Tesla Unveils Futuristic Cybertruck


Tesla/Handout via Reuters via Irish TImes

On Thursday, November 21, at 8 PM at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne California, the new Tesla Cybertruck is unveiled.

Oliver Klipsch, Writer

Elon Musk has finally unveiled Tesla’s electric pickup truck, to the awe and disbelief of many.

The livestreamed reveal took place on Thursday, November 21, at 8 PM at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne California. The design of the “Cybertruck” is very different from that of the models sold by companies like Ford and General Motors. The information presented at the unveiling and on Tesla’s website suggests that it could outperform the most popular trucks on the market, the Ford F-series, once it is released to the public in 2021.

The Cybertruck has three models, but the premium version has storage space of 100 square feet, a towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds, a cold-rolled stainless steel exterior that is the same as that used on SpaceX’s Starship rocket, and a 500+ mile range. There is also a built-in autopilot and a self-driving software add-on. Tesla’s autopilot software is essentially the same as its self-driving software, except not fully autonomous – you still have to be alert and ready to intervene on the road if necessary. 

The truck has just as much horsepower (and sometimes up to double, depending on the model), torque and towing capacity as the newest Ford 2020 F-Series trucks, and at a competitive cost (according to the specifications listed on the website of Tesla’s Cybertruck as well as Ford’s website). 

The prices of the three Cybertruck models are in the same range as its primary competitor, the Ford F-150.

The F-150 Raptor has 450 Horsepower, 500 torque (lbs – ft), and an 800 mile range, whereas the premium Cybertruck has 800 Horsepower, 1,000 torque (lbs – ft) and a 500 mile range. These two premium trucks are within the same price range ($65,000 – $70,000). However, depending on the model’s upgrades and the engines or motors used, the prices vary.

The base model of the Cybertruck is $39,900.

During the unveiling event, Cybertruck’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, performed various tests to prove the truck’s resilience. One of them involved hitting its exterior, or, as Musk called it, the “exoskeleton,”, with a sledgehammer. Another involved dropping a steel ball on a sheet of Cybertruck’s “armorglass”, a transparent metal composite, from about 20 feet in the air. A video was shown of the Cybertruck in a tug of war with Ford F-150 and the Cybertruck won. 

One problem did arise when Holzhausen, prompted by Musk, threw the steel ball at the truck’s window, causing it to dent and crack. After a moment of silence from the crowd and a remark of surprise by Musk, Holzhausen threw it at the other window, with the same result.

However, concerns arise when you look at laws concerning the car and its street safety. Will the design crumple when in a collision, absorbing the shock rather than transmitting it to the humans involved in the collision? If not, this could prove dangerous to those involved. 

Cybertruck’s design is the most unusual thing about it. It looks nothing like any of the popular trucks that it will be competing against. Its design is sharp and angular and looks like a cross between a steel wedge and a Mars rover. Many call the design polarizing because early reactions are proving that it inspires either love or hate. 

 The design and capability of Cybertruck is changing the perception of what a truck should look like and how it should perform. The truck certainly defies all stereotypes, whether for better or worse, and, according to Tesla, can do everything most trucks on the market can. Where, when, and with who will the Cybertruck drive? Can the truck really live up to what Musk says? Only time will tell.