“Clown Car”



By now you surely know the story: In 2019, Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Cyber truck, making all sorts of amazing promises.

This is more than just an indulgent flight of fancy: Americans buy 2.5 million pickups a year, and the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America for the past 40 years. The multi-billion dollar question is whether Tesla can make a compelling vehicle at an attractive price point that pulls in buyers from other pickup manufacturers or EV makers.

Personally, I think the cyber truck is just too damn ugly. I cannot ever imagine buying one of these. It looked like a vector graphic pulled out of an early 1980s video game. Then again, I am not planning for a zombie apocalypse, a weird niche market where these might be useful.

We will find out the details and specs at 3 pm when the news gets released. (You can follow the event live ).

The challenge for this oddly shaped pickup truck goes beyond its looks: The entry-level (my ) is a lot of vehicle for the money, starting from $50k (up from $40k) and going up to the $90k+. At the high end, the pickup begins pricing at $73k, offers amazing performance and off-road capabilities. Doug Demuro called the R1T “.” It has a 400+ mile range, , and does 0-60 in 3.0 seconds.

I’ve heard a pick-up guy call the Tesla Cyber truck a “Clown Car” — but I think we are best served by waiting to learn the final costs, features, and configurations before writing its epitaph. Tesla has almost 2 million reservations; at $100 each (that’s a lot of free money). And say what you will about Musk’s erratic behavior, anti-semitism, and foolish personal purchases, he is a tough guy to bet against.

We do know that Tesla finds itself in the unusual position of being way behind the industry. The Rivian has been out for 2 years and the Ford Lightning for over a year. Full production of the Cyber truck is still off in 2024.

It will be interesting to see if this oddly shaped pickup finds an audience beyond the Tesla faithful. Also interesting: How Tesla will adjust to manufacturing and sales challenges.

I am curious to see what the details are, even if I am not the target demographic or vehicle buyer…


(January 24, 2020)

(June 17, 2022)




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