January 21, 2020

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Cybertruck has got everyone talking

Maybe Musk knew what he was doing all along?

Tesla</p><p>The Tesla Cybertruck is an angular, stainless steel, all-electric pickup truck that has quickly become polarizing.</p>

Tesla

The Tesla Cybertruck is an angular, stainless steel, all-electric pickup truck that has quickly become polarizing.

In case you missed it — last week, I used this space to throw shade on Elon Musk and have a few laughs at the expense of his new Tesla Cybertruck.

It turns out the joke was on me.

According to Musk, since the debut on Nov. 21, more than 250,000 people have forked over a US$100 deposit in hopes of one day owning what is fast becoming the most polarizing vehicle ever designed.

There is no in-between with the Cybertruck, you’re either among the growing crowd who love it enough to put down a deposit — or you’re among the rest of us, who are shaking our collective heads and simply putting it down.

My reaction, like most, was based entirely on the outward appearance of the Cybertruck, which looks like a DeLorean and a Dustbuster did the dirty deed. The specs on it, however, are actually quite admirable, and if they are achieved in mass production, it promises to be a formidable machine.

The base version of the truck will start at US$39,900.

Cybertruck: What you need to know

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Tesla						</p>																	<p>The base price of the Tesla Cybertruck is US$39,900 while the top-line model will cost US$69,900. Canadian prices have yet to be announced.						</p>
Tesla

The base price of the Tesla Cybertruck is US$39,900 while the top-line model will cost US$69,900. Canadian prices have yet to be announced.

Posted: 29/11/2019 3:00 AM

The shock wave created by the launch of Tesla’s new electric pickup is not about to fade any time soon.

While some are ecstatic and marvelling at the exceptional capabilities of this truck, many others have a tough time swallowing the outrageous design and are wondering if this is all a prank by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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Highlights include a towing capacity of up to 14,000 pounds, electrical outlets capable of running power tools, an on-board air compressor, adaptive air suspension, a motorized tonneau cover that secures the bed (which Tesla calls the vault) and, depending on which model you choose, the ability to roar from zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds — and the ability to travel as far as 800 kilometres on a single charge.

In addition to only being a hundred bucks, the deposit is also fully refundable — which leads me to speculate many of the people who placed this paltry deposit will never own a Cybertruck, they just laid down the cash so they can brag about it at the smoothie bar.

I’m also doubtful we will ever see a future where Tesla builds 250,000 of these things, let alone 25,000 — and when they do begin production in 2021, I’m also betting it will look quite a bit different. Its dystopian design has a number of potential safety issues, not to mention the lack of mirrors and that blunt front end.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before. Just last week, I thought Musk was playing a prank on us. He clearly wasn’t.

What he is doing is leaving his indelible mark on automotive history.

It is no secret the vehicles on our roads today have lost a lot of the personality they once had. Most of us old-school car fans can vividly remember a time when cars were exciting, bold and exceedingly different. A time when buying a new car was fun. A time when your neighbour came home with a new car and you ran over to his driveway to inspect it from bumper to bumper.

Sure, if you have deep pockets, there’s still a fair number of exotic and expensive rides out there, but for the most part, many of today’s vehicles — the ones we can afford anyways — look so much alike it can be challenging to even tell them apart. Automakers may have their signature grilles, and if you’re still a car buff, you can likely tell a Lexus from a Lincoln, but the vast majority of the other motorists you share the road with haven’t got a hot clue what the vehicle beside them is. They also don’t care.

Traffic nowadays is for the most part a sea of similarity — our roads are dotted with silver, white and black SUVs whose designers have done little to make their vehicle stand out from the crowd, either for fear of ridicule, poor sales or both.

But, there is Musk, leading a parade of obscurity and orchestrating a marketing masterpiece that will surely go down in history as one of the best vehicle debuts of all time.

Even Musk couldn’t have anticipated it would receive this much attention.

Love it or hate it, I’ve been digging deep into my memory to find a vehicle that has generated as much media as the Cybertruck. The new mid-engine Corvette definitely had us talking earlier this year, and other vehicles from Tesla, most recently the stunning Model X, which is certainly not as bold looking as the Cybertruck, have generated a lot of talk, but honestly, name one other vehicle that has generated this much interest in recent memory?

Maybe the first generation Porsche Panamera, that sexy sedan that debuted in 2009 and had Porsche purists petrified?

Or the return of the Volkswagen New Beetle in 1997.

Has it really been that long since an automaker had us collectively talking?

Love it or hate it, the Cybertruck has folks talking about automobiles again.

As for its design though, it still hasn’t grown on me — not one bit.

But Musk didn’t build it for me.

He built it for the future.

willy@freepress.mb.ca

Willy Williamson

Willy Williamson
Travel/Homes/Autos Editor

Paul “Willy” Williamson joined the Free Press editorial team in 2007, turning his back on a career as a corrections officer. His motor has been running non-stop ever since.

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