At an event, away from the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show 2019, Tesla unveiled its highly anticipated Cybertruck. The next stage in building a model range, the Cybertruck is Tesla’s most controversial design yet.
In true Silicon Valley style, Elon Musk took to the stage on Thursday to unveil his latest model. Things didn’t go entirely to plan though. During a part where Musk intended to demonstrate the “armour glass”, he invited Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, on stage to throw a metal ball at the side windows. The idea was that it would just bounce off, causing no damage. The Cybertruck is supposed to protect occupants against bullets and sledgehammers The armour wasn’t as strong as it perhaps should have been as the window cracked on impact.
Of course, the biggest story is the pickup truck itself. Tesla rips up the rule book, as you would expect. The design features lots of straight lines, seemingly inspired by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works or the classic DeLorean than by any conventional pickup truck. It has proved controversial.
The exterior bodywork is milled from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel using Tesla armour glass for the windows. This is said to make it extremely strong. The glass, which we suspect will be redesigned before the market launch, gets a polymer-layered composite skin for its strength.
The interior features 6 seats. 3 in the first row and 3 in the rear together with a 17 inch display. The passenger cell is separated from the rear bed. From the side, you wouldn’t guess that it was a pickup truck. The rear bed is hidden by a gently sloped rear panel. It’s 1.98 metre rear bed has a payload capacity of 1,580 kg and 2,830 litres of space.
Under the chassis sits Tesla’s battery system. In its highest specification, it should hit 60 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds with 500 miles of range. Tesla will in fact offer the Cybertruck in three options. The single motor, rear wheel drive option will manage a 250 mile range with a 6.5 second 60 mph sprint. The dual motor, all wheel drive model cuts the sprint time to 4.5 seconds and increases range to 300 miles. It is the triple-Motor, all whee drive model that gets the blistering pace and huge range.
At all four corners, the Cybertruck uses air suspension. This allows Tesla to program some convenience features, including a program which drops the ride height for entry and exit.
The Cybertruck is available to order immediately with a $100 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2021 with tri-Motor versions to follow on 2022. A full self driving mode costs extra. Pricing of the range starts from $39,900 for the entry level, rising to $49,900 for the mid range and $69,900 for the top of the range model.