2021 Tesla Cybertruck unveiled. Polarising styling and US$40k entry

The wraps have come off what could be the most radically-styled vehicle we’ve seen all year –- the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck.

For years now, Elon Musk has promised a new Tesla electric ute to compete in the world’s most popular market segment.

Promises of a ‘steampunk’ styling theme have come to fruition, with an extremely angular design, consisting of a scalene triangle surrounding the glasshouse. This is a major breakaway from more conventional ute/pickup designs, such as the Rivian R1T. An integrated sailplane also reminds us of the HSV Maloo– in a very tenuous way.

Internet reaction to this vehicle’s styling is mixed, with much discussion and memes generated within the first 24 hours of its unveiling.

The interior features a yoke steering wheel and what appears to be a marble dash. The 2021 Tesla Cybertruck’s rear-vision mirror doubles as a camera when the retractable tonneau cover is in place. A 17-inch centre display – reminiscent of the Model 3’s portrait-style unit- is the focal point of the interior. The Cybertruck is a true six seater, with three seats in the front and three in the rear.

Dimensionally, the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck is close to the Ford F-150, with a length of 5885mm, width of 2027mm and 1905mm of height. For comparison, the 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrack measures 5426/1860/1848mm. Tesla Cybertruck’s arch-rival Rivian R1T will be closer to Ranger in size than F-150. Off-road ability is promising too, with the sharp nose affording the Cybertruck a 35-degree approach, 28-degree departure and 16 inches of ground clearance.

Shatterproof glass and 3mm thick stainless steel make the car able to withstand 9mm ballistics attacks. During the car’s unveiling, a demonstration of the window’s ability to withstand impact went wrong, as the glass shattered. This was, apparently, due to the same piece of glass being subjected to impact during rehearsal.

In terms of pricing the Cybertruck will start from US$39,900 (AU$58,772) for the rear-drive single motor version. For that, you get a 400km range, and 3401kg of towing capability. 0-60mph (97km/h) is quoted at 6.5-seconds. Tesla Cybertruck’s luggage volume is quoted as 2831 litres in the two metre long integrated bed.

A mid-range dual-motor specification will bring that sprint time down to 4.5-seconds and increase range to 480km for US$49,900 (AU$73,502). The highest spec will be the tri-motor version, offering 6305kg of towing capability, 800km of range and a 2.9-second 60mph sprint. This high-performance variant will borrow its drivetrain from the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid, which is currently testing on the Nurburging Nordschleife.

Production is said to start towards the end of 2021, with the highest-spec models coming the following year. Australian availability is unclear at the time of writing, but being a ute, one would think it’s a shoe-in.