Tesla Cybertruck: Range, Power, Payload, Towing, Price + More
Everything you want to know about Tesla's boxy—but way out of the box—electric pickup.
It's okay, we've all been there. The first sight of the Tesla Cybertruck isn't something to take lightly. At first, you'll be confused, unsure of what you're looking at. Your brain may even freeze momentarily. Then you'll quickly transition into amazement and curiosity: Why did they do this? What does it mean? How does it work? After further reflection, you'll either find yourself looking forward to your own personal cyberpunk future commute or you'll want to kill it with fire. Unfortunately, those of you who fall into the latter camp probably won't succeed. Tesla's sister company, The Boring Company, makes flamethrowers, after all. They've probably thought of that.
And that's not all they've thought of. The Cybertruck also promises other shocking headline features, like being bulletproof—or at least bullet-resistant, when you're talking about typical handgun rounds. That's right, the Cybertruck isn't shiny silver for no reason: Its body is made of 3-mm-thick 301 stainless steel, just like that other sister-company product, SpaceX's Starship cargo and passenger spacecraft. And, yes, that silver look is the stainless steel itself, polished to a lustrous shine. If you want a different color, you're gonna have to get it vinyl-wrapped.
Fortunately, you might not have to take out a second mortgage to get a Cybertruck in your driveway. The base-level truck starts at $39,900, the mid-level version starts at $49,900, and the top-tier truck starts from $69,900. What does base-level, mid-level, and top-tier translate to in terms of equipment, features, and performance? Read on.
Of course, this is a Tesla we're talking about, so it's all electric. The Cybertruck uses a pair of Raven permanent-magnet motors, one mounted on each axle, and our colleagues at MotorTrend estimate total power will come in around 690 horsepower and 824 lb-ft of torque—we think that sounds about right. With a battery pack that can be double-stacked for up to 500 miles miles of range (or 250 miles of range in the base single-motor truck, and 300 miles range with the mid-level dual-motor Cybertruck), the Cybertruck is aiming to head off its critics at the pass—although it remains to be seen how the Cybertruck's range holds up with a significant payload or while towing.
Towing? Yes, towing. This is, after all, a pickup truck. And however odd the Cybertruck may look with its flat-plans-and-straight-lines design, it's about the same length and height as a crew-cab short bed F-150—mostly meaningless statistics except to describe the truck's size, but a target that gives some insight into Tesla's mission for the Cybertruck. The bed has no wheel wells sticking into the load space, and is 6.5 feet long with a 57.0-inch-wide load deck.
Tesla says its all-electric pickup will be capable of towing up to 14,000 pounds, with maximum payload of 3,500 pounds--at least in top-tier tri-motor all-wheel-drive form. The mid-tier dual-motor all-wheel-drive Cybertruck is rated for 10,000 pounds towing and 3,500 pounds payload, while the entry-level Cybertruck gets a single motor on the rear axle for rear-wheel drive and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. All towing and payload figures are still preliminary, however, and may change before production. Why? In part because the prototype Cybertruck is built with a unibody-on-frame construction, while the production vehicle will be entirely unibody, so Tesla still has some engineering to do. If Tesla does manage to hit its targets in the production Cybertruck, it will beat out the F-150 on both payload and towing.
What about performance? Well, it's quick. Really quick, according to Tesla's stated zero-to-60-mph times. The tri-motor Cybertruck hits 60 mph from a standstill in just 2.9 seconds, while the mid-level truck gets there in 4.5. Even the entry-level truck gets the job done in 6.5 seconds. Like the 60-mph times, the top speeds are tiered, too: The base truck maxes out at 110 mph, the mid-level can hit 120 mph, and the top Cybertruck tops out at 130 mph.
Despite the Cybertruck's massive capability targets, it rides on a beefed-up version of the Model X's air suspension, including A-arms at all four corners—no old-school solid axles here, naturally. Tesla used this setup not just because it allows both horizontal and longitudinal load leveling, as well as adjustable ride height, but also because it offers a surprising amount of articulation and wheel travel. So much wheel travel, in fact, that we're keeping our eyes peeled for a high-speed desert version of the Cybertruck to battle the Ford Raptor. It has the 35-degree approach and 28-degree departure angles, 35-inch tires, up to 16 inches of ground clearance, and off-road-worthy lights to match—a wide LED light bar spans the nose of the Cybertruck, and a secondary LED bar runs across the top of the windshield. Even if Tesla doesn't make a unique Baja-worthy variant, it should prove quite capable off-road, thanks in part to its completely smooth underside, the better to avoid catching its electrical innards on rocks, stumps, and the like. Tesla's choice of air suspension also offers some other unique behaviors, like a special mode that allows the truck's tailgate to dip to the ground, to make loading and unloading recreational vehicles like dirt bikes easier via built-in pull-out loading ramps.
How does that angular, somewhat unsettling exterior stack up when looked at from the driver's seat, you might wonder? Well, rearward sight lines are very limited, thanks to the sloping roofline that incorporates a sliding/roll-up tonneau cover over the bed (it's strong enough to stand on, by the way). The front end's large and long A-pillars also somewhat hamper forward sight lines, though Tesla has fitted a nose-mounted camera to help place the forward corners of the Cybertruck.
But what's it like inside, you ask? The Cybertruck's interior isn't yet complete, but from preliminary looks at the cabin, we know it will look and feel familiar to current Tesla owners, with a Model 3-style center touchscreen interface as the main attraction. Seating is unusual by modern pickup standards, with places for three abreast in both rows of the cabin. Despite the triple-wide seating, space is abundant, especially up front, where the peaked roof surely makes for ample head room.
The Cybertruck still doesn't have a firm date for production. That said, given America's thirst for pickups, we expect the company to bring it to market as soon as it can—perhaps even before the already-announced second-generation Tesla Roadster hits the streets.