slices down the side and projects outward which gives an added dimension to the exterior.

Also, its profile slopes down to the front and adds a bit of Mad Max-ian rush and speed to the car’s overall look. Its triangular cab is out of this world and would definitely not fit in the Home Depot parking lot. Tesla team really outdid themselves and delivered a highly conceived design.

Ultimately, unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck may not appeal to a lot of traditional truck-driving folk, but it could also create a whole new group of enthusiasts who will patronize the segment, the brand, and the electrification.

10. Cybertruck Enthusiasts

The world has seen Musk unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck last November 21st. Although, after the window shattering event, we’re not sure if Musk did a good job of explaining who he thinks will buy the Cybertruck and who is it really designed for.

Musk made it clear that it’s a pickup truck and it can tow more than 7,500 pounds, but its back design looks inappropriate for construction companies that want a boxier, simpler design. And as eco-friendly as electric vehicles may be, we can’t say that this truck will be a desirable choice for those enthusiasts who goes for the big, tough, powerful trucks that are already offered by Dodge, Ford, and Chevy.

One thing’s for sure, Cybertruck feels like a homage to Tesla and its fans. Right now, it doesn’t have a real and long-term appeal yet in a market that’s completely different from passenger sedans.

Tesla has plenty of time to prove to the public why its Cybertruck is a truck they would desire. But at least right now, the public is still undecided if they will embrace this kind change or not.

Final Thoughts

Although social media quickly compared Tesla to every ridiculous thing there is, people who have been in the auto industry for a while noticed another distinct resemblance: The Cybertruck certainly reminds us of the classic DMC DeLorean.

Like the Cybertruck, the DeLorean had hard edges of the stainless steel and an angular design. It got famous as the traveling sports car in the Back to the Future movie. However, it didn’t have the performance to back up its design unlike the Cybertruck. So its production came to a halt.

John Z. DeLorean and Elon Musk shared a vision of breaking the norm of the stagnant automotive industry. There may be a lack of innovation in the auto industry, but that doesn’t scare Musk. He is determined to establish a toehold in the segment and build credibility in the automotive market with the Cybertruck.

Musk mentioned in an interview that he doesn’t need every potential truck buyer to like his design. He just needs 5% to 10% of potential buyers to really love it. Using the Cybertruck’s edgy design as a proof of concept is Tesla’s first step to show the world that an all-electric pickup really is possible.

Cybertruck is now establishing a beachhead with its polarizing design. But if it won’t hit the mainstream market, Tesla can bring in a more conventional design to appease the traditional buyer.

Well, two years will pass before the official launch. We never know how advanced technology would be during that time period. Who knows, even this odd design now will eventually grow on people.

Related Questions

Is Cybertruck real or are we expecting changes?

Cybertruck’s design is outstanding and better looking than any traditional pickup truck we’ve ever seen. But with a quick glimpse at it tells you if it’s road-ready. There are street-legal features that are missing like the front bumper, side-view mirrors and its tires are clearly protruding from the wheel wells, which isn’t allowed on roads in the U.S.

It’s plausible for companies like Tesla to showcase concept vehicles and refine designs over time. But do they really believe the current Cybertruck would be allowed on roads? And if not, what are the changes we need to look forward to for the Cybertruck to get it there? We’ll be anticipating for the answers.

How will Tesla prevent delays?

Not keeping up to a schedule has been one of Tesla’s biggest problems over the years. With the great demand for its vehicles and lack of production capacity to keep up, Tesla struggles every time to meet deadlines and deliver the vehicles to people in the timeframes they promised.

To be fair, Tesla has gotten better in the past couple of years and they have also improved their production. And since the launch of their Model 3, Tesla still has plenty of work to do. The demand for Tesla vehicles are skyrocketing and we see no sign of the demand falling off anytime soon. Now with unveiling the Tesla Cybertruck that promises similarly impressive demand, we wonder if Tesla was hasty with its launch timeline. We’ll have to wait and see.

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