Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the Cybertruck would likely be Tesla’s best vehicle to date, and the all-electric pickup truck would be so impressive that its four-year wait would be worth it. But as the specs and price of the production Cybertruck were released on Thursday, a number of longtime EV watchers were quick to voice their disappointment.
In a way, it is unsurprising that many were disappointed by the production Cybertruck. The vehicle, after all, was smaller, had less range, and was significantly more expensive than the hulking steel beast that was unveiled in 2019. Even the production Cybertruck’s Armor Glass demonstration featured a baseball, which was far less impressive than the steel ball that was used four years ago.
This does not mean to say that the production Cybertruck is a complete miss, however. Far from it. A look at the production Cybertruck’s details would show that the vehicle, despite losing some size and range, gained a number of key features that make it a pretty stellar truck in its own right. Perhaps Elon Musk was right — maybe the Cybertruck is really destined to become Tesla’s magnum opus.
Here then are five features that we love about the production Tesla Cybertruck.
The production Cybertruck does not have a regular steering wheel. Instead, it has a rounded yoke that seems like a cross between the Model S and Model X Plaid’s yoke and a regular steering wheel. As it turns out, the Cybertruck is the first Tesla that is being shipped with a steer-by-wire system. This makes the vehicle very nimble and easy to maneuver. Tesla showed off some videos showcasing this feature, and they were quite impressive.
Critics of the original steering yoke in the Model S Plaid noted that the system would have worked if it used steer-by-wire. Well, the Cybertruck has it, and so far, reviewers of the vehicle seem to appreciate the feature.
Despite being smaller than its original prototype, the Cybertruck is still a fairly large vehicle. It’s also made of stainless steel. With this in mind, consumers might find the Cybertruck’s frunk heavy and cumbersome if it was manually operated. Fortunately, this won’t be the case, as the production Cybertruck comes with a powered frunk system called the Powergate.
As noted by Tesla, the Powergate features one of the longest LED lighting elements on any passenger vehicle in the world. It also reveals a hidden bench for two, plus over seven cubic feet of storage. These features, together with its powered nature, make the Cybertruck’s frunk the best in Tesla’s lineup today.
The Cybertruck could be considered a flagship vehicle from Tesla. Its price certainly commands such a designation in the company’s lineup. It is then unsurprising that the electric vehicle maker gave the Cybertruck a dedicated high-performance mode called “Beast Mode.” Tesla explained Beast Mode as follows: “Cyberbeast features a rear drive unit with dual induction machines, active torque vectoring, and an electro-mechanical, front-locking differential producing a combined 845 HP.”
With Beast Mode, the Cybertruck would be able to achieve a 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds, a metric that actually exceeds that of the original Cybertruck prototype in 2019, which was listed with a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
Together with its steer-by-wire system, the Cybertruck also features rear-wheel steering. Demonstrations of the Cybetruck in action show how the vehicle’s rear wheels help with maneuverability, allowing the stainless steel all-electric pickup truck to achieve a turning radius that is better than the Model S sedan. That’s pretty insane considering the physical size of the Cybertruck.
Interestingly enough, rear steering is also a feature that is an improvement over the Cybertruck’s 2019 prototype. The hulking vehicle, when it was unveiled four years ago, did not feature a rear-wheel steering system at all, despite Elon Musk seemingly confirming the feature on Twitter prior to the 2019 unveiling.
While it is true that the production Cybertruck’s range is disappointing compared to the announced range of the original Cybertruck prototype from 2019, one could argue that a range extender actually makes sense. Tesla, after all, is not looking to become a niche automaker. The company wants to be a mass-market carmaker, and to do that, it must be able to produce as many vehicles as it can with the resources it has.
Being a large vehicle, the Cybertruck would have to eat a lot of batteries to achieve its target range from 2019. Thus, it is quite reasonable for Tesla to offer a range extender that adds about 130 miles to the Cybertruck Dual Motor (around 120 extra miles for the Cyberbeast) only to those who actually need the extra battery. Tesla could then produce the Cybertruck Dual Motor and Cyberbeast with 123 kWh battery packs, which is a pretty fair size for such a large vehicle.
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