First Cybertruck rolls off the Gigafactory Texas assembly line
“Better utility than a truck, with more performance than a sports car.”
That’s Tesla’s listed mandate for the Cybertruck, which is just now beginning production nearly four years after its introduction, and two years behind schedule due to, says Tesla’s Elon Musk, supply shortages related to the pandemic.
We know it’s in production thanks to a tweet last weekend that showed a Cybertruck surrounded by manufacturing personnel at Gigafactory Texas, complete with a happy face wearing a cowboy hat.
First Cybertruck built at Giga Texas! 🤠 pic.twitter.com/ODRhHVsd0t— Tesla (@Tesla) July 15, 2023
Exactly when we can expect deliveries to start is unclear, but there’s no denying the Cybertruck seems farther along than it did a week ago. Price is still unclear as well, but Musk tweeted a backhand compliment to the electric Ford Lightning, which had a major price cut on Monday, saying that it was a good truck, but expensive. This could mean the Cybertruck will come in under the Lightning, but being as how the Lightning can still be optioned up from the $50,000 base price to well over $90,000, there’s a big window there.
So what do we know about the Cybertruck? Most of our information still comes from the Tesla.com website.
The Cybertruck is “Now entering a new class of strength, speed, and versatility—only possible with an all-electric design. The powerful drivetrain and low center of gravity provide extraordinary traction control and torque—enabling acceleration from 0–60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range.”
Cybertruck “is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.”
And, “Ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite can absorb and redirect impact force for improved performance and damage tolerance.” You’ll recall that at the Cybertruck’s introduction, the ultra-strong glass famously shattered in a demonstration to show that it wouldn’t do that.
Towing capacity will be over 14,000 pounds; payload is 3500 pounds; it will seat six “comfortably.”
Suspension is self-leveling, and can be raised or lowered four inches. There’s onboard power and compressed air. There’s a 17-inch touchscreen inside, and 100 cubic feet of lockable storage outside. It may or may not have four-wheel steering.
It’s also handsome or hideous, depending on your opinion of the beyond-angular styling, but it is unique. Part of the appeal, or lack of it, will be the fact that it comes only in silver, as in brushed stainless.
We’ll have to see some on the street to render a final judgment on the Cybertruck’s appearance. Bottom line, it seems that should happen sooner rather than later now.