Well, it’s official. Elon Musk kept his word and unveiled a battery powered full-size pickup truck. However, what stands out to us, and probably to everyone else, is not the zero-emissions factor, but rather its wedge-choke design.
The so-called Cybertruck not only looks unlike any other pickup truck out there, but it doesn’t look like any other Tesla product currently available to the masses either. You could literally slap any badge on it, call it a concept, and nobody would be the wiser.
The future is (almost) here
It’s almost funny how weirdly futuristic the Cybertruck is in terms of styling. It looks like a sleeker version of the ED-209 evil droid that was trying to kill Robocop in the popular 1987 sci-fi action flick.
The thing is, whether you like it, are indifferent to it or hate its appearance, the fact that it makes every single other modern day full-size pickup truck look antiquated is undeniable. Of course, form still follows function to a degree, but since there’s no longer a need to fit a large internal combustion engine at the front, there’s also no need for an elongated front fascia. Still, the wheel placement alone requires a bit of an overhang, not to mention the safety factor – can’t be without a crumple zone in the event of a frontal collision.
On the flip side, just look at this thing next to a flagship spec GMC Sierra. The latter is rugged and imposing, while the Cybertruck is almost hard to take seriously if we’re being honest. Yes it’s more futuristic, but what type of future are we talking about here? Tesla might want to consider de-simplifying the design before putting it into production, and we don’t just mean adding mirrors (or mirror cameras), badges and windshield wipers. It needs a stronger identity, that’s for sure, something its internal combustion engined rivals all have.
Ultimately, it makes no difference what conventional pickup you compare it to. Be it the F-150, the Silverado, the Ram 1500, Nissan Titan or the Toyota Tundra. They all have bulky headlights, large radiator grilles, old-fashioned tailgates, regular doors with regular door handles and so on.
Even the all-electric Ford F-150 will look mostly just like any other F-150, and according to reports, it’s going to be here as early as 2021, which is when Tesla will put the Cybertruck into production as well.
The thing is, once the F-150 EV does arrive, it will have to do more than just perform one-off stunts like towing a million lbs worth of cargo at crawling speeds. In fact, it will have to talk buyers out of owning a ridiculously quick Tesla truck, although pricing will definitely be a factor.
At its best, the Cybertruck will be able to travel more than 500 miles (800 km) on a single charge, and tow more than 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg), with a payload of up to 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg). When unburdened, it will also be able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under 2.9 seconds, but you’ll need the flagship Tri-Motor AWD version. So yeah, a pickup that pulls like a hypercar. Apparently that’s going to be a thing now.
This is an unfinished product
It’s unlikely that Tesla will keep the F1-style steering wheel once the Cybertruck is ready to go into production. These types of trucks are actually meant to go off-road, and you’ll want a steering wheel that’s easier to grip at various angles. They will also need to add air vents, but there’s plenty of horizontal space for them, like on the Model 3.
Otherwise, there’s no reason why they can’t make this ultra-minimalist interior work, unless Elon receives way too much negative feedback from prospective buyers. We also anticipate that Tesla will add grab handles to the interior, which is pretty much the norm for this segment.
Since this is a big vehicle, the sloping roofline is unlikely to cause any rear headroom issues, but that’s definitely something to keep an eye out for if you’re the type of person who has very tall friends. Speaking of which, there is enough room for six aboard the Cybertruck, although is Tesla really going to skip on adding a conventional armrest? Remains to be seen.
We’re in uncharted waters here, and there’s no telling how successful the Cybertruck will be in the coming decade and beyond. But edging out the competition will be hard. Ford sold over 900,000 F-150 pickups last year, followed by Chevy with 585,000 Silverados and Ram with 535,000 trucks.
Then again, electric vehicles are still in a league of their own, so the real battle will be against the likes of the F-150 EV and of course the Rivian R1T, which should be the Cybertruck’s closest rival.
Are you ready to forget all about conventional full-size trucks and own something only Judge Dredd could love? Sound off and let us know.