"This is really going to change the look of the roads," said "Technoking of Tesla" and co-founder Elon Musk on a live stream for the "Cybertruck delivery event" — the official rollout of the first futuristic electric Tesla trucks.
Announced in 2019, the all-electric truck with a very unique visual design made waves in the news, then was delayed for years as fulfilling the initial claims of vehicular superiority were tougher challenges than they seemed.
Austinites may already be used to seeing the occasional Cybertruck out and about , but these were likely pre-production vehicles, and some sources speculate they were driven by employees and engineers in California . (The factory is here, in the Austin area.) They're not hard to spot — looking more like a Humvee from Mars than any earthly pickup truck, they certainly do make an impression.
"What we're aiming for here, is something that's more truck than truck," Musk stated, while standing in the covert bed of the truck, which is nearly invisible thanks to the sloped profile of the vehicle. But it is equally meant to outperform sports cars at their jobs. Musk listed toughness, towing capacity, and speed as its main three triumphs.
Demos included a sort-of-awkward, but technically successful redo of a notorious former experiment in which a baseball was, in fact, able to break two windows; a video of the vehicle being pelted with bullets and receiving dents, but seemingly no puncture wounds; a video of a towing test in which it out-performed a diesel-powered Ford F-350; and flashiest of all, a quarter-mile race against a 2023 Porsche 911, while towing a Porsche 911.
Musk claims that this truck is "smooth as silk" to drive, which this reporter can believe after taking a (much better-looking) Tesla Model Y — an SUV type — on a road trip from Austin to Houston and back. The vehicle, by Musk's description, also resists rollover with a low center of gravity, can tow more than 11,000 pounds, and dynamically adjusts steering intensity based on speed, among other off-roading perks.
After the video and stage demos, the first batch of Cybertrucks literally rolled out. Musk opened the handle-less door for some of the owners, and there was some confusion on how to operate the latch: The Tesla leader leaned in to instruct some of the drivers to put the vehicle in park before the door could be open, and guided some customers on how to find the latch to open the door themselves.
The short live stream (only about 35 minutes after 25 of semi-abstract animations) ended as Musk drove one of the vehicles off the line — either a real impromptu decision, or feigning a shrugging agreement to the invitation.
Anyone on the Internet at this point knows that Musk is as famous for his controversial opinions as for his company's accomplishments; but the livestreamed portion of this event was relatively free of bravado outside of this vehicle's capabilities.
"Even if I liked Elon that would still be one of the ugliest vehicles ever created," wrote one Reddit user, in what seems to be a recurring theme in the discourse.
"I like it and I’m tired of pretending I do not," wrote another, more vulnerable Redditor.
"It's an announcement of an announcement from 5 years ago," wrote an Instagram commenter.
The Cybertruck is available (starting at $49,890) at tesla.com . The website lists 2025 as the estimated delivery date.