Tesla unveiled its new Cybertruck on Thursday, which boasts a range of 250 miles at the low end to 500 miles for the top model, off-road capabilities, a design straight out of Blade Runner, and a starting price of $39,900. A lot of people are going to want one. I know, because even though I'm not usually fond of pickup trucks, I want one myself.
Earlier this evening, I was sitting at my desk finishing up some work when I got this text from my husband: "Holy Batmobile! Tesla just released the Cybertruck, and day-yum I want one!" He's not necessarily a fan of pickup trucks or Teslas, but once I got a look at it, I saw his point.
Not only is it incredibly futuristic looking (the design truly was inspired by Blade Runner, apparently), Musk says the low-end version will go 0-60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds, while the high-end version will go 0-60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds--and a quarter mile in only 11 seconds. The low-end Cybertruck will have rear-wheel drive, but the two better versions will have all-wheel drive. It will have impressive off-road capabilities, including the ability to handle steep angles and with a clearance of up to 16 inches. Heck, you can even camp in it.
Able to withstand a sledge hammer and outrun a Porsche
In his usual showman fashion, Musk revealed the truck at an event in Los Angeles where he boasted of the truck's especially strong stainless steel alloy body. To prove the point, Tesla's design chief, Franz von Holzhausen, pounded on the truck with a sledgehammer, with little effect. In fact, Musk claimed, the truck could stop a 9mm bullet. Von Holzhausen also threw metal balls at the windows, which didn't go so well--they were supposed to bounce off harmlessly but they broke the windows instead.
Conscious of the competition, Musk also showed video of the Cybertruck out-racing a Porsche 911 and out-pulling a Ford F-150 pickup truck, the most popular vehicle in America. But that was a bit disingenuous, because of course Tesla's real competition is not these gas vehicles, it's other electric ones. Ford has already revealed an electric version of the F-150 that can tow 1.25 million pounds, although it hasn't said when that vehicle will hit the market. (A hybrid version is due next year.) And then there are Rivian and Bollinger, both of which have promised electric pickup trucks soon, although both will likely be pricier than the Cybertruck.
Musk, as always, is behind schedule. He first said he planned to create an electric pickup truck back in 2013, and later that it might arrive on the market in the summer of 2019. Now Tesla says that production will begin sometime around late 2021 on the lower-end models, while the high-end model will start production in late 2022. But, for $100, you can put your name on the preorder list right now. I've never bought a new vehicle in my life, let alone preordered one. But I have to admit, I'm kind of tempted ...