Tesla Cybertruck Delivered: Here's All We Know About America's Most Famous Pickup Truck

Tesla Cybertruck in front of the Giga Texas entrance 37 photos
Photo: @J0se via X
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Tesla announced the start of Cybertruck deliveries while at the same time revealing its production specifications for the first time. Many things were known, and many were new, but the consensus among Tesla fans is that although impressive, the Tesla Cybertruck falls short of expectations. Here's everything you need to know about Tesla's electric pickup.
America and the whole world have been waiting breathlessly for Elon Musk to announce the technical details of the Cybertruck during the Delivery Day presentation on November 30. After four years of waiting, this was supposed to be a vindication moment for Tesla fans who decried negativism toward the EV brand and especially its electric pickup. Critics and Tesla short sellers have claimed the Cybertruck is vaporware, will never be released, is not a real truck, nobody will buy it, and so on.

During those four years, the Cybertruck's qualities have been inflated out of proportion, placing the pickup truck on a pedestal the size of Mount Everest. As often happens, this idealization did no good for Cybertruck's reputation, especially as its true qualities are a far cry from even Tesla's previous claims. In short, the Delivery Day reveal disappointed many people, including Tesla fans and reservation holders.

This prompted some order cancelations, although it's unlikely that they would affect the demand. With more than two million reservations and more to come, Tesla will be busy building Cybertrucks for a long time. And this is perfectly fine because the Cybertruck is still an impressive product despite Tesla overpromising and underdelivering in some areas. Here's every tiny detail I've learned about the Cybertruck to help you decide whether you still want one.

Tesla Cybertruck trims, prices, and key differentiators

Similar to the specification announced in 2019, the 2024 Tesla Cybertruck will be available in three variants: Rear-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel-Drive and Cyberbeast. The base-version RWD Cybertruck will be the last to start rolling off the production line at Giga Texas, beginning in 2025. This explains why Tesla offered no technical details except the range (250 miles/402 km), the 0-60-mph acceleration (6.5 seconds), and the price ("estimated" at $60,990 before taxes and incentives).

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
Please note that all Cybertruck prices are still preceded by "EST." to let us know that this is still subject to change by the delivery time. Tesla started deliveries with the AWD variant, which will also be the dominant specification for most of 2024. At $79,990, the dual-motor Cybertruck qualifies for the IRA tax credit, but only if you refrain from adding options. In fact, Tesla lists this version on its website for a $68,890 price, including "probable savings." This is calculated by combining the $7,500 tax credit with estimated gas savings of $3,600 over a three-year period.

Tesla lists the Cybertruck AWD with 600 horsepower, which is enough for a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph (180 kph). Finally, the most expensive Cybertruck, dubbed "Cyberbeast," has a starting price of $99,990. This is the version that Elon Musk claims is "faster than a Porsche 911 towing a 911," with an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph (209 kph).

The first Cybertruck owners got the so-called "Foundation Series" model during the Delivery Day event. While the specifications of this limited edition are unknown, it's rumored they include every option and accessory available for the Cybertruck. The information was found in the source code of Tesla's website, which also reveals that the Foundation Series trucks will be delivered throughout December 2023.

All known technical specifications and how they compare to the ones announced in 2019

Tesla announced that the Cybertruck will have an 11,000-lb towing capacity and up to 2,500-lb bed payload, although this is not for the rear-wheel drive variant. The Figures are nonetheless lower than the claimed "more than 14,000 lbs." and "up to 3,500 lbs" that Tesla announced at the launch event in 2019.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
Cybertruck's towing capacity aligns with what the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning offer. However, it's less than what GM promised for the Chevy Silverado EV (up to 20,000 lbs. with the Max Tow package). The Ram 1500 REV also announced up to 14,000 lbs. of towing capacity, although none of these electric pickups are available to buy now. This is probably why Elon Musk bragged about Cybertruck's pulling performance instead of towing capacity.

Size-wise, the Cybertruck's length (223.7 inches/5,682 mm) falls right between the Rivian R1T (217.1 inches/5,514 mm) and the Ford F-150 Lightning (231.7 inches/5,885 mm). Tesla Cybertruck's bed is 6 feet long and 4 feet wide and can transport 8×4 sheets of plywood with the tailgate down. Tesla's electric pickup offers plenty of storage, with a 7 cu-ft (198 liters) frunk and 67 cu-ft (1,897 liters) of lockable storage in the bed. By folding up the rear seats, you can get 54 cu-ft (1,529 liters) of additional storage for a total of 120.9 cu-ft (3,424 liters).

The Cybertruck is a heavy beast at 6,603 pounds (2,995 kg) for the AWD spec and 6,843 lbs (3,103 kg) for Cyberbeast. This is about the same as the Ford F-150 Lightning but less than the Rivian R1T (7,148 lbs/3,242 kg). The Cybertruck trumps both with the largest ground clearance, up to 17.4 inches (440 mm) in extract mode. Tesla claims that the Cybertruck's adaptive air suspension provides 12-inch (300 mm) of travel, which is also the largest among its peers.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
Finally, the Cybertruck caused confusion among its fans when Tesla communicated the range. The RWD variant was listed with 250 miles, the same as the original specifications from 2019. Things were even sweeter with the AWD variant's 340-mile (547-km) range, 40 miles more than initially announced. However, the tri-motor version disappointed, with only 320 miles (515 km) of range. Probably that's why Tesla announced a range extender that can boost the range by 130 miles for the Cybertruck AWD and 120 miles for the Cyberbeast. Even so, the Cybertruck falls short of the 500-mile range promised in 2019.

All the technical bits you've been craving for

Although specifications may have already disappointed you, don't be fooled: the Cybertruck is every bit as exciting as Elon Musk announced. Tesla's electric pickup still features revolutionary materials, a breakthrough manufacturing process, and many cutting-edge technologies that cannot be found on other car models. Tesla has been shy about providing more information, but this doesn't mean the technical details are impossible to find.

I'll start with the powertrain, which comprises unique drive units. The AWD version currently shipping to customers features one permanent magnet motor in front and an induction motor on the rear axle. They develop 300 horsepower each, hence the 600 horsepower claimed for the Cybertruck AWD. This also makes me believe the RWD variant will have about 300 horsepower, which seems enough for the claimed 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds.

Tesla Cybertruck front drive unit
Photo: @itskyleconner via X
Finally, the Cyberbeast boasts 845 horsepower by employing a 300-horsepower motor on the front axle and two motors on the rear axle. These are mechanically unlinked but use induction motors so they can be disengaged to save battery. This means that the Cybertruck is a front-wheel-drive vehicle most of the time, and the rear motors only engage when more power/traction is needed.

Thanks to using induction motors, they don't need a clutch mechanism to engage and disengage, making them more efficient. The downside is that these are AC motors, while the battery provides direct current (DC), so they need a power inverter to function.

Tesla Cybertruck features electro-mechanical differential locks front and rear

Regardless of the number of rear electric motors, Tesla uses an electro-mechanical differential lock on the front drive unit. This helps during off-roading and fast cornering. Tri-motor Cybertruck is capable of active torque vectoring thanks to using independent motors. The dual-motor Cybertruck also features a lockable differential on the rear axle to perform as desired in low-grip situations.

The Cybertruck features adaptive air suspension as standard and, for the first time, a steer-by-wire system that affects both axles. This means there's no physical connection between the steering wheel and the steering components on either axle. The control is electronic, similar to how modern airliners are controlled.

Tesla Cybertruck steer by wire
Photo: Tesla
The system allows changing the wheels' angle based on different parameters, such as speed, when turning the steering wheel by the same degree. The Cybertruck is highly maneuverable in a parking lot while remaining stable at high speeds because the same steering wheel movement triggers a higher steering angle at low speeds.

Groundbreaking electrical architecture

The Cybertruck is the first Tesla model to feature an 800-volt architecture and the first series production vehicle in the world with a 48-volt low-voltage system. The battery is a structural pack filled with 4680 cells. While very good for structural support, the 4680 have proven inferior to their 2170 counterparts.

Despite the progress announced during the third-quarter earnings call, the 4680 cells have lower energy density and inferior charging performance. This explains why Tesla announced only 250 kW of charging power and why the Cybertruck falls short on range compared to initial claims. This still allows adding 136 miles in 15 minutes at a Supercharger.

Although Tesla advertises a maximum charge power of 250 kW, VP Lars Moravi told influencers who tested the Cybertruck that the electric pickup can accept up to 350 kW when hooked to a V4 Supercharger dispensing 800 volts. This shortens the charging time to 18 minutes for a 15%-85% charge. Tesla can do both 400-volt and 800-volt charging, thanks to a clever trick that GM also used for the GMC Hummer EV: split the pack in half and connect the two halves in series or parallel, according to the voltage.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
For the range problem, the EV maker offers the makeshift solution of a battery range extender, but it's not cheap or easy to install. Rumors indicate that the range extender might cost $16,000 and require installation in a service center. This is a lot of trouble for 120-130 miles of supplemental range. If Tesla rents these range extenders instead of selling them, it might turn a fiasco into a new revenue stream.

Tesla Cybertruck: luxury vehicle but also work truck

Although Tesla claims the Cybertruck is perfect as a work truck or off-roader, the electric pickup seems more at ease on a paved road. Despite its size, you can call it a city dueler because the all-wheel steering and steer-by-wire system makes it very maneuverable. However, more features make the Cybertruck a refined luxury vehicle.

The cabin is loaded with features, something that you need to account for when comparing the Cybertruck's price with other pickup trucks. It comes with an 18.5-inch touchscreen in front and a 9.4-inch touchscreen in the back to control everything via an all-new user interface. The Cybertruck is a concert hall on wheels thanks to the Hi-Fi audio system with distributed amplifiers, 15 speakers, and two subwoofers.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
It's also a clean environment, with a hospital-grade filtration system that Tesla calls "Bioweapon Defense System." This includes a high-efficiency HEPA filter and a positive pressure system to keep harmful gases from entering the cabin. As Musk said several times, the Cybertruck is the perfect apocalypse vehicle; it only needs a range extender, and you're safe.

It's also perfect for powering your various devices, thanks to the wireless charging pad and USB-C ports with up to 65 watts of power. The cabin also features two 120-volt outlets, which you won't find in many other car models. These are complemented by one 240-volt and two 120-volt outlets in the bed with up to 9.6-kW of power for various tools.

You can use these outlets to power your camping rig or even charge other EVs. In fact, in a promotional video, Tesla shows how a Cybertruck charges a stranded Ford F-150 Lightning. This is Elon Musk replying in kind to a presentation highlighting the Ford F-150 Lightning's bi-directional charging capabilities.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
If the need arises, the Cybertruck can also send up to 11.5 kW of power directly to your home. The Powershare function is the first bi-directional charging system on a Tesla vehicle. You will need a universal wall connector and a Tesla Gateway to use this feature.

What about those fancy features Elon Musk promised at launch?

Well, I must admit, Elon Musk and Tesla used to know how to put on a show, but the Cybertruck delivery day event was an utter disappointment. Elon arrived in the Cybertruck, his face looking tired and upset, everything on fast forward to the car handover, with a lot of questions remaining unanswered. The lights were wrong, the presentation was lacking, and then, a baseball? This made many people believe the Cybertruck wasn't so disappointing, but the way it was introduced made it look bad.

Musk spent zero time speaking about the Cybertruck's safety rating, expected or achieved. It seems like a huge missed opportunity, especially as over 100,000 people watched the presentation in real-time. Sure, the Cybertruck's skin might be bulletproof, but it's irrelevant for 99% of its potential customers. The armored glass is not armored anymore but "rock-proof," which chief designer Franz von Holzhausen tried to prove by gently lobbing a baseball at the window. Seriously?

Photo: Tesla
The Cybertruck was also supposed to have creative storage spaces, including a sail pillar storage, and now it doesn't even have a place for a spare tire. Two years ago, Musk also announced that the Cybertruck could "serve briefly as a boat." No word about the Cybertruck's floatability has been said during the delivery event. This makes me think the Cybertruck could float no more than it flies when pushed off a cliff.

Software and Full Self-Driving

Being a Tesla, the Cybertruck is a software-defined vehicle through and through, so expect the software to play a bigger role than the bulletproof body panels. It's safe to say Tesla does not disappoint, with the Cybertruck becoming the hallmark of Tesla's software prowess. Not only does it have a custom user interface, but it's also very responsive and fast.

The infotainment unit can display different content on the front and rear entertainment screens, the latter featuring a separate audio channel for a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Cybertruck interface also features new entries unique to this model, including "Towing & Hauling" and "Outlets & Mods." The Cybertruck is also a capable gaming rig, thanks to Steam integration.

The Cybertruck's driving modes are like a rabbit hole, getting more complicated the deeper you go. Things start with five options - Comfort, Standard, Beast, Custom and Off-road. The Beast entry includes a Launch Mode feature to make the most of the Cybertruck's powerful electric motors. The Off-road mode expands with options for Overland and Baja and terrain selection for Sand, Gravel, Rock, and Auto.

Tesla Cybertruck rocks FSD V12
Photo: @WholeMarsBlog via X
Pictures made during the event show that the Cybertruck rocks the latest FSD V12 version that Elon Musk claims marks the end of the FSD Beta program. FSD V12 is end-to-end AI, from images in, to controls out. The Tesla software version is 2023.44.8, which was rolled out to Tesla employees last week. As far as I know, the Cybertruck is the first customer vehicle running this version of software and FSD V12.

Cybertruck production and ramp-up

Those lucky enough to get invited to the Cybertruck delivery event were treated to a factory tour. Not only that but they were allowed to roam freely after the presentation. This brought us interesting details from the Cybertruck production line. The first obvious thing is that the Cybertruck line is mostly robotized. The Optimus bot might not be working on the line yet, but robots are already doing all the heavy lifting building the Cybertruck.

Even at this early stage of production ramp-up, the high level of automation makes me believe Tesla might be able to increase production much faster than with other vehicles. Hopefully, the days of "production hell" are over as Tesla gains more experience launching new models. This will surely help get the next-generation EVs to market faster.

Tesla Cybertruck production line
Photo: @JoeTegtmeyer via X
The teardown veteran Sandy Munro said in a Bloomberg interview that Tesla is already at the stage where it can produce 60 Cybertrucks per hour or one every 60 seconds. Currently, the Model 3/Y sits at 43 seconds per vehicle. However, the production line stops a lot during the early stages of production to allow the team to correct various issues. How often and for how long this happens dictates the production rate. If Tesla can sustain this production pace, Munro is confident it can easily do 250,000 units per year in 2025, as previously announced. Then, it can double this by adding a second shift.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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