Release Date: 2023
Price: From $39,900 (Est)
Power: Quad-motor AWD
Battery range: 500+ miles
Towing capacity: 14,000+ pounds
0 to 60mph: < 2.9 seconds
Smarts: Autopilot, optional Full Self Driving option, Tesla premium connectivity
Tesla Cybertruck is arguably going to be the most unique-looking vehicle to hit the road for a good few decades. If it ever arrives that is, because the all-electric truck has already been delayed twice and still doesn't have a definitive launch date.
But while Elon Musk's pet project looks like it was designed by a PS1-era game developer with a vendetta against curves, it still looks set to offer all the things that make a Tesla a Tesla. Minimalist design, some of the best range on the market, and all the hi-tech features you could possibly ask for (within reason). All packed into the body of a pickup truck, and all the features that segment has to offer.
In other words, even when you forget about the design, this could prove to be an electric car to watch. So here's everything you need to know about the Tesla Cybertruck, which is equal parts bizarre and interesting.
Tesla Cybertruck latest updates
- A report from Reuters claims that the Cybertruck won't begin mass production until late 2023 (opens in new tab), following "early production in the middle of the year".
- Elon Musk's latest grandiose claim is that the Cybertruck will be "waterproof enough" to serve as a boat (opens in new tab) — and cross rovers, lakes and calm seas. Presumably when the tide is low, because we don't see this metal behemoth doing much floating
- Elon Musk has confirmed the Cybertruck will be more expensive than originally promised, thanks to supply chain issues
- Elon Musk confirmed the Cybertruck is on track to start production before mid-2023, and deliveries may begin soon after.
Tesla Cybertruck launch window
Tesla was originally set to begin production on the Cybertruck in late 2021, but later delayed that until sometime in late 2022. After rumors that the Cybertruck was being pushed back again, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla would not be launching any cars in 2022. That mans the Cybertruck won't be arriving until 2023 at the earliest.
Initial delays were pinned on the supply chain issues, which have been affecting the automotive industry en masse. Elon Musk said Tesla couldn't build enough 4680 battery cells for the Cybertruck, while the steel frame was said to require a brand new casting machine to be developed.
Meanwhile Tesla's has been open about its priorities, saying that it wouldn't begin Cybertruck production until the Texas Gigafactory had begun production on new Model Y. This only kicked off in March 2022, though it now means Tesla is free to prep for Cybertruck production.
Elon Musk says that Tesla wants to have completed Cybertruck development before the end of 2022, ready for production to begin in 2023. He later announced that the Cybertruck would indeed arrive in 2023, and in July 2022 confirmed the truck was on track to be in production by mid-2023. Barring any unforeseen delays, the first Cybertrucks could hit the roads soon after.
Don't expect very many though, because a report from Reuters claims that mass-production won't begin until later in the year. Which means there's going to be some time before Tesla can make any meaningful impact on the truck's 3+ year waiting list.
Sadly we just don't know exactly when the Cybertruck will finally arrive, and what the delays (and the revelation of a new quad-motor model) mean for the production schedule of the dual and single motor models.
Tesla Cybertruck price
Tesla recently pulled a bunch of Cybertruck information from its website, including specifications and pricing. While we know what Tesla used to say the truck would cost, it's confirmed those prices will not be honored going forward.
Speaking at Tesla's 2022 Annual Shareholder's Meeting, Musk confirmed pricing will change. "Cybertruck pricing, it was unveiled in 2019, and the reservation was $99,” Musk. “A lot has changed since then, so the specs and the pricing will be different. I hate to give sort of a little bit of bad news. But I think there’s no way to sort of anticipate the inflation that we’ve seen and the various issues,”
In other words the truck's price will be rising, just like every other Tesla model, and we don't know how much it will cost yet. In fairness, a $39,990 starting price did seem too good to be true.
All four models will come with Basic Autopilot as standard, but the Full Self Driving option will be available for an additional fee. That package currently sells for $15,000, though we expect the Cybertruck will also be eligible for the $199-a-month FSD subscription.
However, considering Full Self Driving Autopilot's price has risen by $3,000 since July 2019, it's pretty likely that more price hikes are on the way. Elon Musk himself has said as much (opens in new tab) on more than one occasion. Tesla did bring back Enhanced Autopilot, which shares many of the same features as FSD for a much lower $6,000 price tag.
However FSD is designed to be a service that improves all the time, especially if you're a beta tester, while Enhanced appears to be locked in for the time being.
The Cybertruck was also supposed to be coming to the U.K.. However, Musk said that the truck is currently being built to U.S. specifications, since trying to make it suitable for every country would be impossible. U.K. pricing and launch details are still a complete unknown.
Tesla Cybertruck design
No matter your opinion on Tesla, or its CEO, you can't deny that the Cybertruck has a striking uniqueness. Musk himself has even tweeted (opens in new tab) about how he believes this is why people find the truck so appealing.
There's a bit of hyperbole there, since the Cybertruck looks very much like a '90s vision of the future. Still he's not wrong that the truck looks unlike anything else the automotive industry is working on.
One important thing to remember about the Cybertruck, is that the design we've seen so far isn't quite what will roll off the production line. Musk has confirmed that the truck will come with side mirrors, something required by law in the United States and several other countries.
However, Musk has claimed (opens in new tab) that those mirrors are designed to be easy to remove. Laws on the legality of driving without side mirrors vary from state to state, so prospective Cybertruck buyers might want to check up on that ahead of time.
The Cybertruck has also been spotted with a gargantuan windshield wiper, with only a single blade for the entire front of the truck. Considering the windshield's size, it's surprising that Tesla is opting for a single blade during the testing phases. But Musk confirmed that this particular bit of design is not final.
In fact, more recent leaked photos offer a much closer look at this wiper. While still enormous, it appears that the wiper may be extendable, meaning it can cover the full windshield wipe in one motion, without being overly cumbersome when it's not in use.
Being the cool non-conformist vehicle that it is, the Cybertruck will also be taking a different stance on the materials it uses. Its key selling point will be the steel exoskeleton, which Tesla claims is made of 30x cold-rolled stainless steel — allegedly the hardest thing Tesla could find.
Those leaked images also show off the truck without its wheel covers. While not as aerodynamic, the bare wheels do look a lot nicer. After all the covers Tesla has previously shown off are pretty blocky and not so aesthetically appealing — no matter how much they may fit with the existing Cybertruck design.
Musk was bragging about that strength a lot when the Cybertruck was first announced (opens in new tab), even showcasing how it fared against a sledgehammer and 9mm handgun rounds. However the glass wasn't quite so strong, and ended up smashing when hit with a metal ball.
It's also worth noting that the truck appears to be available in coloring other than the standard metallic silver. We know this tanks to a former SRE Aerodynamic Engineer posting a picture of himself at Tesla (via Reddit (opens in new tab)), with a matte black Cybertruck in the background.
However Musk later clarified that the Cybertruck would only come in one color: "nothing (opens in new tab)". In other words, the unpainted silver of stainless steel.
Tesla Cybertruck interior
We haven't seen a huge amount of stuff on the inside of the Cybertruck. But early previews show that the interior would be sticking to the Tesla formula we've seen in other cars — particularly the particularly-spacious Model X.
However, everything is a lot more angular, befitting a vehicle with as many straight edges as the Cybertruck.
There's room for up to six people, and the steering wheel is the same butterfly yoke design we've seen in the latest Model S and Model X cars. The dash is as minimalist as any other Tesla, albeit with a marble-effect instead of something more traditional.
The infotainment screen takes center stage, naturally, and like the Model 3 and Model Y is looks like this screen will be the only thing displaying any information.
Tesla Cybertruck battery and range
We know for a fact that Tesla is set to include the new 4680 battery cells in the Cybertruck. Musk himself admitted that the truck's delay is, in part, caused by the automaker's inability to make enough cells cost-effectively.
The 4680 batteries are a marvel of engineering, with Tesla promising that the spiral design offers 16% more range and six times the power of its existing battery cells. The cells are also supposed to cost less to produce, and those savings can be passed on in the final cost of the truck.
Considering that EVs are generally pretty expensive compared to gasoline-powered cars, this would be a big win. Especially if Tesla is serious about launching a $25,000 car next year.
Tesla Cybertruck range
Like many cars, the range of the Cybertruck is going to vary based on the model you end up buying. Tesla previously confirmed that the single motor model will offer 250 miles of range — the bare minimum Elon Musk claims he will let Tesla offer.
Meanwhile, upgrading to the dual motor model ups that range to 300 miles, which is a more impressive-sounding figure. The tri-motor model is also expected to offer over 500 miles of range on a single charge, which is absolutely ludicrous.
However, this figure was announced before Musk cancelled the Model S Plaid, declaring that the car's 500+ miles of estimated range was too much. So it's unclear what this means for the Cybertruck.
Unfortunately the quad-motor model's range is a completely unknown, and since the extra motor requires more energy we're not entirely sure whether it will be more or less than the tri-motor model is supposed to offer.
Tesla Cybertruck performance
According to tesla the single-motor Cybertruck can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under 6.5 seconds. That's pretty sluggish by Tesla standard, but this is a truck and their bulk typically stops any super-fast acceleration.
Though this makes performance of the higher-end models that bit more impressive. The dual motor Cybertruck can make it to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while the tri-motor model can do it in 2.9 seconds. That's amazingly quick for such a large vehicle, and is likely to give some other, less bulky electric cars, a run for their money.
Plus, being a truck, the Cybertruck will be able to tow 7,500 lbs with a single motor, 10,000 pounds with two, and 14,000 pounds on the tri-motor model.
We have no details for the quad-motor variant at all, though we expect that extra motor may be put to use with additional acceleration and towing capacity.
However, the Cybertruck is set to come with rear-wheel steering, similar to the GMC Hummer EV's 'crab mode' and lets the Cybertruck drive diagonally to get out of tight spots. We expect the wuad-mot0or model to excel at this, since each wheel will have its own motor to provide momentum
Tesla Cybertruck outlook
The Cybertruck has the potential to be a very big deal in the world of electric trucks, which is down to the fact Tesla holds so much sway over the market. While it's funky design may be off-putting to some, it's the kind of things that is likely to appeal to people who want to be able to stand out - whether they already drive a truck or not.
However, the constant delays do not bode well for the Cybertruck's chances. The electric truck industry has already started heating up, with the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV already hitting the streets, and the Ford F-150 Lightning coming very soon.
One could argue that they don't have the same sway as Tesla, especially where range and technology are concerned. But the longer people have to wait for the Tesla Cybertruck, the more time the competition has chance to close the gap.
- More: Tesla Model 3 review: Is Tesla's cheapest car the right choice?