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Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen

Up close and personal with the Tesla Cybertruck at The Petersen

Over the past few weeks in Los Angeles, Elon Musk’s long-anticipated Tesla Cybertruck fever dream finally became an objectively verifiable reality. And not just on popular car-spotting Instagram posts, either. In early December, I actually witnessed a Cybertruck driving down the Pacific Coast Highway one morning. Then, a few days later, I cruised by one stuck in traffic on the 405. And unless someone got a quick wrap job done, I can also confirm that these first two sightings were, in fact, different Cybertrucks: one finished in that famous brushed stainless and the other in matte black.

Then, a few days later, the Petersen Automotive Museum invited select media for the debut of a new Cybertruck exhibit in the entry hall, complete with an exoskeleton sitting out in the open, as well as the truck that got shot by a Tommy Gun, and even a quick look at the original prototype downstairs in the museum’s Vault. Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen actually owns the production Cybertruck on display bearing VIN #002—almost certainly the matte black one I saw on the 405—and even volunteered as tribute to answer questions from an almost certainly skeptical crowd.

But Musk and von Holzhausen are very busy people trying to change the world (maybe worlds if the Mars plan works out), so I felt absolutely zero surprise when I received a last-minute text bumping up the schedule. Then, when I arrived at the Petersen early, the poor PR pros on hand let me know that von Holzhausen never showed up. Interviews with lowly automotive journalists might not cut the mustard at Tesla, as it turns out, setting off a little warning bell dinging in my mind before I turned for a closer look at the angular hulking masses of metal making up the exhibit.

I wanted to pester von Holzhausen about why the production version shrank by a few percentage points, how the design iteration process began originally, and whether he also believed Tesla dug its own grave with the Cybertruck, as Musk admitted earlier this year. Instead, without a need to keep my game face (or audio recording) switched on, I spent the next hour-plus getting up close and personal with one of the strangest, most perplexing vehicles ever built.

First impressions of the angular Cybertruck

First off, outside on the Petersen parking garage’s first floor, I took a quick pic of a guy taking a pic of a Tesla Semi—full Christopher Nolan Inception soundtrack playing in my head, of course. In contrast to the Cybertruck, the Semi builds on von Holzhausen’s formerly smooth and aerodynamically efficient designs for the Models S, 3, X, and Y (and, supposedly, the forthcoming Roadster, but more on that later). 

Tesla Semi at The Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Not so much for the Cybertruck, an undeniable exercise in angular excess that attracted even more attention inside the Petersen’s entry hall. The black wrap and black exoskeleton only accentuated the presence of a bulky, boxy shape. The overall size surprised me, too, possibly attributable to the differences between seeing Cybertrucks out and about surrounded by other large cars as I rolled by on motorcycles.

Riding motorcycles in LA traffic is sketchy enough without stopping to rubberneck a controversial new electric pickup truck, so those early impressions only piqued my interest in taking a closer look at the Petersen. And the first thoughts to flit through my bedraggled pre-holiday mind ran the gamut from “gross!” to “gargantuan” because the angular peak sat higher than expected, even with the adjustable air suspension at its normal ride height. The cab looked bigger than in my mind’s eye, and the bed looked smaller. I began to wish I’d brought a tape measure.

Trying to get a better bearing on the actual adjustability of that air suspension system, I ducked into the wheel arch—if we can call it that since it’s squared off. The design somewhat resembled the finger knuckle A-arm of my old Type 955 Porsche Cayenne, except that where Porsche overengineered the Cayenne’s suspension, Tesla appears to have stamped the Cybertruck’s upper A-arm out of sheet metal. Not ideal for an electric truck that weighs north of 6,600 pounds, I thought. And in fact, von Holzhausen’s truck qualifies as the top-spec “Cyberbeast” (because, of course), so it should weigh closer to 3,800 pounds thanks to three electric motors.

Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Would the rest of the so-called “exoskeleton” continue that beefy theme? Well, in reality, Tesla calls the cage on display a “Body-in-white,” and the exoskeleton itself is made up of the body side panels that connect the front and rear structures, while the roof and rear wall connect the left and right sides. Obviously, we’ve come a long way from the by-now “traditional” skateboard battery layout. But the purpose here, other than general aspirations of badassery, actually involves reducing the number of parts required in what Tesla now calls a “Gigacasting” (because, again, of course).

In all honesty, the body-in-white impressed me more than the actual stainless steel exterior (albeit wrapped) of the finished product. But here, engineers probably received more control over the process rather than being forced to bring Musk’s vision of a slab-everything body to life. Tesla obviously needs to hit all the rigidity targets, accurate mounting points for subassemblies, and crash structure capabilities required by rules and regulations in order to bring the truck to market. Right?

Easy fodder for the critics (a.k.a. me)

Meanwhile, the visible flat panels of the finished truck do absolutely nothing to hide flaws. Even subtle curves or flowing lines on a normal—read: boring—car can help move eyeballs along without drawing awareness to peculiar or mismatched details. Flat planes make mistakes stand out, so Musk’s vision only made the production of Cybertrucks all that much more of a challenge (even beyond the sheer engineering requirements of cranking out an electric pickup with the aerodynamics of a brick).

To that end, the slightly rounded front panel might look the best, while the flat sides, angled inward up top with a flat windscreen that transitions to a roof, all seem somewhat cockeyed from almost every perspective. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Again, should have brought the tape measure. And maybe an eight-foot level to check those straight lines.

No straight line on the whole Cybertruck looks more egregious than the enormous combined hood and front windshield and its single wiper arm. Approximately 48 inches long, based on measurements compared to my wingspan, the arm pivots only from the driver’s side and will almost certainly struggle to keep the passenger’s side of the windshield clear. And will owners need to source wiper blades for semi trucks or road graders to fit? The blade almost reminds me of an early-2000s Mercedes-Benz CLK, but that wiper arm swung from the center with a strange hump in the pivot point to help cover more of the rectangular windshield (still not nearly as rectangular as the Cybertruck’s, though).

Then I glanced down through the windshield and noticed tiny openings at the base of the expansive, flat dash. Maybe for speakers, defroster vents, or both, these little openings looked entirely insufficient for either purpose. And I thought my mom’s second-gen Toyota Prius had a long dash—then again, maybe the low, raked windshield angle requires less air to prevent steaming up. On the other hand, that long dash reveals a major surprise about the Cybertruck that runs almost entirely counter to most other EV designs: Namely, the interior of such a large vehicle doesn’t even feel very spacious. The sharp edges and isolated lines of such a stark profile simply don’t allow for the kind of efficient packaging that made the Model S, 3, X, and Y so revolutionary when they each debuted.

Dino guts burnt to produce the plasticine era

Meanwhile, out in the front, that full-width plastic light bar sits below expansive panel gaps leading down from the windshield along the frunk hood. And below those gaps, through which I could probably sneak an HB #2 pencil, the plasticine fender flares around plastic and rubber wheel covers, simply put, look nearer to a child’s toy than a production pickup. Carved tires, a la most bold concept cars? Maybe on the original Cybertruck, but also a major surprise on von Holzhausen’s personal daily driver. Non-branded other than “Goodyear” and “Load Range D,” the tires themselves measure 285 millimeters in width at all four corners, though, as a recent scandalous video showed, perhaps lack the true kind of all-terrain or mud-terrain compound that such aggressive blocks and sipes might more regularly indicate.

Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

The irony of using dinosaur guts to produce the plastic on an electric car entirely notwithstanding, the theme continues in the truck bed, too. There, a Petersen rep helpfully pushed the rubber buttons on the left side to roll up the shuttered bed cover and drop the tailgate—the latter worked but required a bit of a helping hand from me, too. (That rolling shutter, by the way, almost entirely kills any semblance of rear visibility.) But more importantly, because the buttons live out in the elements, they are made out of another plasticky-rubberized material reminiscent of jet ski controls or, somewhat hilariously, the Polaris Slingshot’s infotainment buttons.

Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

In the rear bed, a light strip of similar material to the front brightens up all the black plastic on von Holzhausen’s truck. A real outlet in the bed reportedly powers 120-volt appliances, though I left my espresso machine at home, so I cannot confirm whether it functions—I see no reason why not, but here we are looking at a Cybertruck, after all. The thick bed walls funnel back towards the squared rear bumper, huge panel gaps continuing throughout. Of course, seals below the surface and a watertight battery pack for the skateboard might help, but the thought of this vehicle being able to drive as a boat across rivers and calm seas, as Musk claimed, seems unlikely.

And that’s not to mention the sharp edges at the end of each gap, especially noticeable up front with the frunk hood lifted. Not only will such sharp edges—made of stainless steel thick enough to inspire machine gun testing, remember—undoubtedly wreak havoc on any other cars in the case of accidents, but imagine a child jumping out of the frunk bench seat and hitting their head on the corner. Ouch!

Spartan to the point Of austerity

The questionable angularity continues on the Cybertruck’s interior, where if you thought the S3XY were Spartan, guess again. The steering wheel even gets a squared-off treatment, not quite a yoke but nearer to a racecar design (or a C8 Corvette but wider). As on the Model 3 and Model Y, the Cybertruck’s massive single touchscreen sits horizontally, as is the trend with Tesla, including the recently-revised Model S that now sports the same style of touchscreen. However, the dash also seems to lack climate control vents, too, unless there are tiny openings on the dash to do the trick, like in Model 3s. Controls on the steering wheel seem a step beyond the strict rollerballs and stalks of previous Teslas, but just about everything still requires diving into text-heavy menus on the main touchscreen, including apps, music, and suspension settings.

Selecting different ride heights elicits a noticeable increase or decrease in the wheel arch clearances, though the process of rising and lowering takes about as long as my 2006 Cayenne while the air compressor noticeably charges up pressures. Other options on the touchscreen include playing with the LED mood lighting, which von Holzhausen’s Cybertruck perhaps had set to a karaoke bar theme. I never counted the cupholders since I’m apparently the world’s worst automotive journalist (I blame the distraction factor of that huge dash, large enough to house a Winston Churchill war game).

Flat plastic door panels, flat plastic window switches, flat plastic on the center console, flat metal pedals, and then “Cybertruck” script welded into the foot sill—everything seems utilitarian to the point of no return. Will the remaining customer base who placed early pre-orders and now faces a price tag about half again as high as Musk promised to appreciate the cheaping out? Or do the diehards stick with their deposits and not care? Maybe they even love the austerity? Even the new car smell, still present despite von Holzhausen’s daily driving, smelled plasticky to the point of nearly Airstream-level formaldehyde. And smells are probably even more important in non-internal-combustion cars, believe it or not!

Machine gun testing, because of course

At least we know the Cybertruck truly can take a beating, if not a bowling ball, to the window. The next truck I wandered over to proved as much, riddled with dents and a few small metal tears after being shot with a series of 9mm and .45 caliber bullets. I brushed my hand up against some of the markings and can confirm that none appeared to pierce the metal entirely. Not bad, though, as a friend later suggested, some malcontents may relish the invitation to open fire on a famously bulletproof truck.

This early Cybertruck also gave me a chance to compare some of the differences that always emerge as concept cars progress through development on the way to production. Different fender flares and bumper designs stood out, and I started to wonder whether the design looked better in a matte wrap or exposed stainless. At the very least, wrapping flat stainless probably requires less effort than curved body panels. Or does it? Does it prevent any wrinkles and air bubbles? Maybe a wrap shop with experience working on DeLoreans can get the job done.

To wrap up the visit—pun fully intended—I headed down into the Petersen’s Vault, where the original Cybertruck concept sat charging. Again, the design differences stood out quickly. I spotted an earlier charge port, a cleaner rear bumper, and then a real steering yoke on the interior. Three semi-bucket bench seats made up the front row here, rather than the production version’s center console—the slight shrinkage in overall size might have made a third seat too narrow. If only von Holzhausen had shown up to confirm such speculation.

The concept truck also featured an even more radically squared-off dash design, so my skull naturally winced again at the thought of passenger impacts in the case of an accident. And better lenses on the light bar up front also stood out, even if a ton of fingerprints on the stainless steel distracted me once more. Keeping the raw metal clean looks like a nightmare task, so maybe the wrap is the way to go after all.

Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

A sharply angled misdirection

Once I left the Cybertrucks and the Petersen behind, my mind kept wandering. At the very least, nobody can say Tesla built a radical concept car into a production vehicle without provoking serious thought about the state of the automotive industry. Bold and aggressive, the design sparks off a new stylistic generation for Tesla—but that’s exactly what the formerly S3XY Models need more than anything, and what buyers need more than an electric pickup truck that borders on gimmick status.

In a surprising moment of self-reflection, Musk all but admitted that perhaps the Cybertruck went a step too far. Not that such a startling truth prevented him from pushing forward into production. We’re far too far into billionaire celebrity-dom to admit certain levels of error or hand the naysayers any kind of victory. And everyone who’s an automotive nerd remembers a certain John DeLorean’s similar drug-fueled stainless-steel fiasco. 

The fact that Tesla still plans to build the Cybertruck at all represents keeping a promise of sorts, which I suppose is a good thing. And something I always have to keep in mind while critiquing any running, driving car is that actually building a running, driving a car requires a miraculous combination of hard work and a fair amount of luck. But as the Cybertruck finally emerges from delay after delay, the end result still seems like something of a misdirection for the company’s efforts and resources. How about dedicating that work and luck to the cars more people will actually drive? What happened to the Roadster and promises of 600-plus miles of range

Tesla Cybertrucks at Petersen
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Meanwhile, Tesla also desperately needs to direct more time and effort into parts and service for cars already on the road while continuing to press forward on the infrastructure change that Musk’s electric revolution requires here on Earth. Yes, Tesla is an automobile manufacturer. But the grandiose vision almost centers more around energy solutions than the cars themselves. And in the Cybertruck, all that energy focuses in the wrong direction.

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Still from Tesla's Cybertruck Crash Test
FeaturesHot Takes

I investigate to see if the Tesla Cybertruck is really that safe

Ever since amateur martial arts enthusiast and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Tesla Cybertruck back in 2019 by throwing a danged metal ball into one of the electric pickup truck’s supposedly “unbreakable” windows, the internet has had questions. Why does it look like that? Will it really be $40,000? Is it actually going to have a 500-mile range on a single charge? And most importantly, is the Cybertruck safe?

The answers to a majority of these questions have been “no,” “probably not,” or “we don’t know,” and pretty much every day the Cybertruck’s reputation suffers a new indignity. For instance, this gem courtesy of the “Rides That’ll Beat Your Ass” account on Musk’s X platform (formerly Twitter):

Down the thread, username “Ass_Beaters” provides additional context, namely that this was a prototype, so it lacked recovery or pickup points and, therefore, had to be towed by the suspension. I cannot say for sure, because I have still not seen a Cybertruck in person, but that is probably not the best way to tow one. It’s unfair to judge a prototype model, as it was built for testing and proving certain engineering specs, but let’s be honest, that doesn’t make it not funny.

Did the Tesla Cybertruck pass crash tests?

When the first production models of the Tesla Cybertruck rolled off the production line at the Austin, TX Gigafactory, reporters, enthusiasts, and internet shitposters alike all wondered aloud how it could’ve ever passed NHTSA crash safety ratings. Especially with the distressing videos released by the automaker itself (look at how the dummy in the back goes flying):

Keeping in the spirit of Elon’s “fuck it, we’ll do it live” ethos, the Cybertruck team has continued crash testing the Blade Runner-inspired EV pickup truck and just today shared some new footage, where at least the side airbags deploy so we don’t have to see the poor crash test dummy’s brain get turned to mush:

So how exactly did the Tesla Cybertruck pass the NHTSA’s crash tests? Well, that’s an easy one – it didn’t! As Teslarati noticed earlier this week, Tesla’s new EV pickup truck was added to the safety watchdog’s database, but with ratings conspicuously absent.

That said, digging a bit deeper, you’ll find that apparently millions of cars are sold every year without verified independent crash testing, and even the insurance company-based IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has to pick and choose which cars they’ll test and/or assign ratings to.

One thing’s for sure, Tesla assures that you’ll be safe if a couple of accountants jacked up on Sam Adams Lagers from the 19th hole decide to go absolutely goblin mode on your Cybertruck:

So… Did the Tesla Cybertruck pass crash tests? We’ll give this one a rating of “possibly.” As evidenced by the videos above, Tesla is clearly doing a lot of in-house testing and if not, at least they have an army of weirdos who pay Elon $8 a month for the privilege of saying how normal and cool the tests look. According to CarBuzz, it will likely be a while until the Cybertruck reaches the sales volume to necessitate a proper NHTSA or IIHS review, so we’ll keep you updated if we hear anything official.

That said, it seems unlikely that Elon would want to be known as the guy who killed Jay Leno or Spike Lee, so let’s hope that they’ve crash-tested the Cybertruck.

Can the Tesla Cybetruck be shot with a Tommy Gun and/or arrows?

We’ll cut right to the chase. We’ve already mentioned this before, but yes, Tesla is making the claim that if your Tesla Cybertruck is shot with rounds from a Tommy Gun, you should be safe inside. This could come in handy if those accountants above are cosplaying as old-timey rascals and/or scofflaws.

And if you find yourself at the wrong end of the Battle of the Five Armies and an Orc who looks suspiciously like Joe Rogan has you in his sights, your Cybertruck should survive the onslaught.

That said, we still haven’t seen any news about the windows, which Elon famously shattered with a danged metal ball at an investor event in 2019. Despite the automaker remaining mum on whether or not the windows will be bulletproof as well, Tesla did sell out of what we have to assume is a relatively short run of $55 window decals commemorating the moment. Considering the fact that there are only 10 non-prototype Tesla Cybertrucks on the road, it’s hard to imagine who purchased these.

Cybertruck OMFG decal listing from Tesla's website
Image credit: Tesla

Does the Tesla Cybertruck have crumple zones?

Ever since the Tesla Cybertruck was announced, folks across the internet wondered about one key detail. Musk intimated that the EV pickup truck would lack traditional “crumple zones” in favor of an “exoskeleton” build. As Jameson Dow of Electrek explained back in 2019, based on the initial designs:

Tesla’s Cybertruck design differs from traditional autos because it uses a stainless steel exoskeleton instead of a traditional body-on-frame design.  In the traditional design, the car body doesn’t have as much structural integrity and is mainly used for aerodynamic and styling purposes, and to protect occupants from the elements.

In the Cybertruck’s design, the entire vehicle exterior is used as a stressed member, allowing it to do double duty as both the body and the frame.  This reduces complexity, and since Tesla is using ultra-hard steel, increases sturdiness of the vehicle’s exterior.

Jameson Dow – Electrek

If you’ve never heard of “crumple zones” before, it’s because they’re something that’s been relatively standard practice in vehicle design since the 70s. According to Traveler’s insurance, the first cars built with “weaker” zones that are meant to absorb, rather than withstand impact were Mercedes-Benz as early as 1959. As this delightful Australian man explains, by absorbing that kinetic energy, less force ends up being applied to the passengers inside the vehicle, preventing or mitigating injury.

Compare the crumple zone footage in that video (or any of the thousands of videos on YouTube explaining the basic concept of crumple zones) to this rendering that has been shared uncritically by Cybertruck-friendly accounts:

So, to answer the question of whether the Tesla Cybertruck has crumple zones? The answer is no. Or maybe “apparently not.” I have a funny feeling this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about this topic. I saw someone on Twitter claim that the Tesla Cybertruck doesn’t need crumple zones because it will “use all the other cars’ crumple zones” in an accident. I honestly couldn’t tell if the account was satire, so I’m going to leave that factoid as anecdotal.

Either way, a bunch of Tesla fanboys went absolutely nutso after Ralph Nader’s non-profit made fun of the Cybertruck, so clearly they’re going through it.

Is the Tesla Cybertruck safe for pedestrians?

A recent New York Times interactive piece highlighted how pedestrian deaths have been on a steady rise since hitting an all-time low in 1980. Street safety advocacy groups link this to a number of different causes, including city planning, street engineering, and, frankly, the ever-increasing size of American SUVs and trucks.

As you probably know, the Tesla Cybertruck is based on Blade Runner. Or at least it’s a truck that “Blade Runner” (the guy) might drive. That’s why it looks like something your 8-year-old nephew would build in Minecraft. Also, apparently, the reason why the Cybertruck is so pointy is that to make the metal bulletproof, you have to make the truck pointy. Don’t take my word for it, Elon himself said that he tried to bend the metal but it broke the machines.

If this rhetorical tactic sounds familiar, it’s the same one Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock employed when she said she can’t “watch American Idol becaue [she has] perfect pitch.” Either way, the car is sharp as hell, and it might make you wonder, “How did the Cybertruck pass pedestrian crash tests?” Well, the answer to that one’s easy! It didn’t have to.

But it’s unfair to peg that one on Tesla because the United States has no standardized means of evaluating whether or not a vehicle in production has been tested for pedestrian safety. Not only that, the NHTSA only proposed adding such an evaluation this year – so it could be a while. In his official capacity as “Head Twit,” Tesla CEO is “highly confident” that the Cybertruck will be safe for pedestrians.

Fortunately, if you’re in Europe, you are protected by pedestrian safety regulations. According to Euro NCAP, every vehicle sold in the EU must pass VRU (Vulnerable Road User) Protection tests. These tests measure how well new vehicles “protect those vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – with whom they might collide,” including “the potential risks of injuries to a pedestrian’s head, pelvis, upper and lower leg.”

To Tesla’s credit, their confidence that the Cybertruck will (eventually) pass EU safety regulations seems to be more reliant on the design of its autopilot and full-self-driving systems, which should be hitting European streets and highways in the coming years. Seems like a bit of mixed messaging, given that Tesla just recalled basically every vehicle it has ever sold in the U.S. for a mandatory software update to Autopilot and FSD.

So, to answer the question of whether the Tesla Cybertruck is safe for pedestrians? The answer is “we don’t know, but probably not.” And then you could probably add a little something like, “But to be fair, there are very few trucks sold in America that are probably very safe for pedestrians.” And then you can kind of just shrug and walk away and hope no one asks for any follow-ups.

Is Tesla Cyberbeer Safe?

In case you were planning on paying $75 for a bottle of “Tesla Cyberbeer,” we recommend following the advice of Brian Stone, whose profile proudly claims that he owns not one, but two cars. This is clearly absurd because, as we all know, triples are best.

Conclusion: Is the Tesla Cybertruck safe?

We’ve had our fun today, but what you’re all wondering is whether or not Tesla’s Cybertruck electric pickup truck is safe. Unfortunately, the best we can do is say, “honestly, it doesn’t seem like it.” The production models have been on the street for just over two weeks and we’re already seeing videos of people popping off the fender flares with their bare hands:

It’s clear that fully grown up boy genius Elon Musk is applying the same operating principle to the Tesla Cybertruck that he does to all of his ventures. Do it on the fly, overpromise and underdeliver, and move on to the next thing before anyone has really investigated your prior claims.

It certainly seems like we will eventually see a version of the Tesla Cybertruck that is safe, reliable, and maybe even user-friendly, but none of the videos we’ve seen (including ones shared by Tesla staff!) have given us any confidence that this will be the game-changing EV pickup truck we’ve been promised for nearly half a decade now. We’d love to be proven wrong.

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A Tesla Cybertruck is seen cruising on a highway.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck: Everything we know about Elon’s aspirationally wacky pet project

When Tesla CEO and walking Dunning-Kruger case study Elon Musk announced the Cybertruck in November 2019, he likely hoped to see headlines praising the electric pickup truck’s (then) sub $40,000 price tag and impressive range predictions. Unfortunately for Musk, that particular unveiling is remembered best for a stunning bit of visual metaphor – Elon himself chucking a rock at the prototype and shattering its side window.

The Tesla Cybertruck and its tall tales of controversy

In a way, this moment has been indicative of everything we’ve seen from the Cybertruck thus far. Elon makes a bold claim about the vehicle and how it will change the world of cars and driving forever, and then we see it in action. The results are less than impressive. For instance, despite the Cybertruck’s much-touted all-wheel-drive and adaptive suspension, the past year has been rotten with videos of the electric pickup truck failing at even basic tasks.

Granted, these are pre-production models, so they’re meant to be tested out, but this clip doesn’t exactly support the “self-leveling capabilities [that] adapt to any occasion and assist with every job” claim from Tesla’s site. And it’s not just “bad faith leakers” – just over a month ago, a video of a Cybertruck struggling to get up a section of an off-road test was shared enthusiastically by a member of Telsa’s team.

Despite more than two years of delays, Tesla will be delivering the first ten production models of the Cybertruck at a shareholders-only event on November 30, 2023, at the Gigafactory in Austin, TX. Fortunately for the rest of us, Tesla will be live-streaming the shindig, and we’ll update this article if anything newsworthy comes out of it.

I already poked quite a bit of fun at the Cybertruck in my “Upcoming Tesla electric vehicles” article a few weeks back, so I’m going to attempt to keep this one fairly buttoned up. Cybertruck enthusiasts are clearly going through it (they recently took r/cybertruck private to prevent harassment), so why kick them when they’re down? I mean, these guys are out here paying $75 a bottle for “Tesla Cyberbeer.”

Keep reading for a deep dive into everything we know about the Tesla Cybertruck, what to expect for price and electric range, and most importantly: can you shoot it with a Tommy Gun?

2024 Tesla Cybertruck price and trim options

Image of a 2024 Tesla Cybertruck, seen from behind.
Image credit: Tesla

What perfect timing for this to drop, as Tesla has just recently announced fresh deets on its upcoming door stop on wheels.

When it was first announced, the Cybertruck turned heads with its miniscule starting price. The single-motor version would have an MSRP of $39,990 with the double motor at $49,990 and the triple motor at $59,990. That would’ve put the “budget” trim in the same class as a fully loaded Toyota Prius. So that was a no-go.

Current pricing as per Tesla’s recent announcements are as follows. The base rear-drive variant will start at $60,990, the dual-motor all-wheel drive at $79,990, and the flagship high-performance “CyberBeast” at $99,990. Wowza, that’s a fat leap.

Let’s take a look at how the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck’s trim options match up:

2024 Tesla Cybertruck Rear-Wheel Drive

  • Starting price: $60,990
  • EPA-estimated range: 250 miles

2024 Tesla Cybertruck All-Wheel Drive

  • Starting price: $79,990
  • EPA-estimated range: 340 miles (470 with extender)

2024 Tesla Cybertruck CyberBeast

  • Starting price: $99,990
  • EPA-estimated range: 320 miles (440 with extender)

As far as the Cybertruck’s exterior goes, there’s only one factory-available option: stainless steel. That said, someone out there is driving around in a matte black edition, so maybe some more customization is in the offing.

One big question people have been asking about the Cybertruck is “Can you shoot it with a Tommy Gun?” You may be surprised to learn that apparently, yes, you can shoot a Tesla Cybertruck with a Tommy Gun. While this official-seeming Tesla account claims to be “confirming” that the electric pickup truck is (apparently) bulletproof, we’d like to take a moment to say that you should not shoot a Tesla Cybetruck with a Tommy Gun.

That said, if Newsradio star and “guy who liked Dana White so much that he became him” Joe Rogan is in your neighborhood, you can invite him over to shoot arrows at your Tesla Cybertruck. Honestly, this might be worth doing, at least you know the drugs will be good.

In fairness to the Tesla Cybertruck, there is a good chance these claims will hold up if the electric pickup truck is truly made with the same stainless steel as SpaceX uses. This is because 3mm of 301 stainless steel should be good enough to stop or at least seriously impede most 9mm handguns (but not rifles, which would explain why Musk opted for the Tommy Gun instead.) Either way, don’t shoot your Tesla Cybertruck with a gun.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck interior and tech

The interior of a 2024 Tesla Cybertruck is seen with a cool neon background behind it.
Image credit: Tesla

While much has been written about the Tesla Cybertruck’s “Blade Runner-inspired” exterior, we’ve been granted relatively few views of what’s going on inside. It’s safe to assume that it’ll be cavernous, with room to fit six adults comfortably, but early renders raise more questions than answers. What’s going on with the racing-style steering wheel? Why does it look like the dashboard is carved from marble even though it’s made of a composite material? Hopefully, we’ll have more answers after the delivery event.

A 2024 Tesla Cybertruck is seen carrying a Cybertruck-themed all-terrain vehicle.
Image credit: Tesla

The Tesla Cybertruck’s cargo bed is also referred to as “the vault” because of its nearly seamless look when fully closed. In official photos, it appears as though the electric pickup truck’s cargo bed can comfortably hold an ATV, but leaked images of pre-production models seem to refute that.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck dimensions:

  • Cargo: 120.9 cu. ft.
  • Overall length: 223.7 in
  • Overall width: 95 in
  • Overall height: 70.5 in
  • Weight: 6,843 pounds

Also noteworthy is the Cybertruck’s “frunk” or “front trunk” which let’s be honest is cute as heck.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck tech features:

2024 Tesla Cybertruck electric range and charging times

A 2024 Tesla Cybertruck is seen illuminated by a bright light.
Image credit: Tesla

All the little nitty gritty charging details are yet to be revealed, but we thankfully have a small handful from Tesla’s most recent round of fresh information. Expect the Cybertruck to charge at a max rate of 250 kW, with the ability to replenish 128 miles of range within 15 minutes.

Range is appreciably generous for such a hulking brick. Rear-drive base models are expected to reach a reasonable 250 miles, with all-wheel drives hitting 340 miles, and CyberBeasts hitting 320 miles. Interestingly, Tesla notes how the use of an unspecified range extender can stretch the all-wheel drive to a lofty 470 miles and the CyberBeast to 440 miles. What this range extender is and how it operates is yet to be disclosed, but we expect Tesla’s often optimistic range estimates to be tricky to match in real-world conditions.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck motor and performance

A 2024 Tesla Cybertruck is seen cruising through the desert.
Image credit: Tesla

At the initial 2019 Tesla Cybertruck announcement, Elon Musk claimed that the tri-motor edition of the Cybertruck would boast the same specs as the Tesla Plaid X. This means the Tesla Cybertruck could have max speeds of around 149 mph and a 0-60 of 2.5 seconds, but we should keep in mind that the electric pickup’s curb weight is considerably beefier than the sedan.

What we can say now are the estimated towing capacities for the Cybertruck trims. Rear-drive variants can pull a max load of 7,500 pounds, while all-wheel and CyberBeast trims can yoink up to 11,000 pounds of stuff wherever they please.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck design features

Four images of the cargo bed of a 2024 Tesla Cybertruck shown in different arrangements.
Image credit: Acceleramota

From initial reports, one of the truly standout features. of the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck is its panoramic glass sunroof and retractable cargo bed cover. While it seems like Tesla abandoned its plans to use the cargo bed cover as a solar panel for additional range and charging, the glass roof is a nice continuation of Tesla’s other electric vehicles. It’s not clear at this time if Tesla will be releasing a convertible or retractable-roof edition.

2024 Tesla Cybertruck review round-up

A concept image of a Tesla Cybertruck with camping attachments including a tent.
Image credit: Tesla

Sadly, I couldn’t score an invite to the November 30, 2023, Cybertruck event, but in the meanwhile, here are some early takes on the Tesla Cybertruck we’ve found from across “cyberspace.”

Automotive vlogger Joel Franco got an up-close-and-personal look at the exterior of a Tesla Cybertruck in Miami recently and reported that the showroom model seems to have resolved many of the issues with the pre-production trucks. We have to admit, it does look pretty slick.

Aside from these peeks at the showroom models, unbiased reviews are difficult to come by, but it seemed relevant to share this piece of intel from a Tesla insider:

Short kings rejoice! An elite new hiding place for Hide-and-Seek has appeared.


A rendering of a Tesla is seen in a brutalism-inspired space.
Image credit: Tesla

When will the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck be released?

The first 10 production models of the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck are set to be delivered at an event on November 30, 2023, at the Gigafactory in Austin, TX. It is not known at the time of publication when the remainder of the pre-orders will be fulfilled.

What will the electric range be for the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck?

The 2024 Tesla Cybertruck will be available in three trim levels, a rear-drive base model with 250 miles of range, a dual-motor version with a 340-mile range, and a tri-motor CyberBeast performance version with a 320-mile range. In recent press releases, Tesla announced an unspecified range extender, which should juice the dual-motor middle trim up to 470 miles and the CyberBeast to 440 miles.

What will the price be for the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck?

Although initial announcements claimed the starting price for the Tesla Cybertruck would be $39,990, it’s looking like the electric pickup truck will end up costing a good amount more. The base rear-drive variant will have an MSRP of around $60,990, with the next-step-up all-wheel drive trim ringing in at $79,990 and the tri-motor CyberBeast flagship Cybertruck starting at $99,990. So no. Not cheap. Not at all.

Can you shoot the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck with a Tommy Gun or arrows?

Yes! Apparently, because the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck boasts 3mm of 301 stainless steel, it should be able to absorb a bullet from a 9mm handgun. According to Musk, it can also handle being broadsided with a Tommy Gun. Online reports (also from Musk) seem to support the idea that the Tesla Cybertruck can even handle being shot with an arrow by Joe Rogan.

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Tesla Cybertruck fleet moving on outdoor articulation ramps

‘We dug our own grave with the Cybertruck’, says Elon Musk, in rare moment of self-reflection

Tesla concluded its Q3 earnings earlier today, in which Elon Musk commented that the company has “dug its own grave” with the questionable rollout of its controversial Cybertruck. Musk said he has driven the Cybertruck – calling it “an amazing product,” according to comments recorded by Business Insider. He added, “There will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck and in making the Cybertruck cash-flow positive.”

It’s been about 4 years since the polygonal design of the Cybertruck made its public debut. The first batch of the stainless-steel sensation – or, depending on who you ask, misshapen-metal monstrosity – is slated for delivery on November 30, allegedly. However, the Tesla CEO made sure to emphasize we “temper expectations.” Musk admitted, “We dug our own grave with the Cybertruck.”

As it stands, Giga Texas (the Tesla manufacturing plant in said state) has the capacity to make 125,000 trucks a year. By 2025, Musk claimed its annual Cybertruck production will reach 250,000 trucks. The main bottleneck is Tesla’s choice to build the Cybertruck out of stainless steel, coupled with unforgiving flat expanses of bodywork. Or, if you ask Musk, it’s taking so long to arrive because of how “radical” and “special” the Cybertruck is compared to something like the Ford F-150 Lightning and perhaps the upcoming Fisker Alaska.

In addition to the Cybertruck update, we’ve gotten a look into Tesla’s latest figures – and they aren’t looking so hot. Year-on-year gross profits have fallen by 22% — the weakest performance since the pandemic hit in 2020 Q2. Reported sales for this quarter are at $23.4 billion which did not hit the forecasted $24.3 billion. Around midday Thursday, Tesla shares fell to $220 – a 9% drop.

For more Tesla news, read up on what’s to be expected with the 2025 Tesla Model 2 and a look into the new push being made for Tesla Semi production. Then maybe, I don’t know, subscribe to our newsletter?

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