You’re looking at the Tesla Cybertruck, the long-awaited electric pickup that ignited the Internet when it was unveiled in Los Angeles by CEO Elon Musk. With an outrageous, angular design and stainless-steel body, it’s a radical departure for the brand, but that didn’t stop it amassing 200,000 $100 (£100 in the UK) deposits within a few days. Available in three power outputs, the entry-level model will cost from $39,900 in the US, where it’s expected in 2021, with UK sales likely to commence from 2022.
Referencing sci-fi movie cars, and even the DeLorean, the Cybertruck’s angular design is so far removed from Tesla’s current models, much of the amassed media at first thought its unveiling was a publicity stunt. Instead, Musk explained it uses a tough exterior ‘Exoskeleton’ wrought from coldrolled stainless steel developed for Space-X rockets. This material is dent and scratch resistant and even bulletproof for 9mm rounds (as demonstrated by designer Franz von Holzhausen hitting its doors with a sledgehammer on stage). Its flat windows also feature ‘Tesla Armor Glass’ that has been described as transparent metal, and survived a drop test where a metal ball was released above it. It also features full-width LED light bars at the front and rear, no door mirrors and a high-definition rear-view mirror camera.
The traditional pick-up bed becomes a ‘Vault’, with a cover that automatically retracts to expose a 1,981mm long loading area that can carry up to 1,589kg. It’s also the first pick-up with a pull-out ramp, demonstrated at the event as a Tesla-designed electric quad bike drove up it and into the Cybertruck. It will also offer outlets that can run power tools while owners are working away from the grid. Don’t be fooled by the Cybertruck’s low, triangular roofline – it’s designed to compete with full sized US pick-ups like the Ford F-150, measuring 5,885mm long and 2,027mm wide, with six seats on board for occupants. Its interior is closer to previous Tesla models, with a minimalist dashboard and large 17-inch horizontal touchscreen, while a yoke-style steering wheel is attention grabbing, but unlikely to make it to production.
In entry-level single-motor guise, the Cybertruck is rear-wheel drive and gets from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds, while a range of over 250 miles is stated. In the US, it’s rated to tow up to 3,402kg. The dual-motor version is four-wheel drive and has a range of over 300 miles, along with a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds and a 120mph top speed. Expected slightly later, in 2022, the range-topping version will be Tesla’s first tri-motor model that’s likely to have one front and two rear motors. It’s claimed to hit 60mph in 2.9 seconds and run on to 130mph, with a range of ‘over 500 miles’. Air suspension is fitted at all four corners, allowing the Cybertruck to squat down for easier loading of the rear deck.