It is no surprise that Tesla, whose CEO is Elon Musk, also the boss at SpaceX,would come up with something a little space-age for the group’s latest vehicle – the sixth since the company was founded in 2003.
The pick-up starts with a price-tag of US$39,000 and will also be the official truck of Mars (once pressurized), Musk revealed yesterday at a glitzy, yet accident-prone launch event in Los Angeles.
Inspiration for its design has been drawn from the Ridley Scott’s 1980s classic Bladerunner and Bond movie ‘The Spy who Loved Me’, and oh, there’s a dose of Mad Max in there too by all accounts.
The truck, set to first roll off the production line in 2021, is reportedly bulletproof against a 9mm handgun, though how useful that may be on the Red planet is up for debate.
A demonstration showed a sledgehammer unable to damage the alloy sides but in a comedic moment a metal ball thrown at the windows saw the glass shattering amid laughter from the crowd.
Cybertruck will have some stiff competition. It will be up against the famous Ford F Series – the bestselling pickup for more than 40 years in the USA.
Musk told those assembled at the glitzy launch that the Cybertruck can motor from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds on the low-end model, and in a flashy 2.9 seconds at the high-end. The midrange dual-motor version of the truck does it in 4.5 seconds.
It is the latest bid from Musk to realize his electric vehicle vision and a gamble on the lucrative pick-up market, said to be around 3 million units in the US alone. But analysts will be keen to see if the colorful entrepreneur can succeed after a history of struggling to bring out new products.
CNBC said Friday that Toni Sacconaghi, senior technology research analyst at AB Bernstein, had said in a research note: “Musk had warned investors that Tesla’s pickup would be “really futuristic, like cyberpunk Blade Runner,” and he wasn’t kidding. Add a little bit of dirt, and you could even say it gives off a retro-future vibe a la Mad Max.”
Tesla shares fell 5.8% in in New York Friday to stand at US$334.16 each.
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