I have encountered the future, and for the next few days it resides on display in LA’s (and surely one of the world’s) finest Automotive museum – the Petersen.
The dichotomy of the latest and most technically advanced automotive machinery holding court among the exquisite historic and enormously expensive Jaguars, Ferraris, Porsches and Hispano Suizas was not lost on this reporter when on Saturday morning, June 20, I was invited to cast an eye on the Tesla Cybertruck in its first ever public appearance anywhere, since its launch last November.
To say I was ‘gob smacked’ would be an understatement. I had viewed the original launch or unveiling with Elon Musk holding court online with a jaundiced eye, and for some reason that presentation had little impact on me. I thought the Series Model 3, or its ilk would be much more in my line.
“I quite expected to see Arnold Schwarzenegger leaning on the hood.”
What I was presented with at the Petersen, was a genuine contender to lead the armored charge into the next World conflict or violent mechanized muscle flex. The Tesla Cybertruck is a veritable monster in stainless steel. It’s huge! The truck stands 6′ 3″ tall with a 6′ 6″ bed contained in its 19′ 4″ length. The wheels/tires are a bit weird, like something out of “Blade Runner”, but they appear basically bulletproof. The Cybertruck’s space-age presence recalls the original Hummer on steroids. I quite expected to see Arnold Schwarzenegger leaning on the hood.
With its striking sharp-edged, flat-paneled exoskeleton made of stainless steel (resistant to a 9mm bullets) and bulletproof glass, Tesla has created the all-electric, battery powered Cybertruck to offer more utility than most pickup trucks (parking might be a problem) and more performance than many sports cars.
Three models of the Cybertruck have been announced to date – all four-door models, seating 6. The top of the line, with a price sticker of $69,900, is the Tri-Motor all-wheel drive configuration and an eye watering acceleration from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and travel 500-plus miles (EPA Est.) on a single charge (take that Porsche Supercar).
Next in line is the Dual-Motor all-wheel drive model with a sticker price of $49,900 and a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, which is nothing to sneeze at. The Dual-Motor variant will tow up to 10,000 pounds and promises a 300-plus mile range (EPA Est.).
For the paupers among us, Tesla will offer a bargain basement Cybertruck with a sticker price of “only” $39,900. This model has a single-motor, rear-wheel drive layout, will tow up to 7,500 pounds and accelerate from 0-60 mph at a still sparkling 6.5 seconds with a 250-plus mile range (EPA Est.).
Production of the Tri-Motor and Dual-Motor models is expected to begin in late 2021. The single motor model is expected to come to the market in sometime in 2022, and for a paltry $100, you can reserve any of the three. However, I should caution potential buyers who might want a sparkling blue or bright red version – all three models only come in steel.