Tesla’s bold, brash electric ute is getting a redesign.
Elon Musk confirmed the Cybertruck is getting some “improvements” before it’s revealed, telling investors on an earnings call last month “there’s like a lot of small improvements compared to what was unveiled”.
“I think it’s going to be better than what we showed,” he said.
Mr Musk has ruled out talk of a smaller Cybertruck, recently tweeting “Even 3% smaller is too small” for the battery-electric ute.
The updated Cybertruck design is expected to be revealed before the end of the year. It’s expected to have a more level character line running along its side, and a window sill that sits more flush with the window glass.
With its huge body and distinctive angles, Mr Musk has previously said the Cybertruck could be followed by a more conventional pickup truck if sales are slow.
It’s targeted specifically at the USA, where the Ford F-150 is the best-selling car in the country.
“We sort of made the decision to not make this a world truck. So it doesn’t comply with a lot of specifications, like it doesn’t comply with EU’s specs and stuff… Maybe we can get, I don’t know, some exceptions to EU rules depending on how it’s classified,” he told Automotive News.
It’s unclear if Musk’s statements affect the Cybertruck’s introduction here. Officially, Australian consumers can already pre-order a Cybertruck, while the Tesla website says the Cybertruck will be available globally.
Though the Cybertruck boasts avant garde, razor-edged styling, it’s been designed for heavy-duty work and boasts features like bulletproof stainless steel bodywork, an air compressor, and an on-board generator.
From its wrapped stainless steel skin, tempered glass, claimed 800km maximum range, optional triple-motor layout, claimed supercar-like 0-60mph sprint time of 2.9 seconds, driver-assist functions, air suspension, and mooted 6.5 tonne tow rating, everything promised is headline-grabbing.
When it enters production next year, it’ll face a segment that will have appeared almost overnight. Rivals include the Nikola Badger, Rivian R1T, Lordstown Endurance, GMC Hummer EV and an electric version of the Ford F-150, all of which are expected to launch over the next couple of years.
At least 200,000 customers have already put down refundable $100 deposits for the Cybertruck since last November, according to Musk.
In addition to a potential smaller ute, Musk said Tesla is also weighing developing either a van or minivan for its next model line.
As expected from Musk by now, he has lofty goals – he eventually wants Tesla to produce 20 million new vehicles a year. Volkswagen, currently the world’s largest automaker, built 10.8 million vehicles last year.