Tesla’s Cybertruck Is the “Blade Runner” Pickup Elon Musk Promised
Starts at $39,900. Up to 500 miles of range. Design level: Bonkers.
A year ago, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk made one of his characteristically ridiculous promises. In an interview with Vox’s Recode, the EV mastermind said he was working on a pickup truck, but not just any ol’ lumber hauler. “Well I can’t talk about the details, but it’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, ‘Blade Runner’ pickup truck,” he said. No one believed he meant that literally.
Then on Thursday night, Musk and co. unveiled the Cybertruck — to audible gasps from the audience in Los Angeles. It looks exactly like he said: a pickup truck from a 1980s science fiction epic directed by Ridley Scott. What it doesn’t look like? The Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado or any of its supposed competitors (or even the unofficial concept drawings that were floating around the internet).
#Cybertruck has been trending on Twitter since the reveal, and as such, there’s a good chance you’ve seen glimpses of what went wrong during the reveal, but a lot when right, too. Here’s a breakdown.
What Went Wrong …
Tesla Armor Glass: When Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen tried to show off the strength of its proprietary glass windows by throwing a metal ball at them, well, just watch:
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) November 22, 2019
The design is easy to ridicule: The closest an automaker has come to releasing a production vehicle like this might be the DeLorean. And its completely unexpected polygonal design had people on Twitter comparing it to everything from Halo Warthogs to Microsoft Paint drawings to Star Wars vehicles to uh …
— Kermit the Frog Kin (@christmasinfant) November 22, 2019
What Went Right …
The test drives are impressive: After the presentation, Tesla gave members of the press test drives in the Cybertruck, and as videos show — like this one from the Verge — it’s actually ready for its closeup:
Ford took the bait: Around the time of the reveal, Mike Levine, Ford’s North America Product Communications manager, not-so-subtly subtweeted the Cybertruck. As Ford hasn’t even set a release timeline for its electric F-150, despite its PR stunts, this attention is actually a win for Tesla:
— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) November 22, 2019
The specs: No other automaker has been able to match Tesla’s specs when it comes to electric vehicles, and the Cybertruck didn’t disappoint. Here’s a dump of what the company is promising: up to 500 miles of range, a 0-60 MPH time under 2.9 seconds, towing capacity over 14,000 pounds, payload capacity up to 3,500 pounds, vault length of 6.5 feet, 100 cubic feet total of protected storage, suspension of 4 inches, 17-inch touchscreen, body made of “ultra-hard 30x cold-rolled stainless steel,” and seating for up to six adults. The starting price? Just $39,900. But some of those specs are for the more expensive models.
It’s a lot to take in, but the Outline sums it up like this: “Musk has at least done the fun dumb thing.” Are you more in agreement with the dumb part of that equation? Or are you in the fun camp? If so, you can actually get in line for one now for a fully refundable $100 deposit, though production isn’t expected to begin until late 2021.
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