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Bullet Proof, Bash Proof, And Baloney

Tesla Cybertruck Elon Musk
Photo by and for

I drew the Tesla Cybertruck when I was 11 years old once. I didn’t brag about it.

If you didn’t watch the reveal video, it starts like this: out strolls California’s Lord and Savior, Elon Jesus Moses the Martian, smugly claiming that pickup trucks haven’t changed much in “100 years,” and proceeded to show the progression of a pickup truck, through photos. And the crowd, intoxicated by Elon’s musk, rabidly agrees. Trucks still have beds! How pathetic! They still utilize frame rails! How primitive!

Behold, monkeys. Elon invented what’s called an “exoskeleton,” and you’ve probably never heard of it. In order to accomplish this miracle, Tesla borrowed space material from SpaceX, Elon’s far more interesting company, which they mined from volcano on Mars. It’s 30x cold-rolled stainless-steel capable of stopping a 9mm round that makes up the *ahem* body of this electric pickup truck, while thickened armored glass further protects occupants from anybody hailing from a flyover state.

Later in the press conference, the payload and towing figures of the Tesla Cybertruck are listed. The crowd is silent. Silent because they don’t actually know what the numbers mean. All they know is: iT cAn bEaT A pOrScHe iN a StRaiGht lInE LoL. Then again, this truck is specifically for those kinds of people. The matter-of-fact accomplished types that somehow have gotten this far without figuring out the difference between their asses and a hole in the ground.

The event also featured a sledgehammer, a glass durability demonstration that went hilariously awry, and some trendy bois carrying these flashy demonstrations as if they were magic tricks. Carrying them out like the disciples to their savior that they are.

As with the vaporware Tesla semi truck, the people behind this project took in no real expert input nor do they seem to have any real experience with actual pickup trucks. Did anybody stop to realize why trucks have the overall design that they do? No, of course not, that wouldn’t be sexy.

As if Detroit, Stuttgart, Nagoya, and Wolfsburg have collectively gotten everything wrong this whole time. As if their combined centuries of experience have somehow strayed completely away from reason, and all of their engineers are subhuman.

Then again, they probably don’t have contact with the Martians like Elon does, who probably told him to do this as a psyop. We are all disgusted, yet curious.

At a “starting” price of $39,000, this four-wheeled Star Fox 64 mini boss will tow a mundane 7,500 pounds, with a payload rating of 3,500 pounds. There was little talk about range loss – which, oh yes, there definitely will be – or battery degradation when it comes to utilizing this truck beyond anything but a four-wheeled conversation piece. Unladen, the Tesla Cybertruck in its base single-motor rear-wheel drive form will hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with an estimated range of 250 miles.

Sharks and crocodiles have withstood time, as well.

There’s a major caveat here. All pickup trucks adhere to various standards put together by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) – an independent, non-governmental entity that stands for better standards and practices. Towing and payload both adhere to an SAE standard. Elon Christ and Tesla like to pretend they’ve never heard of the SAE. Hence, why the Tesla charging systems are different than the rest of the industry. That’s not innovative, but it is unnecessary. Just the same, the Tesla Cybertruck likely hasn’t run through any SAE testing for towing or payload. And, judging by how that rear end suspension performed a Carolina squat with nothing more than an electric ATV in the bed. And don’t blame the active air suspension. The 2020 Ram 1500 has it, and nothing even close to what happened during the Tesla presentation happens on that Michigan-made truck. All it’s good for is letting whatever it is somebody might be loading into the “vault” of this Tesla truck to slide or roll out of it. Brilliant.

3,500 lbs payload? With that kind of rear suspension play? That JRE blunt rip from a year ago must still be working.

The numbers get less believable as we go up the content ladder. The $49,900 AWD dual-motor version is estimated to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and tow a more truck-like 10,000 pounds. A Ram 1500 – the alleged primitive fossil that it is – can tow over 12,500 lbs.

The most formidable Tesla Cybertruck will be priced at $69,900, and is said to be capable of going 500 miles on a full charge. With its Plaid tri-motor powertrain, Musk claims it will rocket to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds (like the C8 Corvette) and complete the quarter mile in just over 10 seconds. Towing capacity for this version is 14,000 pounds, or in line with a more affordable and more proven 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 or GMC Sierra 2500 HD pickup truck.

As everybody could plainly see, this project is far from being done. And even if we omit the Martian design language for a moment, things are still in concept car mode. No mirrors, no windshield wiper, and a wheel/tire combination that’s likely unfit for production all point to things being very early in the process.

Production for the Tesla Cybertruck is set for late 2021 – a full two years away. By now we should expect that the California automaker will likely be delayed on that timeline. And in between that, Tesla is scheduled to produce the Model Y, the new Roadster and the Semi truck in 2020 – the latter two have been completely MIA since their 2017 announcement. What could possibly set Tesla back between then and now?

Figuring out what it takes to build a pickup truck, for one.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.


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    1. The Monolithic Glorious Future is repulsive to very many.

      Some are too obtuse to see it. I’m sorry for them. Tesla articles seem to draw a very large, non-skeptical, pro-Musk comment response. Possibly a PR campaign to protect their mindshare of people drawn to that novelty?

      It’s a Bizarro world. Big media are really just spook mafias with agendas. There’s distorted price discovery in equities, large assets. Big Banks have assumed a role of Nobility. The sentiment behind occupy Wall st. got morphed into support for collectivist oligarchs.

      Boomer echo. Not okay, boomer.

      Brave New World is same old.

    2. I’m a combat veteran and former US Army Paratrooper. My dad raced in the SCCA in Triumphs, Lotuses, and Datsuns. I am a die-hard F1 enthusiast who reads the technical regulations…not just the BS top stories. I’m now an Architect, Technologist, and Asset Manager, and having been someone who’s led convoys driving proper GI Humvees in a theater of war, and who now drives a rocked up 4-door Wrangler fully modified (engine, suspension, and armor) sitting on 37’s…..I too have a qualified opinion.

      The Cybertruck is different…in a good way. Most of the other trucks on offer are more or less the same. They’re not so different from the Chevy S-10s and F-150s I drove in high school, just better computers, reliability, and comfort. The Cybertruck makes me feel like I could be driving it and fighting some wicked aliens from a Halo game…or driving to my Bugatti spaceship to get to Elysium. The truck makes me see into the future of our species a bit, it makes me feel something that a Ram, Silverado, or Raptor can’t. Its a truck for dreamers and folks with vision….

      That’s why people like it. That’s why it will be a success. And I’m pretty sure the guy who figured out how to dock a Dragon capsule with the ISS can work out how to best the tech specs provided via comparable pickups offered by the Big 3 competitors. Probably best not to taunt Ironman.

      And, hey, its okay if you don’t like it. Fewer tools driving proper machines is a good thing. Enjoy your Ram bro…

    3. Wow awesome analysis of Musk’s cyberpunk truck. Totally on point, this cyberpunk truck is not meant to compete with Ford/Chevy/Ram trucks. This is for well heeled yuppies who love cyberpunk anime who wants their own armored personal carrier for the zombie apocalypse! Too bad Tesla designers are no-spine yes waterboys for Musk. Musk shoved this design down their throat and it was 100% pure Musk all the way. Good for him! Musk is now in full tard electric Jesus mode and no man will stand in his way! LOL

    4. Manoli is spot on, this hideous design, which btw is similar to the 1978 publication in Penthouse magazine is not only ridiculous but impractical design. The designers must be sponsored by Etch-a-Sketch.

    5. Wow, another musky pipedream,.. I admit, I once was a believer and ordered the perfect Tesla Roof … that never eventuated. 2 1/2 years later I asked for my money back.
      I support innovation and re thinking things.
      Sadly most of Tesla innovations are overshadowed by PR bs.

    6. Guys i am not an engineer or a world renowned designer. Elon is literally the savior we have been waiting on to push mankind forward. SpaceX is out of this world, and what they have accomplished so far is ingenuity at its finest. Tesla car models are also innovative and its about time we dump the old gasoline engines and embrace the future. ohh and oe more thing…

      Cybertruck is ugly asf and I am still trying to figure out if this is still some kind of long term prank.

    7. This author is so poorly researched it’s laughable!

      The “suspension play” comment when describing the actively lowering bed to facilitate loading in certainly scenarios was just utterly, pathetically cringe worthy!

      The bemoaning of lack of paint finish in a deliberately utilitarian vehicle designed in cold rolled stainless steel, with wrap options specified instead of paint if a customer chooses a different finish.

      Honestly, man, you and your article here genuinely came across as something akin to a flat earth lunatic screaming “facts” from a pop up roadside stall at passers-by!

      • I’m still waiting for somebody to show me the lie. Skipping paint sounds like the truck is perfectly set up to shortcut industry manufacturing standards and practices. Kind of like how Tesla was building vehicles under tents for a while.

        Tilting a loading floor is not a good idea. Anybody that has ever loaded something into a truck knows this. Somebody already invented this thing called a “ramp” and when using it the loading floor stays level. What a pragmatic, genius concept!

        There are so many trade offs going on with this truck that the Tesla horde do not understand, and it’s laughable. Are you guys even real people?

    8. Whoa homie. You are messing with their lord and savior Elon, I walk on water Musk. It shows how far up his arse his fans are. Good read, and you are correct. He reminds me of the 21st century version of Preston Tucker and a wanna be Tony Stark.

    9. First of all. Elon musk is my God and savior. Praise Lord Musk and the sanctity of his companies! Your blasphemous rhetoric had not gone unnoticed and you will experience the wrath of principal-first logic. You will observe laws that allow mirrors to disappear that go into effect in 2020. You will see tires that are there to make noise to comply with pedestrian sound laws which means they are there to stay. You will be shocked by the crumple zones and airbags that are there but are going unnoticed because of good design. You will submit to a truck that will be able to fully self-drive on release, which makes a payload cover not only make sense, but predictable. All of this was written in the prophecy of my Lord and savior Elon Musk’s own hand, “The Tesla Master Plan”. Behold!

    10. Musk leads a team of incredibly creative people, and does it a such a way that they are successful. This truck is another example of many successes. Also, Bullet Proof glass is suppose to shatter on impact, that’s how it absorbs the energy, so it did exactly as it was suppose to do. I’ve got 30 years of professional on and off highway engineering experience, and this is very humbling. He’s also a leader in autonomous vehicles, the Cybertruck included, and I’m anxiously waiting to see how this brings us into the future.

      • Shatter proof glass already exists on virtually every vehicle on the market today. Making it thicker than normal is low hanging fruit.

        Tesla beta-testing (semi)-autonomous software on customers (Autopilot) is not leadership in the space. It’s reckless. Utilizing only cameras for the system is not innovative, it’s incomplete. Sorry to insult your god.

    11. Dude, what did Elon ever do to you? You’re trying to make him look like an idiot. Granted, the breaking of the glass during that demonstration was laughable, but you obviously wrote this article before Elon later posted his video of testing the cybertruck armored glass right before the reveal, and the glass didn’t even scratch. And yes he was using the same ball and hammer. This truck is pioneering the future (no matter how ugly it may be), you have no reason to go, “F**k the Cybertruck” like you were doing. Damn! You seriously need to work on your writing skills (and your research. Research? Whats that?) If this were my website, I’d do something akin to firing you.

      • “uh yeah I need you speak to your manager, yeah.”

        Don’t get it twisted. I respect Elon – and I think he has a lot of cool ideas that are pushing humanity forward in a positive direction, especially with SpaceX. Unfortunately there’s a horde of tech bros completely oblivious to basic fundamentals of what it takes to properly validate, build and sell an automobile. This post is for them. Everything that comes out of Tesla is put on a pedestal, and it’s laughable. Not to mention there are several other car companies that are working on electric trucks, and I bet you can’t even name three of them without googling it first. If any legacy automaker did something like Cybertruck (which as it was presented, has no airbags, no paint, no crumple zones, and a less useful truck bed), people would either be repulsed or completely unaware. The double standard is disgusting.

      • that glass is still nowhere near as great as bill gates doing a massive press release showing off windows 98 ability to plug and play usb devices and it blue screens when he plugs it in

    12. Reading this reminded me of the media leading up to the 2016 election. So confident in their assessment. So confident in their righteous echo chamber. This truck isn’t a “real” truck! To that I say, about time we see some creativity and design risks coming out of the auto industry.

    13. This writer couldn’t wait to use “musk” as a noun. How many times did he mention Mars? LOL. “Some forner from Mars gunna change the truck up?!” I don’t love the Cybertruck but Jesus…

    14. The cybertruck makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways. I think the rear pillars on the bed are making people think this doesn’t look like a normal truck. That can easily be changed with some contrasting paint if it’s a big deal. Also, they provide some tool storage, so they’re more than just structural.

      It’s about time someone comes out with a design like this. I’m tired of all the nonsense chrome trim and details on normal trucks. Waste of money for getting real work done.

      This might get the major manufacturers to get off their butts and make something interesting for once.


    16. This looks like a homebrew garage project from someone who had a sheet steel bender and zero sense of design inspired by an Aztec mating with a DeLorean. It’s not even future, at best it’s what the 50’s thought the future would look like.

    17. Technology/design mule obviously. Strip the press-friendly body away and you’re left with a very competent base for multi applications. I’d be happy to balance my footprint by parking my SRT8 and taking out an EV instead. Look beyond your manly prejudice – and your freelance paycheck – and see the (very near) future…

    18. I find it hilarious how much he bashes the Cybertruck here haha. It’s completely absurd how misinformed this guy is. He talks about range loss while towing. Guess what happens to gasoline powered trucks while they tow stuff? They lose efficiency as well. As for the no mirrors, if you look closely you can see a camera just above the front wheels. These most likely will be used in place of mirrors. You dont mention the 16 inch ground clearance, the air compressor, included outlets etc. Why are you trying to write so much negativity to a product that is stepping us forward into a new age of technology?

    C7 Corvette