Elon Musk drives “production candidate” of the Cybertruck

Since 2012, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed his desire to build a consumer pickup to rival Ford’s F-Series. He wanted a truck large enough to have a “game-changing” feature, and the company displayed a photo of a pickup truck carrying a pickup truck to drive the point home.

In late 2019, Tesla unveiled a concept called Cybertruck inspired by vehicles in the Blade Runner movie. One memorable incident during the event was designer Franz von Holzhausen throwing a steel ball at the 'armor glass' of the model to showcase its toughness, only for the glass to shatter on impact. Despite the mishap, the Cybertruck received the ‘Concept Car of the Year’ award from Automobile Magazine in 2020.

Tesla’s Cybertruck is out and it looks nothing like a pickup image

Three years later – on July 15, 2023 – the company tweeted a photo with the caption, “First Cybertruck built in Giga Texas.” The image showed the Cybertruck surrounded by Tesla Giga Factory workers still wearing vests and hard hats. Which got everyone excited about their much-hyped truck rolling out after four years.

Just yesterday, Elon Musk, on his personal X account, published a photo, with a close-up look of the Cybertruck with him driving the “production candidate” himself.

In a recently "leaked" email from Elon Musk, the CEO said that he wanted absolute precision with sub-10 micron accuracy for the Cybertruck.

Due to the nature of Cybertruck, which is made of bright metal with mostly straight edges, any dimensional variation shows up like a sore thumb.​

All parts for this vehicle, whether internal or from suppliers, need to be designed and built to sub 10 micron accuracy.​

That means all part dimensions need to be to the third decimal place in millimeters and tolerances need be specified in single digit microns. If LEGO and soda cans, which are very low cost, can do this, so can we.​

Precision predicates perfectionism.​


So, what are we really looking at?

The company’s official website already has a page dedicated to the Cybertruck indicating that it is now open for orders. The vehicle’s short description says it has “Better utility than a truck, (and) with more performance than a sports car.”

Instead of a body shell, Tesla calls the Cybertruck frame an exoskeleton. It uses Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless steel that the company claims will help eliminate dents, damage, and long-term corrosion. Despite what happened to the windows during the concept unveiling, Tesla still calls it armor glass. It uses a polymer-layered composite, which supposedly makes it ultra-strong.

Musk has long touted the versatility of the Cybertruck, and some of the features listed on the website look impressive. The 100-cubic foot bed lockable has a 3,500-pound payload capacity adjustable air suspension and uses a lockable magic tonneau cover that is strong enough to stand on. It has a 14,000-pound towing capability and a self-leveling suspension.

The cabin accommodates six people with additional storage under the second-row seats. It has a 17-inch touchscreen and offers on-board power to juice up devices and even home appliances.

There are no details yet about its powertrain, but the website states that the design gives it traction control and torque—enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in as little as 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles (804.6 kilometers) of range.

No official details regarding variants were revealed, but various news reports indicate that at least three trims will be available, and the price starts at $40,000 all the way to the $70,000 top trim. Deliveries begin on September 2023.

How will this electric pickup truck do? It appears to be a niche market product given its radical design but that has also become the source of several safety issues as per the Australasian New Car Assessment Program and the Euro NCAP. Apparently, one of its best features, the body stiffness, has a shortage of crumple zones, while the flat front may cause severe leg injuries.

Are we looking at the new age of the pickup truck or is the Cybertruck going to get cyberpunked? Let us know in the comments below.