But, as the live demonstration proved, Elon Musk's latest creation is not as strong as it looks.
Trust Elon Musk to launch a new car surrounded by sci-fi icons like vehicles out of Blade Runner and Back to the Future. It's the kind of zany thing he'd do to build hype for Tesla's latest creation, arguably one of the most anticipated new car reveals of the current decade, the Tesla pick-up. But there was a reason he chose the film icons he did, and it's because the latest Tesla creation, dubbed the Tesla Cybertruck, looks like it's straight out of a sci-fi film. We're not exactly sure how the hell this design was ever approved for production - it looks like the lovechild between a DeLorean DMC-12 and the Mars rover.
Wedge-shaped designs went out of fashion in the 80s, and for good reason, but it seems Musk and the Tesla design team are living in the past. So much so that the body is designed with a new cold-rolled stainless steel 'exoskeleton' that can withstand sledgehammer blows and apparently even 9 -mm bullets. The glass used for the windows was supposed to be hardcore too, but in the live unveiling, the Cybertruck suffered from an epic fail when both the front and rear windows shattered during a demo of their supposed resilience. So much for Tesla's 'Armor Glass.'
Skip to around the one-minute mark in the video to see for yourself.
In true Tesla fashion, the performance claims are bold, too; the utility of a pickup, the off-road ability of a Mars rover, and the on-street performance of a sports car. It may sound too good to be true, but we'll find out in 2021 when the Cybertruck is slated to hit the streets. Until then, you can place your order with just a $100 deposit.
Three variants of the wedge-shaped pickup will be available: the Single Motor Rear-Wheel Drive model, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive model, and the pièce de résistance of the Cybertruck line-up will be the Tri-Motor All-Wheel Drive version, which we expect to utilize the same triple-motor powertrain as the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid and Tesla Roadster.
That model is said to sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds according to Musk and co, run the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds, and "corner like it's on rails". The base RWD version will run from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and achieve a range of more than 250 miles on a charge, while the Dual Motor AWD model is claimed to have a range of more than 300 miles and a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds. The range-topping Tri Motor model can apparently travel more than 500 miles on a charge, and all models are capable of 250+ kW charging and have access to Tesla's network of more than 14,000 Superchargers.
Aiding the handling claims is an adaptive air suspension system that can adjust ride height for use in various situations, providing as much as 16 inches of ground clearance when off-road, but hunker down for high-speed road use, and lower even further to aid loading. In its optimal off-road setting, there's a 35-degree approach angle and a 28-degree departure angle. To put that into perspective, a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon boasts figures of up to 43.4 degrees and 26 degrees respectively with a ground clearance of 11.1 inches.
With electric torque on tap, it'll be a capable tower too, as the manufacturer claims it can tow up to 14,000 lbs, 800 lbs more than a Ford F-150. The 6.5-foot bed can allegedly carry a 3,500-pound payload. Between the load bin, frunk, and sail pillars there's apparently 100 cubic feet of lockable storage. Inside the bed, there are power outlets and dedicated power tools, and there's an onboard air compressor, too, making it a proper work truck as well.
What's likely to be a dealbreaker - although nowhere near as deal-breaking as that design - is the Cybertruck's price. The Single Motor RWD starts at $39,900, the Dual Motor AWD at $49,900, and if you want the Tri Motor AWD performance version, you're looking at $69,900 excluding $7,000 for Tesla's incredibly misleading 'full self-driving' functionality.
Considering Ford is known to be working on an all-electric F-150, the novelty of the Cybertruck is likely to be short-lived, especially considering the F-150 won't look anywhere near as ugly as this wedge-shaped design disaster.
Perhaps the only really cool part of the evening was the Tesla-designed ATV that they loaded into the back of the Cybertruck, but whether it's a fully Tesla-designed product is unknown and there aren't many details on the Tesla ATV right now.