The outlandish but clearly very popular Tesla Cybertruck will get an all new dynamic air suspension system to ensure owners get the most out of their off-road travels, Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk confirmed in Twitter this morning (Australian time).
The “pet project” of the pioneering entrepreneur, the Cybertruck puts a sci-fi spin on utility trucks (known as utes in Australia and pickups in the US), but the emerging specifications suggest this is no show pony.
It will be available in three drivetrains (single motor, dual motor and “Plaid” tri-motor), and the Cybertruck is priced from $US39,900 ($A62,667 converted) up to $US69,900 ($A109,785 at today’s rates) for the top of the line tri-motor version.
Local pricing has not been released, although Australia is shaping up as the largest market worldwide outside the US, worth a potential $A1.5 billion to the EV maker.
All Cybertruck variants will come standard with “adaptive air suspension”, although whether this would mean a rehash of current Tesla suspensions was unclear.
Now, Musk has also confirmed that the Cybertruck’s suspension will be above and beyond that of previous Tesla models, in particular the air suspension in the Model S and Model X.
“We’re working on increasing dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading. Needs to kick butt in Baja,” Musk tweeted, presumably in reference to Baja California, where there is a lot of off-roading, pandemics permitting.
Australian Tesla owner Naushad Ali (aka @TeslaGong), checking with Musk in response to the above tweet if the new suspension system would be based on the Model S and Model X air suspension, drew the response: “All new”.
Ground clearance for all varaints is being billed on Tesla’s website as “up to 16 inches”. We now also know that more details regarding ground clearance will be forthcoming soon.
Confirmed ground clearance will be released as soon as next week, hopefully before Tesla’s first quarter earnings call for 2020 which is set to take place on Wednesday 29 April.
Another topic of interest about the Cybertruck is whether the tri-motor variant is simply that – an electric drivetrain with three motors instead of one or two.
Naturally, Musk himself has said he will be driving the souped-up tri-motor Cybertruck – and in fact he has been seen cruising around San Fran (check) in a pre-production version of the groundbreaking electric ute.
Notably, Musk referred to this as “Plaid”, drawing discussion on if this is the default setting for a tri-motor Cybertruck.
He followed this up with a reply to Third Row Tesla Podcast, an account run by a group of vlogging high level Tesla enthusiasts, who had sought to clarify that Plaid simply means tri-motor. As Musk pointed out, “There’s a bit more to it than that.”
This no doubt refers to the performance testing undertaken by Tesla with a tri-motor Model S at the Nürburgring Nordschleife – thought to be some sort of challenge to the recently released Porsche Taycan.
The Plaid tri-motor – which Musk has said will be “insane” will first be available on the Model S, at last report by the end of 2020. It will likely follow next on the Cybertruck which is slated for a late 2021 launch in the US.
A final note on the Cybertruck exoskeleton, which forms the basis for the avante-garde and angular Cybertruck body design.
While the material – a 30x cold-rolled steel that Musk’s other company, SpaceX, uses in the manufacture of rocket ship bodies – is reportedly near-undentable, it will only come in the basic raw metal.
On Wednesday however, Musk also confirmed that it will be able to be wrapped in any colour or pattern dreamed up by the imagination.
And there are some great imaginations out there, too – just take this render from Instagram artist Martin Jaycob, for example:
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.
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