Tesla Cybertruck: what to expect and how to watch pickup truck reveal

Tesla's most mysterious launch is about to take place, but nobody knows what the end product will look like.

Tesla charging station

It’s almost here. The Cybertruck, perhaps Tesla’s most mysterious vehicle in its short history, is about to be unveiled. Anticipation is running high for what CEO Elon Musk has pitched as his personal passion project.

“I can’t talk about the details, but it’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck,” Musk said in a November 2018 interview. “It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great.”

Musk even went as far as to say that “I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care,” before adding that “I do care, eventually” as “we wanna get gasoline, diesel pickup trucks off the road.”

Based on the company’s 2016 master plan, the truck can be seen as the third step in a three-part plan to transform Tesla from a premium automaker to a mass market manufacturer. That started with the Tesla Model 3, a sedan that entered production in July 2017 and starts at $35,000. It continues with the Tesla Model Y, a compact SUV expected to hit roads next summer starting at $39,000. Although it’s expected to have limited appeal compared to these other two, the Cybertruck was listed as the final piece of the proverbial puzzle.

Here’s what Tesla may have lined up.

Tesla logo on a red Model S.

Tesla Cybertruck: what to expect

Tesla and Musk have dropped a number of hints about what to expect from the truck. Here’s what we know so far:

  • Design: Expect something that looks like an armored personell carrier, something out of Blade Runner, and nothing like the existing fan concepts.
  • Performance: The company is pushing for something better than a Porsche 911.
  • Battery Range: The truck could offer an option that goes to 400 miles per charge, maybe even 500 miles or higher. Musk also suggested in February 2017 that it could offer a battery larger than 100 kilowatt-hours.
  • Seating: Musk claimed in June 2018 that the driver seat will be “big enough to fit André the giant.”
  • Price: Tesla is aiming for $49,000 or less.

In terms of features, Musk has said he’s aiming for something better than the Ford F-150. Here are some of the features he’s also suggested, back in June 2018:

  • High levels of torque.
  • Suspension with dynamic load adjustment.
  • A power outlet that supports 240-volt, high-power tools.
  • A utility port that can utilize the air compression system.
  • Dual-motor all-wheel-drive.
  • Titanium construction and bullet-proofing.

On that latter note, Armormax has already announced its intention to be the first firm to offer its armoring for the Tesla Pickup Truck.

Tesla has already revealed a teaser image of how the truck may look:

Tesla truck teaser.
Tesla truck teaser.

The logo has also been revealed through a trademark filing:

Tesla's Cybertruck logo.
Tesla's Cybertruck logo.

Musk’s comments have spooked some pickup truck fans. Inverse interviews reveal a number of them have expressed concern that the truck “won’t look like a normal truck” in Musk’s words.

Perhaps the truck’s biggest competition is the Rivian R1T. This vehicle is expected to cost $69,000, with a range of 400 miles and a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of three seconds.

Tesla Cybertruck: how to watch

The presentation is expected to start on Thursday at these times:

  • 8 p.m. Pacific time
  • 11 p.m. Eastern time
  • 4 a.m. Greenwich Meantime (Friday)
  • 5 a.m. Central European time (Friday)
  • 12 p.m. China Standard time (Friday)
  • 3 p.m. Australian Eastern time (Friday)

The company will likely host the event on its YouTube channel during a livestream closer to the time.

YouTuber Sean Mitchell is streaming a post-launch livestream on his YouTube channel:

All that’s left now is to wait for the big launch.

Media via Tesla, USPTO, Sean Mitchell, Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg via Getty Images