1 of 4 | Designed to have the utility of a truck and the performance of a sports car, Tesla will offer the Cybertruck in three variants: Single motor rear-wheel drive, dual motor four-wheel drive, and triple-motor four-wheel-drive. Photo courtesy Tesla/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Tesla Motors showed off its electric "Cybertruck" late Thursday -- a radically styled pickup with "unbreakable" windows, which appeared at its unveiling to be a bit more fragile than advertised.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Cybertruck at a promotional event in Los Angeles. The pickup is notable for its sharply futurist design and is expected to compete with market leaders Ford, General Motors and Dodge in the full-size pickup truck class.
The vehicle is Tesla's first pickup and will sell starting at just under $40,000. Tesla said it can travel 250 miles on a single charge for the base model. A dual-motor, four-wheel-drive version -- for an extra $10,000 -- increases the range to 300 miles.
The top-end version of the Cybertruck, with a tri-motor and four-wheel-drive, will sell for just under $70,000. A self-driving option is available for another $7,000.
"Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection," Tesla states on the Cybertruck website. "Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass."
Thursday's demo didn't go quite to plan when Tesla designer Franz Holzhausen took a metal ball to demonstrate the truck's shatter-proof windows, and heavily damaged the glass -- to the great surprise of a startled Musk.
"Oh my [expletive] God! Well, maybe that was a little too hard," Tesla's chief executive answered.
Tesla said production of the Cybertruck will begin in 2021.
Matt DeLorenzo, senior executive editor at Kelley Blue Book, said the Cybertruck will likely have only a limited impact on the truck market.
"It will be a niche product at best and poses no threat in the pickup market as we know it today," he said. "The other downside is that this truck will have no federal tax credits by the time it comes out."