IT’S ENOUGH to frighten the life out of a caravan: Tesla has just unveiled the Cybertruck, a pure-electric pick-up with a towing capacity of more than six tons and hypercar-like acceleration.
In its range-topping, all-wheel drive “Tri Motor” guise, the Tesla Cybertruck apparently has enough pulling power to haul loads in excess of of 6,300kg. Assuming that’s representative of the final production-spec truck, that means its towing capacity is nearly double what many conventionally-powered pick-ups on sale in the UK can manage.
Vehicles such as the Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux can tow trailer loads of up to 3,500kg, and rivals such as the Fiat Fullback and Volkswagen Amarok have maximum braked capacities of up to 3,100kg.
While Tesla concedes the other, less powerful Cybertruck variants won’t be able to tow as much as the Tri-Motor model, they’ll seemingly have no problem lugging about hefty items. The “Dual Motor” all-wheel drive variant is claimed to be capable of towing more than 4,500kg, and the entry-level rear-wheel drive model’s quoted 3,400kg+ capacity puts it on par with many diesel-powered pick-up trucks on sale in the UK.
How much power and torque the Cybertrucks have to facilitate those towing capacities remains to be seen, as Tesla has yet to confirm specific outputs, though we do know the pick-up’s electric motors are packing a considerable punch: Tesla quotes a sub 6.5sec 0-60mph time for the rear-wheel drive Cybertruck, and a hypercar-rivalling 2.9sec for the Tri-Motor model.
That all sounds pretty impressive, but tow cars are no good if they can’t be used for travelling afar. Tesla says the Cybertruck has you covered on this front, too: base Cybertrucks can apparently go more than 250 miles on a single charge, rising to 300 miles+ for the Dual Motor models and in excess of 500 miles for Tri-Motor vehicles. It remains to be seen, however, what impact towing loads will have on the range.
Charging times for the Cybertruck are also to be confirmed, though we know it will be compatible with the company’s most up-to-date Supercharger charging point technology. When the car maker first announced its 250kW “V3” chargers in March 2019, it claimed they would have enough power to provide up to 75 miles of range in five minutes.
Likewise, full tech specs are also an unknown at the time of writing, with the only confirmed standard-fit features being the adaptive air suspension, the huge 17in touchscreen interface on the centre console and Tesla’s Autopilot suite of driver assists.
It’s unclear how final is the wedge-like, polygonal design, though the shape presented today has been met with a mixed reception at best. The interior, certainly, appears to be at the concept stage only. At its launch, Tesla founder Elon Musk highlighted the Cybertruck’s ruggedness, including the “ultra-hard” 30X cold-rolled stainless steel body and bulletproof windows.
UK market specs and prices aren’t expected to be confirmed for some time, though we know the rear-wheel drive Cybertruck will start at $39,900 (£31,000) in America, with the two- and three-motor models setting buyers back $49,900 (£38,700) and $69,900 (£54,300) respectively. The company is accepting reservations with a small £100 deposit.
Tesla says it will start building the rear-wheel drive and dual motor Cybertrucks in late 2021, and work on the first customer-spec Tri-Motor models is expected to commence during late 2022.
When the Tesla Cybertruck eventually does go on sale, it likely won’t be the only pure-electric pick-up offering — especially in the American market. Car making giants Ford and General Motors have confirmed they’re hard at work on new plug-in pick-ups, and US start ups Bollinger and Rivian want to start building their own battery-powered trucks by the end of 2020.
Tesla Cybertruck Tri-Motor specs
- Range 500+ miles (EPA estimate)
- 0-60mph <2.9 seconds (claimed)
- Towing capacity More than 6,300kg
- Payload Up to 1,588kg
- ‘Vault’ length 1,981mm
- Storage capacity 2,831 litres of exterior, lockable storage including the vault, ‘frunk’ (front boot) and sail pillars
- Suspension travel 102mm in either direction
- Touchscreen size 17”
- Body Ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel
- Seating capacity Up to six adults
- Charging Can be charged at home, at Destination Charging locations, and with Tesla’s network of more than 14,000 Superchargers, including V3