Tesla Cybertruck: The new frontier

May 19, 2020 · 20 min read

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Tesla not only broke boundaries in the automotive industry recently, they proved that they don’t exist. Their Cybertruck debuted on November 21, 2019 and since then the truck’s design has received mixed reviews abroad. Ranging from comparisons to a child’s iterative drawing, to references to some of the most culturally impacting, Sci-Fi inspired, automotive designs of our time; such as the Spinner in Blade Runner, DeLorean DMC-12 in Back to The Future, and the Warthog in Halo.

The Cybertruck’s design, disrupted an industry that hasn’t evolved the look and feel of their product much in over 100 years. The phrase “If isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, in our opinion hinders creativity and innovation because it influences industries to rest on their laurels, and reinforces stagnation based upon Y2Y sales.

Tesla on the other hand is pushing the design envelope and creating a market for change, which is apparent with the 250,000+ people that have voted for the Cybertruck with their dollar.


Exterior Design

The Cybertruck’s design centers around a unibody construction, referred to as the “Exoskeleton” by Tesla. The material sourced to develop the unibody exoskeleton, consist of an ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel, which is 3mm thick and bent along straight lines rather than stamped like traditional automotive parts.

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Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled Stainless Steel Exoskeleton | Photo: Tesla

Previous concepts incorporated the use of titanium, which was scrapped for stainless steel to increase the vehicle’s structural integrity.

The truck’s origami like design distributes stress more efficiently and allows for increased interior volume, which “Helps eliminate dents, damage and long-term corrosion,” according to Tesla.

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Where we're going,

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This manufacturing technique was originally used to develop the SpaceX Mars Rocket Prototype, due to its superior strength and endurance.

This exoskeleton also allows the Tesla design team to place the vehicle’s battery pack underneath the unibody floor, which would be impossible on a traditional body-on-frame truck design because the frame would obstruct the battery’s design placement.

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Cybertruck Exterior | Photos: Tesla

Tesla also reinforces the Cybertruck’s concept of durability and passenger protection by implementing their proprietary “Amor Glass” design, which is an “Ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite that can absorb and redirect impact force for improved performance and damage tolerance”, according to Tesla.

This armor glass is used for all of the vehicle’s windows including the glass roof, which spans the entire length of the cabin.

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Cybertruck Vault Bed | Photos: Tesla

The Cybertruck’s bed, which Tesla refers to as its “Vault”, is seamlessly integrated into the truck’s roof design by incoporating a flush mounted, stainless steel, sliding tonneau cover that retracts into the cabin. The bed spans 6.5 ft in length and offers a variety of features for maximum functionality.

Features

These features include a hidden storage compartment underneath the bed floor, power inverters for 120 and 240-volt on-the-go charging, an included air compressor for powering pneumatic tools, side mounted L-track rails and T-slots for multiple anchor points, two side led lighting strips that span the full length of the bed, and an integrated truck bed ramp that stows away into the tailgate.

The Cybertruck offers a self-leveling air suspension, which compensates for variable loads and offers multiple ride heights and multiple damper settings.

This allows the suspension to adapt directly to the operator’s driving style, which compensates for various terrain, from long highway road trips to rocky off-road adventures.

The in-cabin experience of the Cybertruck is surprisingly quiet, which provides a pleasant ride in spite of the aggressive 35-inch mud-terrain tires, which typically produce loud noise that can add or subtract from the rider’s experience on a traditional pickup truck.

In regards to dimensions, the Cybertruck may appear compact on screen but the actual size of the truck is quite significant. It comes in at 231.7 inches long, 79.8 inches wide, and 75 inches tall; with 16 inches of ground clearance at a 35 degree approach angle, and 28 degree departure angle.

Interior Design

The interior design of the Tesla Cybertruck provides a sense of elegant simplicity, comfort, and functionality. It host a six passenger seating arrangement which consist of a full width bench seat in the back, two bucket seats in the front, and a middle seat that folds into a center console/slash armrest.

This center console along with the rear seat, both fold down to allow loading long cargo extending into the cab from the vault.

The materials used for the seat design appear to be a combination of leatherette (a synthetic material made from vinyl, designed specifically to mimic the look and feel of real leather), a suede-like cloth, and perforated leatherette accents integrated into the front bucket seats.

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Cybertruck Interior | Photos: Tesla

Tesla also incorporates natural stone design cues in its dash, which resembles white marble, however the material used to produce this look is a paper composite made from paper, wood-based fibers, natural wood pigments and non-petroleum based resins.

This manufacturing technique provides a durable design that’s visually appealing, cost-effective, and passenger safe in case of a collision; whereas solid stone or metal would present a higher risk of injury on impact.

One of our favorite aspects of the interior is the 17″ MCU touchscreen, which is 2 inches larger than that of the Model 3 and Model Y.

The new display offers an updated UI (user interface), with the main menu controls placed at the left side of the screen rather than the bottom, which provides the driver with increased accessibility due to the closer design placement.

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Cybertruck Interior | Photo: Tesla

The Cybertruck’s rear view mirror is interesting given that it’s actually not a mirror, but an LCD screen that displays a live feed from the truck’s rear cameras. This makes sense because when the vault’s tonneau cover is down, the driver’s view would be obstructed rendering the mirror useless.

On the topic of mirrors, the Tesla Cybertruck does not currently come with side mirrors, which will probably change preceding production due to automotive regulations.

Lastly we want to discuss the steering wheel, which appears to be directly inspired by the next-generation Roadster prototype. The design resembles a steering yoke, which is essentially a control wheel used for piloting some fixed-wing aircraft, and this will also probably change once the vehicle enters production.

Vehicle Specs

The Cybertruck comes in 3 different options, the Single Motor RWD, Dual Motor AWD, and Tri Motor AWD. Each of these models come equipped with all of the features that we previously discussed. Below we attached Tesla spec sheet for each model respectively. *Please zoom on mobile device.

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Models

The Cybertruck’s exterior finish is bare metal but Elon musk has confirmed that there will be more color options available in the future, including a Matte Black edition. We found a few color renders created by letsgetweird99 on Imgur, which gives the Tesla Cybertruck a nice look.

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Cybertruck Colors | Photos: letsgetweird99

All things considered, we believe that the Tesla Cybertruck provides a sense of design progression that’s been seemingly non-existent in the automotive industry, and only time will tell how this sci-fi motif will affect consumer behavior in the coming years.

Tesla is currently offering a $100 deposit to all prospective buyers that want to reserve their very own Cybertruck. This deposit is for all options across the board including the $39,900 Single Motor RWD, $49,900 Dual Motor AWD, and the $69,900 Tri-Motor AWD; which we’ve linked here.

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