Tesla officially launched the Cybertruck back in 2019. The cyberpunk electric truck will be the most striking vehicle on the road. But we're still discussing it in the future tense because — more than two years after its debut — Tesla still has not launched the production version. Even the more optimistic Cybertruck timelines could still have us waiting another year.
Piecing together reports, rumors and Elon Musk tweets — the closest thing Tesla has to an official PR department — it's clear the production Cybertruck will be markedly different from the initial release. Here's what we know about it as of this writing.
Tesla's first target for starting Cybertruck production was fall 2021. That didn't happen. It's now 2022, and we still haven't seen a single truck arrive. Elon Musk has said Tesla will not introduce a new model in 2022; the Cybertruck will launch in 2023 as part of a "massive wave of new products."
Other products purportedly on tap for next year may include the Tesla Roadster (which debuted back in 2017), the Tesla Semi Truck and a humanoid Tesla robot. Tesla is also reportedly working on a dedicated robotaxi vehicle with full self-driving (a feature that still hasn't arrived yet, in spite of many years of promises).
The idea of the Cybertruck arriving in 2023 could mean anything from full-scale production in January to delivering one token truck on December 31. What we can say with certainty is: it's clear the Cybertruck won't arrive in 2022.
Tesla has set the paradigm with its past launches of cool, high-performing electric cars. But the Cybertruck will be different from the Model 3 or the Model S. Tesla will be entering an established electric pickup market — and facing off directly against some heavy-hitters.
Upstart EV manufacturer Rivian brought its R1T pickup to market last year. The GMC Hummer EV SUT and Ford F-150 Lightning will be on the road in 2022. If Tesla delays the Cybertruck further, it's possible GM could have three electric trucks on the road before the Cybertruck arrives.
Don't expect a dramatic aesthetic departure from the first version. It will still have the same angular, Blade Runner-inspired silhouette. Tesla will still build the "exoskeleton" from stainless steel and leave it unpainted (though there should be third-party wrap options).
We have seen some practical tweaks come to the project— the latest prototype, for example, has conventional side mirrors. And Musk has suggested at various points the production Cybertruck may be smaller than the prototype, as it would be a tight fit in garages and Boring tunnels.
Tesla's initial Cybertruck plan included single, dual and tri-motor versions. That plan has changed. Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the first Cybertruck that launches now will use a quad-motor setup like the Rivian R1T.
It's not clear how the rest of the lineup will shake out; Tesla has removed the configurator from its website. One rumor says Tesla will remove the single motor Cybertruck — the one that would have started under $40,000.
Tesla says the Cybertruck will have an adaptive air suspension. The truck will be able to raise or lower four inches in either direction. It will also offer a self-leveling function.
More importantly, the rear wheels will be able to turn the opposite direction from the front wheels, allowing the Cybertruck to make tighter turns and, like the Hummer be more maneuverable than it should be in tight spaces given its size.
Recent Cybertruck prototypes show no physical door handles. Musk has said the doors will open automatically in the presence of the phone or key fob. It's not clear yet whether there will be some sort of physical override for emergencies.
For the initial Cybertruck launch, Tesla built the Cyberquad, a quad-bike ATV that could fit in the Cybertruck's bed. The initial plan was to sell it as an option with the Cybertruck. And that plan may still happen.
For now, Tesla is selling a scaled-down Cyberquad for Kids. It can accommodate riders 8-year-old and up who is under 150 lbs. The Cyberquad for Kids, has a 15-mile range and can hit a top speed of 10 mph. It's listed for $1,900 on Tesla's website, but it's currently out of stock.
Range: Up to 500 miles
0-60 time: 2.9 seconds
Towing Capacity: 14,000-plus lbs
Payload Capacity: 3,500 lbs
Touchscreen: 17 inches
Seats: 6 (2 rows of 3)
Lockable exterior storage: 100 cubic feet
It's compact, it's boxy, and it looks a lot like the FJ Cruiser.