Catherine Hiles
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Tesla Cybertruck Looks Like the Inside of Elon Musk’s Brain

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Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed his company’s newest vehicle: The Cybertruck.

Tesla Cybertruck design reveal
This thing.
Photo: Tesla

Yes, it sounds like something from an episode of Doctor Who. Yes, it kind of looks like something from an episode of Doctor Who, as well.

cybermen doctor who
WEEEEE-oooooooooooo-WEeeeeeeee-oooooohhhh, der der der derderderderderrrrrr
Photo: Paul Hudson

The Cybertruck is Musk and Tesla’s attempt to compete with the growing American pickup truck market (though Musk says it’s his pet project and that he “doesn’t care” if no one buys it… OK Elon). But Tesla may have missed the mark when it comes to styling. It’s unique, for sure, but I can’t quite see Bob the rancher from Texas wanting to drive this thing. It’s probably more designed for Harvey from Columbus who thinks a pickup truck will go nicely with his beard, despite the fact that he lives in the suburbs and currently drives a Nissan Leaf.

tesla cybertruck logo
Was Elon feeling like a freak on a leash when he designed the Cybertruck’s logo?

What can it do?

Its funky looks are eye-catching, but what’s really impressive about the Cybertruck are its capabilities. According to Tesla’s press site, the high-end Tri-Motor All-Wheel Drive Cybertruck has a range of 500+ miles, a 0-60 time of less than 2.9 seconds (!!!), a towing capacity of more than 14,000 pounds, and a payload of up to 3,500 pounds.

For comparison’s sake, the current 2020 Ford F-150 has a 0-mile electric range (because it’s not an electric truck…), an available conventional tow rating of 13,200 pounds (with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine), and a best-in-class payload of up to 3,270. It’s not worth comparing the F-150’s 0-60 time because holy butts, 2.9 seconds for the Cybertruck is insane. A more worthy comparison is the Porsche 911 Carrera, which does from 0-60 in 4 seconds. THIS THING IS FASTER THAN A PORSCHE 911.

Porsche 911 Carrera S 992 Exterior

What the F-150 has going for it that the Cybertruck doesn’t is Ford’s longtime reputation as the best truck manufacturer in America. Ford’s first ever truck, the Model TT, debuted more than 100 years ago in 1917. Tesla, in comparison, has carved out a name for itself for its long-range electric vehicles, but it doesn’t have the clout Ford does in the truck world.

Video: Elon Musk reveals Tesla Cybertruck

Let’s talk more about the Cybertruck’s design. Here are some of my favorite YouTube comments from TFL’s video of the reveal:

  • BaracW: “This is what happens when you hire designers that grew up playing Minecraft”
  • 976-HIKE: “This looks like Nintendo 64 graphics”
  • Elliott Carson: “This looks like something I’d buy on GTA online for defense against the flying bikes”

The truck is essentially a triangle on top of a rectangle. It’s made from “30X Cold-Rolled stainless steel,” which Elon says is the material used to build SpaceX rockets. It’s so tough that you can shoot a 9-millimeter handgun at it and get little to no damage. During the reveal, a dude literally took a sledgehammer to it and left no marks. (They did throw a metal ball at the windshield to demonstrate its toughness, which backfired when the window cracked. But Musk pointed out that the ball didn’t go THROUGH the windshield so there’s that!)

Tesla Cybertruck design reveal
Photo: Tesla

Now, let’s talk about pricing. The Cybertruck, which Tesla says will begin production at the end of 2021, will carry a starting price of $39,900. Comparatively, an entry-level F-150 starts at $28,495. The top F-150 trim, Limited, starts at $67,485. So Tesla is pricing the Cybertruck pretty well to compete with its nemesis truck. (Though I stand by my previous comment that Average Joe Truck Driver will likely not switch from Ford or Chevy for the Cybertruck because… well, look at it.)

While I’m not sure what goes on inside Elon Musk’s head, things like this make me really glad that he is a thing.

Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck photos

  • Tesla Cybertruck design reveal
  • Tesla Cybertruck design reveal
  • Tesla Cybertruck design reveal
  • Tesla Cybertruck design reveal