“Doesn’t look like anything else.”

The Tesla Cybertruck is set to hit roads in late 2021, taking on the likes of Rivian and Ford for pickup truck dominance.

The angular truck turned heads when unveiled in November 2019. At the Tesla Design Studio event in Los Angeles, CEO Elon Musk declared it “doesn’t look like anything else.” The car packs the specs to match, with a battery range that runs for over 500 miles at the high end and the ability to tow up to 14,000 pounds.

But the final version could look even more impressive. On February 22, Musk that the “final design is looking ?,” adding that he “was just in the studio.”

It’s unclear how the final design will differ, but Musk has offered some clues. In April 2020, Musk posted on that the size had been reduced by three percent. Musk also noted that the center line is more level and the window sill height is lower. The comments suggest Tesla is sticking with the broad strokes of the design, instead making some small tweaks ahead of mass production.

Let’s talk about that design: Four lines dominate the vehicle. The front, the windshield, a slope toward the back, and the rear. That is essentially Cybertruck. It’s ugly, but it’s future ugly. And like every Tesla vehicle that has been released to date, it’s an absolute curiosity, inside and out.

Since the launch, Musk has ratcheted up the hype by cruising around the streets of California. During a February 2020 earnings call, four months after the reveal, Musk made a bold claim about initial pre-orders: “We’ve never seen this level of demand.”

Tesla Cybertruck features

Its body, made from that stainless steel alloy, also boasts a 100 cubic feet of lockable storage in the bed and a 6.5” length. It carries up to 3,500 pounds and can tow 14,000 pounds. It goes 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and does the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds. It has 16-inch clearance and “adaptive air suspension” to handle various cargo weights. Oh, and it houses outlets for both 110-volt and 240-volt power.

Its angular design, Musk later revealed, comes from the fact it uses ultra-hard 30X steel. Where regular hot-rolled steel is rolled at a temperature measuring over 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit, this steel is further processed in cold reduction mills to make it even stronger. That means the company can’t stamp the panels, Musk explained, as it would “break the stamping process…even bending it requires a deep score on inside of bend, which is how the prototype was made.”

The least-interesting thing about Teslas, in 2019, is that they are electric cars.

Musk revealed more details about the truck in the months after the launch:

  • The car will pump the HVAC to the rear bed while the tonneau cover is closed.
  • The rear will likely be accessible from the second row of seats.
  • A “partial” Bioweapon Defense System, used to filter the air, is expected to be included.
  • Tesla is aiming for a best-case drag coefficient of 0.30 – “insane for a truck.”
  • The truck will offer the option to add solar panels to the rear, boosting range by 15 miles per day. A fold-out version could raise that figure to 40.

Tesla Cybertruck price

The base price – $39,900 – caused the live audience to gasp and then cheer. “You can order right now if you’d like,” Musk said, before : tesla.com/cybertruck.

The truck comes in three editions:

  • A $39,900 single-motor rear-wheel drive with over 250 miles of range, over 7,500 pounds of towing capacity, and 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. Musk , as of November 23, 17 percent of buyers had opted for this model.
  • A $49,900 dual-motor all-wheel-drive with over 300 miles of range, over 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, and 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. As of November 23, 42 percent of buyers had opted for this model.
  • A $69,900 tri-motor all-wheel drive with over 500 miles of range, over 14,000 pounds of towing capacity, and 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds. As of November 23, 43 percent of buyers had opted for this model.

Full self-driving is an extra $7,000 for all configurations.

Tesla Cybertruck release date

Production on the truck will begin in late 2021, with the single-motor rear-wheel-drive version going into production a year later, in late 2022. Originally, the tri-motor all-wheel-drive version was set for late 2022 production, but this was switched around in December 2019.

The car may take a bit longer to reach most consumers. In a January 2021 earnings call, Musk said that “if we get lucky, we’ll be able to do a few deliveries toward the end of this year, but I expect volume production to be in 2022.”

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