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Tesla Cybertruck Is Revealed, and Our Thoughts Turn to the Pontiac Aztek

It was the night of the big reveal for Tesla and its big boss, Elon Musk. After much waiting and speculating, we finally got to see the company’s all-electric truck, the Tesla Cybertruck.

Different designs had been advanced and rumoured for months on different platforms, but concretely no one really knew what to expect, exactly.

Now the mystery, at least as far as the concept version is concerned, is over. But even in our wildest nightmares, we’d have had difficulty conjuring up a design so, well, hideous. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but an exhaustive tour of online sites and blogs late into the night showed the near-unanimity of the response. Finding folks who had positive things to say about the Cybertruck’s look was a challenge.

Photo: Tesla

Give it credit for being different. But we can’t help feeling like the designers at Tesla may have just gone a little too far here. If Tesla’s goal is to do battle directly with established players in the pickup segment, it’s hard to imagine this design poaching away too many F-150 owners, for instance.

Elon Musk had promised a futuristic design, even claiming inspiration from the Blade Runner films. Other references cited included the Lotus Esprit, a car seen on the road – and in the water – in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. In that respect, it’s a case of promise kept. Musk also predicted that not everyone would be enchanted with the design. A prescient call.

The vehicle is bizarre enough that some online sceptics at first believed this was a clever Musk joke. Some still think so.

Photo: Tesla

It’s a bit of a shame that so much attention is being paid to the design of the truck that the impressive capacities are drawing relatively little interest, as is the impact this newest Tesla could have on the market. Instead, everyone is focusing on the look.

And to think there was “controversy” regarding the styling of the Ford Mustang Mach-E earlier this week. You want controversy? THIS is controversy. 

As if the reaction to the Aztec-evoking design of the Tesla Cybertruck wasn’t discordant enough, the presentation itself didn’t go quite as planned. After giving the side panels of the vehicle a hard blow to demonstrate its solidity, a Tesla representative did the same on a window…  which promptly broke. And not once, but twice!

An unveiling that will certainly be talked about, though not necessarily for the right reasons. Time will tell what it means for the development of the model. As of right now, production is set to begin towards the end of 2021, which at least leaves lots of time to make “revisions”.

No doubt, there will many lining up to buy Tesla’s electric pickup when it is finally ready. The question is how many.

Beyond the stainless steel exterior of the Cybertruck, it’s capabilities are in fact promising, The company talks of producing three versions, one with a single motor, another with two motors, and a third with… three motors.

The first model will be in a rear-wheel-drive configuration and have a range of 250 miles, or 402 km. The second will be AWD and have a range of 300 miles (483 km). The best performer will be the third variant with its range of 805 km. Pricing were given by the company as $39,900, $49,900 and $69,900 USD, respectively.

Photo: Tesla

0-100 km/h acceleration time is given as 6.5, 4.5 and 2.9 seconds, again respectively. Maximum towing capacity is 14,000 lb (though with the first two variants it’s 7,500 lb and 10,000 lb).

In all three versions, load capacity is 3,500 lb. 

So that’s what we know for now. Stay tuned for lots more debate, discussion and controversy in the coming months!

Photo: Tesla