Tesla Cybertruck Review
Tesla Cybertruck - Electric Ute of the Future?
Unveiled at Tesla’s Design Studio in Hawthorne, California last November, the first ute of the American electric vehicle maker had car enthusiasts swooning over its revolutionary design.
Described by Elon Musk as a “futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck”, the Cybertruck features trapezoidal-shaped exterior, stainless steel alloy body frame, 100 cubic feet of exterior lockable storage, adjustable air suspension, self-levelling capabilities, 3,500-pound payload capacity and a towing capability of over 14,000 pounds.
Despite the noticeable deviance, the Cybertruck has attracted the attention of many. It has reportedly received 200,000 pre-orders three days after the launch. This is quite an impressive number, considering that its production will not begin until the last months of 2021.
- Deviant exterior design
- Several driving system options
- Great payload capacity
- Powerful towing capability
- Adjustable air suspension
- Great traction control and torque
- Lightweight unibody design
- Quick acceleration
- Stainless steel frame that’s resistant to dent and corrosion
- Solar charging option
- Competitive pricing
- Deviant exterior design is “too ugly” for many
- No side mirrors
- No “crumple zone” that can absorb the impact of a collision
- Not bullet-resistant as Tesla CEO Elon Musk used to claim
- Limited palette of finishes
- Not yet in production
- All known configurations are US-specification only; Global specifications will be developed based on demand.
The exterior of Tesla Cybertruck
Whether the ute is an interesting work of art or simply an impeccably ugly design is subjective, but it undeniably commands attention either way.
Resembling as a huge metal trapezoid on wheels, the Cybertruck doesn’t look like any other utes in the market although some people suggest that it has similarities to the first-generation Honda Ridgeline.
Its body is wrapped in Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin that’s resistant to dents and corrosion and nearly impenetrable. However, the “armour glass” windows—made out of aluminum oxynitride and much more resistant than regular glass—are not as tough as Musk earlier claimed.
During the car’s unveiling, a small metal ball was thrown on the vehicle's side windows to demonstrate its supposed durability. The glass broke although it didn’t shattered and the ball didn’t pass through.
The Cybertruck’s angular body shape is due to the exposed stainless steel monocoque frame. The angular lines also create an optical illusion effect that disguises the actual dimensions of the very large vehicle:
Length: 231.7 inches
Width: : 79.8 inches
Height: 75 inches
Wheelbase: 149.9 inches
Bed: 6.5 feet
Meanwhile, the ute’s entire lower body is adorned with steel rock rails and off-road bumpers. The off-road light bar is positioned on the top of the windshield. Its tires are large 35x12.5-inch all-terrains with wheels that protrude. Its entire underbody is flat, which supports up to 14 inches of ground clearance when the ride height is adjusted to a maximum of six inches. The 35-degree approach- and 28-degree departure angles support off-road riding and provide power to tackle rough driving conditions.
Other notable exterior features of the Cybertruck include the super tinted-out glass, unpainted steel body, and a bed with a roll-down cover and built-in ramp in the tailgate. The tonneau cover is also laid with solar panels, which can generate about 15 miles of solar charge per day.
The Cybertruck prototype lacks side mirrors. Considering that both US and Australian regulations mandate passenger vehicles to have a driver’s-side mirror, how Tesla works around this issue is something to look forward to. However, Musk has hinted a day after the unveiling of the ute that it will be added with fold out solar wings that can generate 30 to 40 miles of solar energy per day.
Inside the Tesla Cybertruck
Beneath the outrageous exterior is a surprisingly minimalist cabin that’s both visually appealing and comfortable. The white table-top dashboard contains the huge 17-inch touchscreen infotainment tablet and the rectangular steering wheel that brings the gaming console to mind. Instead of a rear-view mirror, a wide display connected to a camera is installed in the back of the truck.
The lack of many things that you’ll normally find in a car--like high-tech multimedia systems, multiple USB ports or an instrument panel with an array of buttons and dials--is very Tesla-esque. It also makes the cabin roomy, apart from the fact that its ample storage space is located under the rear seats. The car can comfortably accommodate 6 people, that is, if the centre front seat is not folded.
Other interior features include 110V and 220V outlets and an onboard air compressor.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The infotainment display that sits right in the center of the dashboard is a massive, 17-inch touchscreen, which runs what Tesla said is the next-generation version of its in-car software. Tesla doesn’t provide much detail about the infotainment system. Like all other Tesla models, it is expected to offer access to an all-new, customized user interface and will stay up-to-date via over-the-air updates. The Autopilot function, which comes standard on all models, is also expected of the Cybertruck.
The “full-self driving” option is available for an additional $7,000.
What's it like to drive a Cybertruck?
The ride’s “crazy” acceleration, speed and power, depends on which motor the Cybertruck uses. As the price goes up, so does the specs.
- The single-motor base model will go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds and can drive a range of at least 250 miles on a full battery. It has 3,500-pound payload limit and 7,500-pound towing capacity.
- The dual-motor does the same acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds. It can travel at least 300 miles on a full battery. It has 10,000-pound towing capacity.
- The tri-motor takes less than 2.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, travels a range of 500 miles, and has 14,000-pound towing capacity.
The adaptive air suspension and up to 16 inches of ground clearance are also expected to provide great off-road driving experience.
Only a few people have tried riding the Cybertruck’s prototype, but those who did generally shared positive experiences, especially about comfortability:
Sean O'Kane, The Verge:
We were riding in the mid level, dual-motor version of the truck, which is supposed to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and will eventually start at $49,900. But while the prototype truck was quick, the sensation of speed was dulled by its size and (undisclosed) weight. It didn’t really provide that thrilling jolt forward that Teslas are known for.
Instead, the most stunning thing about my ride in the Cybertruck was how big and roomy. Say what you will about the outside of the Cybertruck, but I (and the rear-seat passengers) had more space to spread out than previously seemed possible in a vehicle of this size, almost as if Tesla had pulled off some sort of magic trick.
Roberto Baldwin, Engadget:
While the exterior was all "stabby," the seating was comfy. If anything, most of the ride wasn't all that different from just sitting in any other large vehicle.
The ride felt like a truck. When the brakes were applied after hard acceleration, the front end dove like a truck. There was no slalom course or hard cornering during the quick jaunt, so I was unable to see just how a large metal vehicle with a very heavy battery reacted to quick turns. I'm guessing it's not exactly switchback-corner ready, but in a straight line, it continues the Tesla heritage of accelerating like a rocket.
There was plenty of leg and headroom for my six-foot three-inch frame in the back seat, which is always a plus when you're trying to impress your friends with your crazy '70s sci-fi space truck.
Overall it was a very pleasant -- but short -- ride in a truck that has a lot of features (locking bed, autopilot support, automatic alignment for hitching a trailer, crazy weird lights) for something that starts at under $40,000.
Who’s the Tesla Cybertruck for?
Despite its promising speed and towing prowess, the Cybertruck is not a ute for the traditional tradies and people who need a truck for purely utilitarian purposes, like the contractors, mechanics and delivery folks. The outrageous design simply makes it difficult to readily throw something into the ute from the side of the bed.
On the other hand, people who need a ute that takes off like a shot or tows like a champ may find their ideal car in the Cybertruck. Reports have it that a mayor in Mexico has pre-ordered 15 units of the car to be used for police and trash collection.
"It's not about speed, because we don't want speed. What we're looking for is torque in order to haul water pipes, the garbage trailers. They'll have twice the loads of a normal truck," said Ciudad Valles mayor Adrián Esper Cárdenas in a press conference. "The important thing is that regardless of the fact that the cost can be a little high, the benefit is that if you don’t have to perform maintenance or put gas in them, you’ll be able to save 24 million pesos a year, and with that you’ve paid back half of the investment."
Price: Starts at $39,900
Dimension: 231.7 inches long, 79.8 inches wide, 75 inches tall; 149.9-inch wheelbase and a 6.5-feet bed
Motors: Single, Dual, Tri
Acceleration: 6.5 sec, 4.5 sec, 2.9 sec
Range: 250+ miles, 300+ miles, 500+ miles (EPS est.)
Drivetrain: RWD, AWD
Storage: 100 cu ft
Vault Length: 6.5 ft
Towing Capacity: 7,500+ lbs, 10,000+ lbs, 14,000+
AV and Tech: Standard Autopilot and Adaptive Air Suspension; Optional full self-driving option capability
Ground Clearance: Up to 16 inches
Approach Angle: 35 degrees
Departure Angle: 28 degrees
Safety: Not yet crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
Rivals: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Mustang Mach-E
Want to pre-order your own Tesla Cybertruck now? Apply for a car loan at a low interest rate!