Tesla Cybertruck

It’s popped up in a few threads, so I figured it deserved its own thread.

Tesla has announced a new product, the Cybertruck. In case you hadn’t guessed, it’s an electric truck with “cyberpunk” styling.

Musk has been tweeting about it for years now, saying they’re working on a truck that’s Blade Runner inspired. He wasn’t wrong about that. Alternately, it looks like a DeLorean fucked an F-117 Nighthawk.

At any rate, the specs for the price look impressive: $40k for a 250 mile single-motor model, $50k for 300 mi dual-motor, and $70k for 500 mi tri-motor. Pulling capacity looks pretty good (EVs are good at that). All versions have 6 seats (two rows) and a Model 3 like interior.

The bed is… unusual. It’s hard to tell, but there is a real 6.5 foot bed at the rear. The rear slope reduces side access somewhat, but it has controllable airbag suspension and can lower the rear for easier access. There’s a roll-down cover for the bed that completely encloses it.

Opinions on the looks are… mixed, to say the least. I think everyone agrees that it’s ugly. But is it future-ugly, or military-ugly, or badass-ugly? It certainly isn’t generically ugly, whatever it is. Clearly, Tesla didn’t build this for the mass market (Musk himself more or less admitted this was a pet project), but it would not shock me if they can sell a few tens of thousands per year. And maybe a lot more if enough people care more about specs than price (they seem to have gotten >100k deposits so far, though at only $100 each it’s hard to say how meaningful that is).

Of note, this is very likely not a concept car–or rather, it is, but Tesla will almost certainly ship something very close to this. For better or worse, Tesla does have a history of shipping what they say they will–say, the Falcon Wing Doors on the Model X, or the minimalist interior of the Model 3. There’ll be tweaks, of course (they’ll have to lose the yoke-like steering wheel, maybe add some mirrors), but it’s unlikely to be significant.

Motor Trend has a few articles on it:

The resident Tesla curmudgeon at Ars Technica, Jon Gitlin, seems to like it, which rather amuses me:

The Verge had some great photos of the truck and the event:

Looks like a fun event: Tesla coils, a Blade Runneresque Asian noodle bar, and a bunch of movie props like the Blade Runner police car, the Total Recall Johnnycab, and the BttF DeLorean.

People generally liked the ride:
Tesla Cybertruck first ride: inside the electric pickup - YouTube

Tesla Cybertruck (CYBRTRK) First Ride from Los Angeles 11/21/19 - YouTube

So, anyone put in a deposit yet? Trucks aren’t my thing, but being an EV fan I’d certainly be looking at this if I was. More than anything, the specs for the price are significantly better than their two major competitors: Rivianand Bollinger.

Oh yeah, and there was an amusing event at the launch which will live in infamy alongside such product launch fuckups as the Windows 95 BSOD or Apple’s Face ID fail.

It looks like what a kid in the 1980s would have thought a truck would look like in 2020. Not sure who they had in mind as a customer when they designed this thing. Kind of looks like someone went off and designed something solely for himself.

That someone would be Musk, and he pretty much said exactly that. Not a bad thing, in and of itself (design by focus group does tend to produce bland designs). We’ll see if this ends up being too extreme or not. I’m kinda getting used to it already.

One thing that does stick in my mind is that this doesn’t need a stamping press. Those are humongous machines that could easily limit production capacity of a factory. Tesla probably doesn’t want to take valuable stamping capacity from Model 3 or Y production. So folded flat sheets it is.

Doesn’t need a paint shop, either.

It’s certainly ugly. After talking about it my wife and I decided it looks like the bat mobile from the Dark Knight. I’m sure that will appeal to some people of a post apocalyptic mindset. I’m completely shocked by the 100k preorders and my first guess is they are people who are expecting limited production runs so the resale market may be more expensive than through Tesla.

It’s funny to me that this made Rivian better looking in my eyes. I initially wasn’t thrilled by the Rivian look but the specs are good enough that I’m interested. The looks I dig are by Bollinger but those are more expensive than I could afford in the next decade. After looking at the Cyber truck the R1T looks like a super model. I prefer the 4 engine R1T for off roading particularly doing rock work. It also seems like the visibility and storage on the R1T are much better.

Finish is a bit hard to tell but it seems like the interior of the R1T will be nicer too and at least partially justify its price point. Though thirty grand is a lot of cost difference. I was amused by the pop up tent in the bed of the cyber truck photo since that seemed to be a pretty direct shot at some of the truck camping advertisements Rivian has run.

In the end I gave the cyber truck an opportunity to change my mind just like I’m going to give Ford a shot at my money but for now it looks like I’ll be buying a R1T in 2021.

It’s the new Pontiac Aztek!

Needs some new window glass, too.

I think it looks really freaking cool actually.

i’m curious what leads you to that conclusion. The outer body panels being flat isn’t evidence of that claim. what does the underlying structure look like? be kind of hard to build effective crumple zones with just flat pieces of metal.

more and more I think this is Tesla’s actual first concept vehicle, and the actual truck will resemble it but be toned down for production.

and 3mm thick body panels? that’s basically between 11 and 12 gauge, so about 5 lb./sq. ft. This thing going to weigh 10,000 lbs?

I guess I don’t understand who the market for this vehicle is. As far as consumer vehicles go, Pick up trucks are, on average, more likely to be owned by rural people who find environmentalism ‘faggy’ vs other vehicles like sedans or hatchbacks. Obviously not all are like that, but I mean who is his market supposed to be (I don’t see the usual pickup truck market buying a $40k environmentally friendly concept car)? Granted, I guess he doesn’t need a mainstream market for it which is good. There is going to be a niche market for it. That is how he started the tesla. He found a niche market, then created newer, cheaper, more mainstream markets. Maybe he’s doing the same with the truck. Maybe this is the first generation, and by the third generation we will have more mainstream looking trucks for 20k.

I’m rooting for Tesla, and all other car companies in the EV business, but what a waste of R&D money. A refresh to the S & X models would have been such a better investment.

This is why you shouldn’t smoke pot when designing cars.

I like it better than every Tesla model to date. I find the S, M-X and M-3 to be bulbous and bloated looking. This thing… it has character.

I think it’s a huge missed opportunity. Truck body-on-frame design is not, as Elon seems to think, the result of conservative engineering. It’s the result of a decades of tuning the form to be as useful as possible. Body on frame allows for the endless commercial/industrial modifications of the ass end of the truck to something more utilitarian. Low box sides make accessing items in the box easier, and flat box sides allow stacking oversized loads.

This is more a car with a box than it is a truck. A really tall El Camino. Now granted, there are millions of pickup drivers out there who only ever use their trucks as cars with a little more cargo capacity. However, there are millions more pickups out there that are fleet vehicles, purchased by companies to do work, with the purchasing decision made by a bean-counter calculating lifetime TCO with zero brand loyalty. A more usable truck design might have made inroads into that vast fleet vehicle market, but this contraption is going to be pretty much restricted to people who use a pickup as a passenger vehicle, and those people as a rule are not likely to be Tesla fans.

Found this interesting: Here’s why the Tesla Cybertruck has its crazy look

the old Jeep Comanche pickup was like this, as well as the full size Ford Transit van. no separate frame. The Comanche and Transit chassis-cab/cutaway don’t seem to need extended sail pillar.

edit: and the 2nd-gen Ridgeline lacks it as well.

Honestly, if I could get a loan for that, I would pick it up. The range is good enough for most anything I would use it for here, and the price is not wildly out of line with most trucks purchased around here. And I really like the look!

I don’t follow much with electrical vehicles- does a Tesla require any special equipment for charging at home?

About 50% of the market for pickups is fleet sales. Government agencies, big construction companies, etc. I could absolutely see them going after electric pickups with this price tag, especially given the lower maintenance cost for EVs.

But it certainly is…unique looking.

Big construction companies often buy chassis cab trucks and have upfitters install custom stuff like utility boxes, flat/stake beds, booms/buckets, etc. on them. Impossible to do with a design like the Cybertruck.

That article quotes another writer, “My opinion on whether the Cybertruck is ugly: aesthetic standards are arbitrary. Also it doesn’t matter if your car is ugly because when you’re driving it you can’t see the outside.” OK, aesthetic standards might be arbitrary, but pickups are utilitarian vehicles. More so than passenger cars. And this thing seems poorly designed for the work purposes of most pickups. Really, the Bollinger electric pickup (which has another thread devoted to it) is more useful, even if it’s also ugly.

They sure do, but they also buy plenty of ordinary pickups. That’s a completely different category of vehicle.

which might make this a hard sell what with an electric F-150 arriving at about the same time.

Totes. I think there is a market for electric pickups but most of em are probably gonna end up looking a lot like a F-150 looks today.