- Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first passenger pickup truck, the Cybertruck, on Thursday night in a town near Los Angeles.
- The unveiling was jam-packed with flames, people in all-black costumes, and video comparisons of the Cybertruck with the speed of the Porsche911 and the towing capabilities of the Ford F-150.
- One of the most viral moments, however, was the infamous failed glass demo.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first passenger pickup truck, the Cybertruck, on Thursday night in a dramatic showing that included flames, a “cybergirl,” and a failed test.
The jam-packed unveiling included the traditional presentation of the truck’s specifications but in a glamorized and semifailed manner. To prove the strength of its “ultra-hard” stainless steel body, Musk asked Tesla’s lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen, to take a sledgehammer to the side of the truck.
And to show off the strength of the “armoured glass,” a metal ball was dropped onto an isolated panel at an elevated height without a shatter or a break. However, when the metal ball was thrown at the window of the example Cybertruck, the glass broke.
Despite this, the Cybertruck was unveiled to many crowd cheers and photos, and with specs that surpassed those of its competitors, such as Bollinger Motors‘ fully electric all-wheel-drive B2 Pickup Truck. Production is expected to begin in 2021.
Keep scrolling to see more of the Cybertruck unveiling antics:
The unveiling started out with a self-titled “cybergirl” who said: “The Cybertruck, the No. 1 mode of transport for a cybergirl. The greatest evolution in vehicular fashion and function.”
There are speculations that the “cybergirl” was Grimes, Musk’s alt-pop-singer girlfriend.
“I now present to you my creator,” cybergirl said. Enter Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s walk onto the stage. A short and awkward presentation followed, with Musk explaining why the truck was a necessary and revolutionary product.
Now cue the flames for a grandiose Cybertruck entrance that seemed more like the introduction of a celebrity boxing match.
At last, the full showing revealed a futuristic geometric pickup truck to a crowd of smartphones, eager fans, and, of course, more fire.
The flames were obviously much more dramatic and monitored than the Tesla Supercharger station that caught fire at a Wawa in New Jersey just a few days prior.
The first of a series of demonstrations began when Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, appeared with a sledgehammer, first hitting and denting what Musk called a “regular truck door” …
… before using the power of the hammer on the Cybertruck, which suffered no visible dents after the beating. This is because the automaker says the truck’s body — made of “ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel” — is almost impenetrable.
To further this point, the screen behind Musk and the Cybertruck started playing prerecorded clips of the body being shot at with a 9mm bullet. The bullet shattered like a “paintball,” Musk said.
He even used finger guns to prove his point.
Then came the testing of the Tesla Armour Glass, which Musk called “transparent metal glass.” Three testers — in all-black, steampunk-esque outfits — came out to initiate the test, first dropping a metal ball onto the shatter-free glass from a lower height …
… before dramatically climbing up a ladder to drop it successfully from a taller height.
Glass optics aside, the testers were reminiscent of well-coordinated magician’s assistants, with their confident but dramatically fluid movements.
However, the success of the armoured glass didn’t last long. Holzhausen came back onstage with a large metal ball to throw at the window, which then cracked, not once …
… but twice, when Musk encouraged von Holzhausen to try again on the other glass panel.
“We threw wrenches; we threw everything,” Musk said. “We even literally threw the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now. I don’t know why.”
“Fix it in post,” Musk jokingly said, like an Instagram influencer trying to optimise their photos.
But the pride of the Cybertruck was soon saved afterward, when Musk, now standing in front of a glass-shattered truck, played a video of a Ford F-150 and the Cybertruck in a “tug-of-war” competition that ultimately ended with the Cybertruck towing the F-150.
The Cybertruck can tow more than 14,000 pounds and carry a payload of up to 3,500 pounds in its most expensive configuration.
Ford is developing a Cybertruck rival, an all-electric F-150.
There was also a speed test that showed the truck drag racing a Porsche 911, the latter of which received a head start.
“You could basically do the Baja Rally in this thing,” Musk said.
The price and specs were then announced. The truck begins at $US39,900 for the single-motor rear-wheel-drive version that has a range of 250 miles. The most expensive tri-motor all-wheel-drive version starts at $US69,900 and has a range of over 500 miles.
The tri-motor Cybertruck can hit 60 mph in about 2.9 seconds. Self-driving features are a $US7,000 add-on.
The event closed out with a surprise unveiling of the Cyberquad, an electric ATV. The ATV will be available as a Cybertruck option.
The loading of the Cyberquad onto the rear cargo area also allowed Musk to show off the truck’s “adaptive air suspension” which raises and lowers the Cybertruck’s suspension by 4 inches for easier access to both the cargo area and the cabin of truck. There’s also a self-levelling feature.
This concluded the jam-packed unveiling of the Cybertruck, which was met with mixed reviews online.
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