So I’m late to writing about the Tesla Cybertruck, not that it really matters since everyone and their dog has already heard everything about it and have what they claim to be fully-formed opinions on the divisive new all-electric ute.
I know it seems slack of me, but I have been away filming, photographing, and writing about some exciting new cars and exciting places, and I’m going to run with that excuse for my tardiness in writing about the hottest new car on the block, but if anything, this has given me a good opportunity to round up everything we now know about Tesla’s controversial pickup.
You probably already know all the specs all the Tesla fans will care about – single, dual, or tri-motor configurations, 0-97km/h (0-60mph) in as little as 2.9 seconds, it’ll go as far as 800km on a single charge, be priced from US$39,000 (A$59,000), have a 1500kg payload and towing capacity of between 3400-6300kg, seat six, and have 17 inches of touchscreen infotainment screen on its dashboard – but what about some of the other smaller pieces of news you may have missed? Well, it’s time to wrap up all of the ongoing developments surrounding the Cybertruck launch that has taken the internet by storm.
Broken windows? Only some
One of the most talked-about points from the Cybertruck’s live reveal was the breaking of not one but two of its supposedly shatterproof windows when that claim was put to the test.
While I’ve heard some words of a conspiracy surrounding these broken windows being a mere publicity stunt to get people talking – and that, it certainly did – the issue does already seem to be fixed with Elon sharing footage on Twitter of the windows now resisting such damage.
Was this a carefully calculated stunt from Elon, or a genuine on-stage stuff-up? Whether you think so or not, at least it does look like we’ll actually be getting the promised indestructible windows after all.
The people have spoken, and they want it
While the Cybertruck’s looks certainly polarised viewers when it was revealed on stage – Doug DeMuro, in a video, called it “the ugliest wheeled vehicle I have ever seen in my life” – it’s clear that plenty of people still want it.
On November 27, Elon Musk announced on Twitter that over 250,000 pre-orders for the Cybertruck have been received by Tesla, meaning each of those people put down US$100 to secure a production slot when the truck finally arrives in 2021.
Yes, it’ll come with the quad bike
One of the things it seems people Tweeted at Elon Musk about most when it comes to the Cybertruck is the quad bike that was driven up into the bed of it during the demonstration.
Well, as it turns out, this two-person ATV will be available as an option for Cybertruck owners, as Elon confirmed on Twitter. Little is known about it at this stage, but it will be electric – duh – and is believed that it will be able to be charged in the bed of the truck itself.
A fully-fledged tent, as can be seen in the gallery at the bottom of the article, is also set to be part of the options list, showing that this Tesla is clearly geared towards lovers of the outdoors.
It really do be aerodynamic, though
While the shape might be… unconventional, to be kind to it, one perhaps surprising point to the design is that its aerodynamic properties are actually rather good, as aerospace engineer Justin Martin found out when he made a CFD simulation of the truck’s wedge-like shape.
While choosing not to reveal an exact drag coefficient, he did note that it should be lower than that of a lot of sports cars, let alone pickup trucks.
He also noted that one discovery he made was that at 65mph, the wind velocity over the pointy roof peak is 88mph, pondering whether this Back to the Future reference could be “the ultimate Elon Easter Egg.”
The tug-of-war was a farce
Shortly after the unveiling of the Cybertruck, a video was released to Twitter showing one absolutely obliterating a Ford F-150 in a tug-of-war, easily pulling the Blue Oval’s top-seller uphill as its rear wheels span away.
Well, this was an entirely unfair test, as it turns out, hence why the Tesla’s win was so comfortable. A Ford executive called Musk out on this, challenging them to a fair test in the process, while YouTuber Engineering Explained debunked the reasons behind why it was an unfair test in detail.
Long story short, the all-wheel drive Cybertruck used against a rear-wheel drive F-150 meant that it was never a fair test to begin with, let alone any power or weight differences that also played a factor.
It’s now available for pre-order in Australia
Today, at the date of publication, Tesla opened up the order books for Australian customers to secure their spot for one of these beasts, with Tesla asking for just a $150 deposit from interested Aussie customers.
There’s no official pricing for our market just yet, nor any word on when right-hand drive production will commence, but if the Model 3 is anything to go by, expect a delay of around a couple of years after left-hook production begins. So 2023 then, if we had to put a number on it.
I would also warn any interested buyers that depending on the weight, towing capacity, and resultant GCM and GVM weights of each Cybertruck variant may require a light rigid truck licence, rather than a normal car license, such as is the case with the Ram 3500, but not the 2500 with a lower payload.
And there you have it – you’re now up to speed on everything Cybertruck. The main take-away for most of you from all of this will be that a deposit for a build slot will cost you $150, it won’t be made until 2021 at the earliest, and it still looks tremendously ugly, but it’s probably for a reason.