Electric vehicle technology leader Elon Musk just unveiled the instantly controversial Tesla Cybertruck. A class-defying mid-duty pickup truck, the Cybertruck looks more like a movie prop than a real-world road vehicle.
The Cybertruck, like other Tesla vehicles, is an all-electric pickup truck. It features a crew cab and a rolltop bed and it performs somewhere in between light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks.
Like the original fleet of Tesla cars, the Cybertruck blurs lines between everyday and high-performance vehicles, but anything else it might have in common with the rest of the Tesla lineup really ends there.
Whether you like the style of Tesla’s cars and their SUV it’s not a stretch to say they look like a lot of other modern cars and SUVs on the market today. The Cybertruck doesn’t look like any other trucks in production, now or really ever.
Being blunt, the Cybertruck looks like it was meant to haul a load of Arnold Schwartzenegger’s ’80s action movie characters off the big screen and onto the stage at Musk’s very own personal science fiction convention.
It’s entirely possible that form follows function and that function includes being bulletproof. The Cybertruck is not armored but it is built to be extremely durable. The body panels are solid 3mm sheets of stainless steel.
Putting that in perspective, each door panel weighs about 60 pounds. Musk originally wanted to use 4mm stainless steel for the doors but that would have made them weigh 80 pounds. Similarly, the auto glass used for the windshield and windows is also bulletproof, up to a point.
The reason the Cybertruck can stop bullets is because it’s built to be tough, not because it’s designed to go into battle. It’s got no paint or real finish on the base model, so scratches, dents and dings won’t make the truck look beat and tired.
“If fully hardened, 3mm of 301 stainless is more than adequate to stop any 9mm Luger round I can think of, apart from exotic stuff like dedicated armor-piercing bullets, which you’re not going to find on gun store shelves,” said Recoil’s Iain Harrison to Motortrend.
Worried about grocery carts? Why, the Cybertruck can stop bullets. Same thing goes for anything else short of a prolonged firefight — the Cybertruck can handle it.
While the current Cybertruck is a concept car, Tesla expects to have at least some variants of the Cyberetruck in production and for sale in 2021. Right now Tesla has three models in the works although there is a lot of room for change in the next two years.
The base model Cybertruck will have a nominal range of 300 or so miles, running on a single rear axle motor. The mid-level and premium Cybertrucks will have improved ranges and all-wheel drive with two and three motors.
With three electric motors, the top-end Cybertruck is expected to be half pickup, half straight race car with an incredible, downright unbelievable 0-60 speed of just under 3 seconds. It will probably cost around $70,000, though.
Of course, all of the Cybertruck details and pricing are projected. The world will have to wait to see if the production models have the same kind of ranges, speeds, pricing, and bulletproof-ness as the debut versions.
Who knows, by 2021, maybe the Cybertruck will even have rear-view mirrors.