First Look:  2019 La Auto Show

Tesla Cybertruck: First Look

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author photo by Eric Brandt November 2019
  • The Tesla Cybertruck is the electric vehicle brand's first pickup truck.
  • The truck's radical styling and promising specs make it something completely different in pickup trucks.
  • You can reserve one now, and production is scheduled to begin in 2021.

Tesla's eccentric CEO, Elon Musk, has been talking for a while about how an electric Tesla pickup truck was on the way. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, we finally got our first glimpse at the long-prophesized Tesla pickup, and it's something we never expected. Rather than looking like a conventional pickup truck with Tesla styling, the Tesla Cybertruck looks like it comes straight from a video game. However, Tesla is saying that this is really the production pickup truck that anyone can buy.

Radical Styling

To say that the Cybertruck looks like nothing else on the road is an understatement. It looks like no other production vehicle on the planet. While there have been big advancements in engineering and technology over the years, the basic idea of the pickup truck has remained pretty unchanged over the past century or so. The Tesla Cybertruck doesn't just throw the rulebook out the window -- it stuffs the rulebook in a wood chipper.

The Cybertruck has dimensions similar to a traditional full-size crew cab pickup truck but obviously has a very unconventional shape. It has a roomy bed in the back with a built-in retractable cover, which turns this Tesla into more of an SUV with a giant trunk than a pickup truck. The only configuration revealed so far has been the 4-door model, and we're not expecting to see a single-cab variant.

On the inside, the Cybertruck is actually more subtle than you might think, at least compared to its exterior. It has seating for up to six people, with a jump seat in the middle of the first row and a minimalist dash with a 17-in infotainment screen perched in the middle. It also has a rectangular steering wheel with grips on the sides, and that reminds us of "Knight Rider."

Amazing Specs

As per usual for Tesla, the Cybertruck has on-paper specs that are simply mind-blowing. For starters, there are three different variants in the works (all of which are all-electric, of course): single motor rear-wheel drive, dual-motor all-wheel drive, and tri-motor AWD. That's right -- you'll be able to get one with three motors. All the numbers you're about to read are estimates from Tesla and haven't been confirmed by any third party. The single-motor model claims a range of more than 250 miles, a 0-to-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, a top speed of 110 mph and a tow rating of 7,500 pounds. Upgrade to the dual-motor model, and the range exceeds 300 miles, two seconds are shaved off the 0-to-60 mph time, 10 mph is added to the top speed and the tow rating increases to 10,000 pounds. Finally, the tri-motor model promises a whopping 500-plus miles of range, a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 130 mph and a tow rating of 14,000 pounds. All three models have a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds.

If those numbers are even close to accurate, the Tesla Cybertruck will have the highest available towing capacity of any full-size truck on the market (unless you count heavy-duty pickups). Its specs for performance and range are also very impressive, making the Cybertruck kind of a Swiss Army knife that does everything well. Tesla says that the Cybertruck has "better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car." That's Tesla's way of saying that no matter what you're currently driving, whether it's a truck or a sports car, the Cybertruck is better.

Again, all of this is strictly on paper for now, and we'll see how it shakes out in the real world.

When Is It Available and How Much Will It Cost?

Production of the single- and dual-motor versions of the Tesla Cybertruck is scheduled to begin in 2021, with the tri-motor model starting production in 2022. You can put down a deposit to order your Cybertruck right now for only $100. The starting prices for this Tesla are $39,900 for a single-motor truck, $49,900 for a dual-motor truck and $69,900 for a tri-motor truck. As of this writing, you can add full self-driving to your order for $7,000, which will secure your price for the extra autonomy in case that cost rises in the future.

Tesla has set some big expectations for the Cybertruck, and we can't wait to put those lofty promises to the test. Find a Tesla for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Tesla Cybertruck: First Look - Autotrader
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