Innovation

Tesla Cybertruck: watch the public display that shows its incredible size

Tesla's giant machine was spotted at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Tesla Cybertruck, the company's upcoming all-electric pickup truck, is an impressive sight off the stage.

The Cybertruck isn't expected to hit roads until late 2021, but on Saturday, Electrek shared a video of a "rare public outing" at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. This display was described by the museum as its first stationary public display, giving fans a chance to witness the giant machine in person.

"I am happy to report that I appreciate the design even more now that I’ve seen it in person," reports Fred Lambert, editor-in-chief of the publication.

It's a big test for the divisive vehicle, first unveiled in November 2019 at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles to a storm of press coverage. While Tesla had focused on increasingly mass-market vehicles throughout its 11 years of selling cars, the Cybertruck's unveiling ended this trend with a design that looked like almost nothing else on the market. Prior to the unveiling, CEO Elon Musk had described the design as "heart-stopping," suggesting the truck was something of a passion project for Musk.

At the new public outing, this passion project was on full display.

The video gives an overview of the truck from all angles, showing its cold-rolled 30X stainless steel exterior that's designed for extra hardness. At the time of the car's unveiling, the firm listed its specs as 79.8 inches wide, 75 inches tall, 231.7 inches long, and with 16 inches of ground clearance at its maximum. That gives it a similar size to this year's Ford F-150, which offers a width of 86.3 inches, a height of 78.5 inches, and a length of 231.9 inches. The Cybertruck also packs six seats, a rear vault that measures 6.5 feet, and up to 100 cubic feet of storage.

These measurements seem to be in a relative state of flux, which means they may not represent the final product's size. In April 2020, Musk claimed the design had been tweaked since six months prior:

"Reduced size by ~3% [when compared to the November prototype], center line is more level & lower window sill height [...] We’re working on increasing dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading. Needs to kick butt in Baja."

Musk has received some pushback from his plans to make the car even smaller. In a May 2020 episode of CNBC’s Jay Leno’s Garage, Musk told Leno during a drive around in the new car that he would like to make the car five percent smaller than the prototype.

After the episode, Musk explained on Twitter that the size would probably stay quite similar:

"Reviewed design with Franz [von Holzhausen, Tesla's head of design] last night. Even 3% smaller is too small. Will be pretty much this size. We’ll probably do a smaller, tight world truck at some point."

The Cybertruck may be a dominating machine, but it seems Tesla is not against building a smaller truck at some point in the future.

The Inverse analysis – The Cybertruck has been gradually popping up more in public, and its appearances show the design could work surprisingly well. Although its angular design marked a stark contrast to other trucks' combination of curves, the Cybertruck's sleek headlights, rear vault, and steel exterior help make clear that this is a serious work machine.

It's not the first time the Cybertruck has gone on a public tour. Musk was spotted in January 2020 driving around Hawthorne in a prototype model, ahead of its later appearance on Jay Leno's Garage. It seems a similar approach to the second-generation Roadster, another highly-anticipated vehicle due for launch in 2022. If the Roadster is anything to go by, the Cybertruck should surface at more events ahead of its launch.

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