Tesla has been in the car industry for well over a decade, they’ve come a long way since launching their first Tesla Roadster back in 2009. With the new and upgraded Tesla Roadster soon to be released too, if you want to have a quick read of my review of the Tesla Roadster then follow this hyperlink. Over the years we’ve seen how Elon Musk evolved Tesla with the release of the Model S, which I must say is not a bad vehicle at all, then the gimmicky and overly expensive Model X, the budget and user-friendly Model 3; and now Tesla’s latest unveiling of the Cybertruck. Being honest with you here, I don’t know what to think of it; I think the best way of describing it is by comparing it to marmite. You either love it, or you hate it, there’s no in-between.
The Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled at the Tesla Design studio back in November 2019, and well, it didn’t quite go as according to plan. Elon Musk himself stated that the bulletproof glass is to be impervious to objects thrown at it. Turns out in the demonstration the chief of Design Franz von Holzhausen who threw a steel ball at the window and it got damaged. Elon Musk stated in a joking remark that “the ball didn’t go through” and “we’ll fix it in the postproduction”. Later, Elon described the windows were damaged due to the door being hit by a sledgehammer that had cracked the base of the glass. Hard to tell if this was a marketing plea to cover up the embarrassing moment, or whether it was a genuine justification. If anyone does go on to buy an actual Tesla Cybertruck and you do throw a steel ball at the windows – let me know how it turns out.
The design of the Cybertruck is one thing that cannot go amiss; it is constructed on the idea of an exoskeleton. The body is made from 30 times cold-rolled stainless-steel which is supposedly ultra-hard, with the logic of maximising durability and passenger protection. My only worry is this; modern cars nowadays have a crumble zone, designed to absorb impact and the physical force to be transferred onto the vehicle and not the occupants. So, if you have a rigid vehicle that is designed to not crumble or budge in a crash, then all that force will be transferred and passed onto the passengers. Not to mention the sharp-looking front bumpers and body probably wouldn’t do much good for pedestrian safety either. Not much has been revealed about that, but I’m presuming some measures have been implemented since the Tesla Model X received top ratings for safety. It is giving the perception that they know how to make a car safe… Guess we’ll have to wait and see for the crash test reviews.
The physical appearance of the Cybertruck might be the birthchild of what a person from the 1950s would think cars would look like in the 21st century. It does have some pretty fancy and high-tech gadgets underneath its exoskeleton body though. It is a rather versatile vehicle no doubt with a payload of around 1600 kilograms, yep, you read that right and a towing weight of 6350 kilos, again, mind-blowing figures. If you don’t believe me, Tesla released a video of the Cybertruck doing a tug of war with an F-150 Ford and it made mincemeat out of it. It also comes with adaptive air-suspension and has a ground clearance of around 16 inches. Hence, it is adaptable in any terrain and situation. With the seating capacity of 6 passengers, including the driver, along with mind-blowing performance figures.
There will be three performance spec options available, the single motor rear-wheel-drive, which is the cheapest of the lot coming in at around £35,000, a 0-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds, a top speed of 110 mph and a range of 250 miles before needing to recharge. The Dual Motor all-wheel-drive variant will come in at around £45,000, 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, 120 mph top speed and 300 miles of range. The top-spec version the Tri-Motor all-wheel-drive version will cost £65,900, 0-62 mph in under 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 130 mph and a range of over 500 miles before needing to recharge. This all sounds pretty spectacular and makes up for the embarrassing moment occurring during the unveiling and its questionable design, however, though, there is a slight hitch. Since the Cybertruck is a full electric off-road vehicle, it would make it quite challenging to recharge when out in the middle of nowhere. Infrastructure for electric vehicles is still being developed, altered and changed, which on its own is not helping the cause of combating global warming. It is a catch 22 here really; the batteries do recharge relatively quickly around 80% within 30 minutes when using a Tesla Supercharger. However, it will take a day or so to recharge it fully on standard power mains coming from your house. When ordinary combustion engine-powered off-road vehicles go off-roading, they often carry with them spare fuel in jerry cans, not possible with an electric car though. Then again I will guarantee you that most of the potential customers aren’t even going to take it off-road, but rather clog up the city centres with its massive 5.8-metre length.
However, the most appealing thing I do like about the Tesla Cybertruck is the Cyberquad that is an optional extra with the truck. It is an electric quadbike that attaches to the flatbed of the Cybertruck and can be recharged from its power supply in the vehicle. At the moment the Cyberquad is sold as an optional extra with the purchase of the Cybertruck, so it is not known if it is able for a single purchase. Though to be quite frank I’d buy the truck just for the Cyberquad.
To bring it all together, the Tesla Cybertruck is something revolutionary, Elon Musk took the idea of the pickup truck; which to be quite honest with you hasn’t changed since the ancient days of its origins and made it into something less boring. I admit the design of it makes it look as if Tesla was a bit lazy with it, I get the approach, but the execution could have been a little better. The interior and performance are flawless, no doubt. However, one thing I’ll say electric vehicles at the moment is still in the early stages of development, the infrastructure around it is still evolving, the cars themselves are changing, but we are going in the right direction. I will still argue though that electric vehicles are not the future of automotive engineering, but at least for the time being it is working out okay.