UPDATED Enigmatic Tesla boss Elon Musk has let slip a few more details of the hotly anticipated Cybertruck, which is still set for launch in 2022.
In exchanges with some of his Twitter follows, Musk revealed that the electric pick-up will be slightly smaller than first planned.
As well, the controversial styling will be slightly tweaked.
Most interestingly, Musk confirmed that the company is working on an all-new, more off-road capable air suspension system with longer travel in order to, as Musk put it, "kick butt in Baja".
We’re working on increasing dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading. Needs to kick butt in Baja.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
This is a reference to desert racing, and more specifically the Baja desert classics like the Baja 500 and Baja 1000, which are amongst the toughest off-road races on the planet.
Is this a clue as to Musk's launch plans? He'll need a few more batteries to take on the 1600km classic, even though the triple-motor Plaid spec drivetrain would have the mumbo to tackle it.
As well, Musk said that the Cybertruck will be three per cent smaller, while the lines on the angular pick-up's flanks will be altered.
Reduced size by ~3%, center line is more level & lower window sill height— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
This will have the effect of reducing the Cybertruck's overall mass and increasing the rear window size. We wait in anticipation for a revised render of the world's most hotly anticipated truck, which will start manufacture in a bespoke US plant next year. /Tim Robson
In typical Tesla style, the Californian brand has revealed its hotly-anticipated all-electric utility – dubbed simply Cybertruck – by unleashing it alongside a barrage of impressive tech specs.
And the numbers are indeed attention-grabbing. Towing capacity in excess of 6.35 tonnes, an available three-motor configuration, 2.9 seconds to go from zero to 96km/h, a maximum range of over 800km, and a starting price that’s almost the same as a base Tesla Model 3.
But then there’s the styling. Built around an unpainted stainless-steel body (the 3mm-thick material being chosen for its resistance to damage and corrosion), the Cybertruck looks more like a low-polygon rendition of an actual dual-cab ute than something designed for peak worksite practicality.
The first question most tradies will likely ask of Elon Musk would surely be, “how do I put a tray on it?”.
Building on the theme of ruggedness, Tesla has also equipped the Cybertruck with so-called Tesla armoured glass.
However, an on-stage demo saw two large steel ball bearings create sizable craters in both side windows. Musk's reaction suggests that wasn't the intended result, but to be fair the average ute driver doesn't normally have to contend with fist-sized lumps of metal being hurled at their vehicles.
Armoured or not, the design is certainly adventurous. And with Musk opening the Cybertruck’s reveal by describing other full-size American trucks as being indistinguishable when the badges are removed, there will be no mistaking Tesla’s deliberately (and literally) edgy dual-cab when it eventually hits the road in 2022.
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Those stealth-fighter angles mask its size, too. It’s pitched as an alternative to US-market trucks like the RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150, and its capacious cabin has room for six adults.
Between its frunk (or front trunk), its 1.9-metre long cargo bed and stowage compartments in the sail panels, the Cybertruck will provide up to 2831 litres of capacity and a 1587kg payload.
And that’s for all models in the three-variant Cybertruck range. The range opens with the rear-drive, single-motor Cybertruck that has a battery big enough for 400km of single-charge range and a respectable 0-96km/h time of 6.5 seconds.
Next rung up the ladder is the dual-motor variant with a 480km range and a brisk 4.5-second sprint time, but the range-topping Cybertruck tri-motor not only adds another electric motor to the back axle, but boasts a scarcely believable 2.9-second 0-96km/h sprint and an 800km+ range.
All of them will also offer up to 406mm of ground clearance and approach/departure angles of 35 and 28 degrees respectively, and tow capacity will be generous.
The single motor will be able to haul a decent 3400kg off its towbar, while the dual-motor and tri-motor have claimed tow ratings of 4535kg and 6350kg respectively.
Production will start in late 2021 with local deliveries expected sometime in 2022. Want the tri-motor configuration? You’ll have to wait a little longer, with production on that model not slated to commence until late 2022.
Unlike the Model 3, placing a deposit for a Cybertruck will only cost a modest $150 in Australia, which is fully refundable should you change your mind.
Australian pricing is yet to be released, but in the USA the single-motor RWD variant will retail at US$39,900, followed by the dual-motor AWD at US$49,900, then capped off by the tri-motor AWD at US$69,900.
With Tesla generally maintaining price parity across all of the markets it sells cars in, that means we should expect the Cybertruck range to open in Australia around the $66K mark, in line with the Model 3 Standard Plus.