That’s a monster, huh? Cybertruck looks like an unsuccessful drawing of a small child or a poorly rendered photo of a real car, the interior is quite ordinary and the parameters are not groundbreaking these days, but the price is almost twice as much as expected… Damn, what did Tesla do in the long four years from the introduction of the prototype to the start of production !
Well, they’ve been hard at work on a very complex development! What started out as a pretty good joke swelled into an engineering challenge that was not easy to accomplish at all. But to understand and really appreciate it, you have to go a lot deeper, because superficial information only gives a very rough idea.
Let’s start with the obvious: design. It is not a child’s fault (Franz von Holzhausen, who also drew other Teslas, is behind him), but he was inspired by one thing – when one of Elon Musk’s many descendants asked why all pickup trucks look the same. And indeed: a frame chassis, the engine on it at the front, the cab and body behind it, the same for 70 years. Boredom! So what would a real pickup truck of the future look like…?
Cybertruck is an image cut out of Cyberpunk, a harsh sci-fi world full of technology. It looks the same as the four-year-old prototype (which was built in 93 days, by the way), but it’s actually been tweaked a lot – five percent smaller, with smoother edges and more refined details for better aerodynamics. The drag coefficient of 0.34 is behind the best in the class (the rounder Rivian R1T has 0.30), but it’s a very decent number for such a big and square thing (the same as, say, the Ferrari F40).
Another huge challenge was creating a body made of stainless steel. It comes from the development of SpaceX (and has other additives in it so that the surface does not degrade over time) and is so hard that it must have been hellishly difficult to bend it precisely in exposed places (for example, the edges around the body), align the panels and round the edges so that they didn’t skimp on them – and what’s more, the whole thing could be mass-produced!
The panels are actually so strong (Tesla named the material “Hard F**king Stainless”) that they form the entire car’s exoskeleton with a light aluminum core. According to Tesla, the structure is so rigid that it can withstand more force in a twist than in sports cars. It is so rigid that the door does not need additional reinforcements against a side impact. So tough it can withstand subsonic projectile weapon fire!
Add to that highly resistant glasses (Gorilla Glass, like you have on your phone) and you have one of the safest cars on the market in front of you. For the crew, that is, because the heavy-duty stainless steel nose is bad news for inattentive pedestrians – that’s why the Cybertruck won’t be sold in Europe, where standards require a deformable nose.
But let’s finally get to the technique, which is extremely interesting. The Cybertruck is the first Tesla built on the 800V architecture, which is nothing new (Porsche and Hyundai/Kia have had it for a few years), but nothing widespread yet. Thanks to this, you can charge the Cybertruck with a power of up to 350 kW (Supercharger v4), which means an efficient charge (15-85%) within 20 minutes. Tesla is also the first to support V2L, i.e. the ability to supply energy from the battery to other electrical devices – grills, grinders, electric bicycles…
Another leap forward is the 48V low-voltage network. You read that right, instead of the usual 12 V, Tesla jumped to four times (the last shift was in the fifties from 6 V to 12 V) because the internal systems of modern cars simply need it (not to mention that it reduces the current and thus the thickness cables). Thanks to this, Tesla can be the first production car in the world to have “drive-by-wire” steering, i.e. completely without mechanical coupling (for nitpickers: the Infiniti Q50 had a backup mechanical transmission “just in case”, and the Lexus RZ will arrive on the market with this system when next year.).
This, along with the variable gearing, means there’s only one turn of the steering wheel from stop to stop (that’s half a turn to each side from neutral), so you never have to take your hands off the wheel – and combined with active rear wheel steering, it also means that The 5.7-meter-long Cybertruck has the same turning radius as the five-meter Model S.
The air chassis together with the compact electric motors (no big differentials) also bring the advantage of great off-road passability – Tesla claims ground clearance of up to 432mm and shock absorber travel (stroke) of 305mm. With the Cybertruck, you don’t have to worry about going off the asphalt, in fact, you can even jump with it, like with the Raptor!
Or drive sports cars – the top three-engine version has an output of 845 horsepower, so it can shoot from standstill to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 11 seconds (repeatedly even without preheating and cooling the battery and with a lower capacity). This is quite similar to the dynamics offered by the Porsche 911 Turbo S…
Or you can use all that power to pull a load of up to five tons. Tesla didn’t forget about practicality, so you can carry 1.1 tons on a fixed roll (you can easily walk on it) covered body with dimensions of 6×4 feet (180×120 cm). There’s a hidden storage space under its floor, another space under the front trunk (you can even sit there, the lid is designed to fit), and the rear seats in the interior have fold-down seats like Honda’s Magic Seats.
The Tesla Cybertruck is a truly fascinating machine. It is completely different at first glance, but its technology is perhaps even more interesting and represents another mile leap for pick-ups closer to the world of passenger cars. Cybertruck combines the useful value of a work car with quiet and smooth driving (or fast and agile driving in corners, or unstoppable off-road driving) and exemplary comfort for the crew.
Although it comes late to a slowly filling segment and with a bold pricing policy, you won’t confuse Cybetruck with another competitor (which is a rather important advantage in the era of “all cars look the same”) and it defends its price not only with a very interesting combination of capabilities, but also with a strong personality – which repels many, but also attracts many people. With the Cybertruck, you stand out from everything else on the road and draw attention to yourself without having to drive an impractical super sports car. Like it or not, the Tesla Cybertruck is something special.
What do you think about the Tesla Cybertruck?
After those years of delay, I expected more.
I don’t like it, I have other favorites.
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