You may have noticed that Tesla announced the Cybertruck last week. It is the only vehicle that could have stolen the spotlight from the controversial Mustang Mach-E. After ruminating on the design and proposed function for a few days here is what I think.
Cybertruck Design – Exterior
It is impossible to ignore the exterior shape of the Cybertruck. Angular, retro-futuristic, and looking like a lost 80’s post-apocalyptic survival truck the Cybertruck is unforgettable. I am not sure that’s a good thing.
Many vehicles that were this far outside of the norm of automotive design have not fared well on the salesroom floor.
You have probably already seen the Pontiac Aztec comparison and, if you are like me, the Delorean aesthetic.
While the styling may be an acquired taste the materials used are top-notch. Tesla is using cold-rolled steel at 30X hardness to manufacture an exoskeleton with the body panels an integral part of the structure.
Another safety and strength item is the Tesla Armor Glass. Made from layered composites and ultra-strong glass it can redirect and absorb damage across its surface to prevent failures.
Cybertruck Design – Capability
If you take the numbers that Tesla publishes at face value the Cybertruck is the most capable pickup made. Because the truck is electric, and the range numbers are the ideal scenario, you have to understand that the maximum range is greatly reduced the more weight you haul. That is true with an ICE truck as well, but the electric powertrain takes a lot longer to refuel and superchargers are still less prevalent than a traditional gas station.
Tesla’s published numbers are astonishing given the size and utility of the truck. Maximum of 3,500 pounds of payload capacity, 14,000 pounds of towing capacity, and 100 cubic feet of exterior lockable storage packed into different compartments and the bed. (This is with the $69,900 tri-motor AWD option.)
The Cybertruck is also fitted with air-suspension that allows for 4-inches of travel in any direction. Making ingress and egress easier for both people and cargo. Automatic self-leveling takes care of any potential squat under load and will definitely make the Cybertruck very capable in all situations. If you read my review of the Off Road Only AiROCK you know I am a huge fan of this tech.
Cybertruck Design – Performance
Electric powertrains are powerful. Whether you want to admit that or not it’s the truth. The top tier Cybertruck battery and motor arrangement gives the truck a 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and a maximum range of 500 miles. Crazy numbers for a truck of any size.
The “vault” as Tesla refers to the cargo area measures 6.5 feet. That is right in the sweet spot of today’s truck market for capacity.
Some other numbers to digest. Maximum of 16 inches of ground clearance and approach and departure angles of 35 and 28 degrees respectively. That’s less than the Jeep Gladiator’s approach angle of 43 degrees but slightly better than the Gladiator’s departure angle of 26 degrees.
Cybertruck Design – Interior and Final Thoughts
The interior is typical Tesla although maybe even more minimalistic than expected. A massive 17″ touchscreen dominates the dash, there is seating for 6 and it looks like quality materials were used for the leather and surfaces. We don’t know much more about the inside other than these scant details.
I am not in the market for an electric truck. With a base price of $39,900, I would certainly give the Cybertruck a chance if I was in that market. Exterior styling controversy aside, the capability of the truck is hard to ignore. I am curious how it will work off-road, and how much that range drops off with moderate towing.
Tell us your thoughts on Tesla’s Cybertruck!