Tesla has unveiled its first pickup truck, which Musk said would combine the performance of a Porsche 911 and functionality of Ford’s F-150 full–size truck as the company plans to shift to making SUVs and trucks, the heart of US car market. At the launch event in Los Angeles on Thursday Elon Musk said production of the vehicle would begin in 2021 or late 2022.
Nobody *expects* the Cybertruck pic.twitter.com/khhYNFaVKs— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2019
The company showed off three models – the basic version with a single-motor rear wheel drive and the ability to tow 7,500 pounds that will cost $39,000 and has a range of 250 kilometres between charges. An improved version with a dual-motor has a range of 300 miles, can tow 10,000 pounds and will cost $49,000. The truck's premium version has a range of more than 500 miles, can tow 14,000 pounds and will cost $69,000.
Presenting the vehicle to an awestruck audience Musk said: "We need sustainable energy now. If we don't have a pickup truck, we can't solve it. The top 3 selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck", he said.
Elon Musk and Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen showed how the vehicle can withstand blows from a sledgehammer, because its body is made of an ultra-hard stainless steel alloy that SpaceX, Musk's other company, plans to use in building rockets. Musk also claimed that the truck is bulletproof to 9 millimeter bullets. The demonstration of the vehicle’s windows made of armoured glass did not go smoothly though – when Tesla’s chief designer hit the window with a big metal ball it cracked, although the ball did not go through.
Despite this setback people in the audience and social media users were impressed by the vehicle’s specs and features, however the car’s pointy design, which Musk said was partly influenced the by Lotus Esprit sports car from the James Bond film "The Spy Who Love Me", became the topic of heated discussions.
The maverick engineer and businessmen previously warned that Tesla’s brainchild is “not going to be for everyone” saying it would be like a futuristic cyberpunk vehicle or an armoured personnel carrier from the future. Social media users asked what had happened to Tesla’s designers, saying people wouldn’t want to drive this car.
This is just a terrible terrible looking truck. Love the engineering it but I just can't see anyone going down the road in this.— Zach Albrecht (@ZachAlbrecht6) November 22, 2019
When did #Tesla sack all their designers? I'm glad I can't see it from the front or back! Oh wait I did. OK I can see a couple of good points but they don't outweigh the bad.— Peswold von Peswold (@Realisphere) November 22, 2019
And seriously could anyone have that parked in their driveway and people not drive past honking?
Even faithful Tesla fans questioned the company’s design choice.
Yeah. I like it. Bit i can understand why some people doesn't like it.— Oliver (@Ole25033260) November 22, 2019
Some users criticized the company’s old-fashioned presentation, which they said was aimed at distracting attention from the truck’s poor design.
I see @TESLA has taken a page from 1970’s American car makers reveals:— EnZincInc (@enzincinc) November 22, 2019
When the design is poor, use lots of lasers, fireballs, smoke, and loud music to distract the eye and fool the brain.
Despite heavy criticism many users fell in love with Tesla’s brainchild and said that the truck’s design will grow on people.
Amazing specs no longer have to worry about rust, dents, cracked windshield oh no more diesel. This thing is literally bullet proof amazing product— ShqipeFire (@redfirekla) November 22, 2019
Absolutely.. A mind bender. A smash hit, pardon the pun. Thee most radical vehicle I have seen this side of the Bat Mobile. Epic.— Ranchero (@licklilylounge) November 22, 2019
Musk previously said that Tesla would opt for a more conventional look if consumers don’t like the truck’s futuristic design.