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2024 Tesla Cybertruck: Wonderfully weird, just weird or new design trend?

With its angular body and sparse interior, it's safe to say the Cybertruck won't be mistaken for a conventional pickup
Initially, the Cybertruck will be available in two all-wheel-drive versions — with up to 845 horsepower — with a base rear-wheel-drive model coming for 2025. PHOTO: TESLA

Love it or hate it – there appears to be no middle ground – on the most controversial of all Tesla EVs. 

The prototype Cybertruck pickup was first shown at a Los Angeles press event in 2019. It made headlines for its weird garden-shed appearance and its shatterproof windows that famously, well, shattered when Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen tossed a steel ball at them, on purpose.

At first, the Cybertruck appeared to be a fanciful concept, but Tesla – which has never been one to follow any type of rules – decided to actually build it.

Four problem-plagued development years later – there was a pandemic, after all – the production-ready Cybertruck has at last seen the light of day, and in November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered the first small batch of Cybertrucks to reservation holders at an event at the automaker's Austin, Texas, factory.

The Cybertruck bed can handle 1,140 kilograms (2,500 pounds) of payload. PHOTO: TESLA  

It goes without saying that the infamous Cybertruck won’t be confused for any other pickup. The apparently bulletproof stainless-steel body panels remind us of the DeLorean DMC 12 sports car from the early 1980s. The cab-forward design’s enormous windshield is kept clear with a single driver’s side wiper blade. As there are no door handles to be found, entry is gained by pressing a small button below each side window. 

The four-door Cybertruck’s angular shape cleverly disguises the four-foot-by-six-foot bed and its power-operated tailgate. The bed can handle 1,140 kilograms (2,500 pounds) of payload. A power-retractable tonneau cover helps keep cargo safe and dry. There’s an additional small stowage spot located under the hood and a huge area beneath the molded composite load floor. 

The Cybertruck’s sparse interior has little more than a giant 18.5-inch display and a 9.4-inch screen behind the centre console for rear-seat riders. PHOTO: TESLA  

The Cybertruck is about the same length as the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, but the Cybertruck is narrower by about 10 centimetres and has considerably less height. The Tesla holds about a 10-centimetre advantage for the distance between the front and rear wheels, which should help provide rear passengers with sufficient legroom. 

The minimalist interior includes little more than a giant 18.5-inch display and a 9.4-inch screen behind the centre console for rear-seat riders to use. 

The Cybertruck rides on an adaptive air suspension with up to 43 centimetres of ground clearance. That’s plenty for rock crawling and boulder hopping across some seriously rough tundra without harming the undercarriage. Rear-wheel steering is also included, which helps reduce turning radius and is handy for parking or manoeuvring through tight spots.

The Cybertruck has about a 10-centimetre advantage over the Ford F-150 Lightning for the distance between the front and rear wheels, which should help with rear legroom. PHOTO: TESLA

Two Cybertruck models will be available at the start.
The two-motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) version makes 600 horsepower and has a zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) time of about four seconds. Maximum range is 540 kilometres (340 miles), according to Tesla.

The Cyberbeast model has a front motor and one for each rear wheel and is rated at 845 horsepower. The zero-to-60-mph (96-km/h) time drops into high-two-second territory. Vehicle range is slightly less at about 510 kilometres (320 miles).

Available for 2025 will be a rear-motor, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) variant with an estimated 300 horsepower. The zero-to-60 mph (96-km/h) time is 6.5 seconds and the maximum range is estimated at 400 kilometres (250 miles).

All this fits into or on top of the Cybertruck. The angular shape of the vehicle cleverly disguises the four-foot-by-six-foot bed, complete with power-operated tailgate. PHOTO: TESLA  

Towing capacity is 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) for the AWD variants, and about 3,400 kilograms (7,500 pounds) for the RWD model.

Charging at home with a Level 2 station (using a Tesla adapter) is an overnight affair. If you’re out on the road and hook up to a Tesla Supercharger, expect to add 215 kilometres (150 miles) of range in about 15 minutes. 

A unique Cybertruck feature – among the many – is an available range extender, an additional removable battery positioned in bed that can provide 200-plus kilometres (130-plus miles) of additional range. That will help drivers heading into remote areas where charging stations are scarce. 

The question is, once some time passes and there are sufficient numbers on the streets, will the early adopters stay on the order list or grow weary and take their refundable deposit and look for the next big – or weird – thing?


What you should know: 2024 Tesla Cybertruck

Type: Rear- /all-wheel-drive electric pickup

Motors (h.p.): Single electric (300, RWD); dual/triple electric (600/845, AWD)

Transmission: Single-speed controller

Market position: The long-awaited Cybertruck has generated significant interest since being shown in concept form in 2019. How it will impact sales of other electric pickups remains to be seen, as well as whether it’s more than just an anti-establishment novelty.

Points: Controversial design is not necessarily practical. • The stark interior could take some getting used to, but it will be familiar for current Tesla owners. • Power outputs range from decent to ballistic. • Driving range could be considered average to slightly above average. • Maximum hauling and towing capacities are in line with gasoline-powered pickups. How will that impact range, though?

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (n.a.); active cruise control (std.); front and rear emergency braking (opt.); inattentive-driver alert (n.a.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian warning (std.)

Le/100 km (city/hwy): n.a.   

Base price (incl. destination): $100,000 (two-motor AWD, est.)


Ford F-150 Lightning XLT

  • Base price: $71,400
  • Dual-motor AWD pickup has up to 580 h.p., up to 500 kilometres of range.

GMC Hummer EV Pickup

  • Base price: n.a.
  • Base AWD model makes 570 h.p., estimated 500 kilometres of range. 

Ram 1500 REV

  • Base price: $74,000 (est.)
  • 2025 AWD base pickup makes 654 h.p., up to 800 kilometres of range.

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