By Steve & Tamami Laser
Remember the DeLorean? The stainless-steel sports car made famous in “Back to the Future” has been reborn as a pickup. Yet instead of Doc Brown’s flying time machine, Elon Musk has introduced an all-electric futuristic truck designed to transport customers and their gear on-road and off-road.
On Thursday evening at the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, Callif., Musk (above) introduced the all-new Tesla Cybertruck. He made the case that the full-size pickup concept hasn’t changed much over the years, and today’s models are tough to tell apart (especially when the badges are removed).
Without a bulky gas or diesel engine, Cybertruck sports a low front profile with a short hood and radically sloping windshield. Instead of traditional body-on-frame construction, it’s built with an “exoskeleton” for strength and durability, using Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin, designed to be both dent and corrosion resistant.
This video from the official Tesla YouTube channel shows the all-new electric Cybertruck prototype in action. Tesla says that Cybertruck production is planned to start in late 2021, with the Tri Motor AWD model slated to come on line a year later. (video: Tesla)
Exterior panels have a monotone, natural finish. While the doors passed a live sledgehammer test during the reveal, the truck’s armored side glass with polymer-layered composite fractured when hit with a metal ball (Musk was surprised). The glass remained in place, instead of crumbling like tempered glass.
Tesla Offers Three Versions of Cybertruck
- Single Motor Rear-Wheel Drive – Estimated driving range 250+ miles, 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, top speed 110 mph, base MSRP $39,900
- Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive – Estimated range 300+ mi., 0-60 in 4.5 sec., top speed 120 mph, base MSRP $49,900
- Tri Motor AWD – Estimated range 500+ mi., 0-60 in 2.9 sec., top speed 130 mph, base MSRP $69,900
Cybertruck is fitted with adaptive air suspension and self-leveling capability. The driver can opt to raise or lower the front or rear of the vehicle by four inches for easier access to the bed, with its slide-out ramp, or to increase clearance when driving off road. Ground clearance is rated up to 16 inches, with an approach angle of 35 degress and departure angle of 28 degrees.
Cybertruck offers up to 3,500 lbs. of payload capacity. And there’s 100 cu. ft. of exterior lockable storage, including the rear, 6.5-ft. long “vault” with a power-sliding tonneau cover, front trunk, and sail pillar compartments.
Towing capacity ranges from 7,500 lbs. for the Single Motor RWD, to 10,000 lbs. for the Dual Motor AWD, and 14,000 lbs. for the Tri Motor AWD. Cybertruck is designed to be charged at home, at Destination Charging locations, and with Tesla’s network of more than 14,000 Superchargers, including its new V3 technology.
Inside, the driver and passengers are treated to a modern and sporty interior that includes additional storage under the second row. The dash has a 17-inch touchscreen with all-new customized user interface. We also notice a panoramic glass roof panel that adds extra light inside the cabin.
Tesla is planning to offer an array of accessories for customers to enjoy the great outdoors. And wherever they go, Cybertruck makes exploring easier with on-board power and compressed air.
With more than half a million units produced among the Model S, X, and 3, Tesla certainly has the experience to build Cybertruck. By the time it reaches the market, EV pickup competitors are expected from both Ford and GM. The big question that remains is how many truck buyers are willing to embrace a vehicle with radically different styling?
For more information visit Tesla.com
News source and photos courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Note: Features, prices (MSRP in USD), specifications, and launch timing for future production models is subject to change without notice
Story (intro and commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com