Original Tesla Cybertruck Concepts Unveiled: The Making of a Sci-Fi Reality

By Kevin Armstrong
Original Cybertruck sketches and concepts
Original Cybertruck sketches and concepts
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When Elon Musk gazed upon a Ford truck approximately six years ago, he found it decidedly dull. Dissatisfied with the conventional, he enlisted Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, to create something radical: the Tesla Cybertruck. This intriguing anecdote, offered by Musk’s biographer, famed author Walter Isaacson on a recent CNBC podcast, provides a captivating glimpse into the creative genesis of this revolutionary vehicle.

In his forthcoming biography about Musk, Isaacson - who spent the last three years studying Musk's unique ethos and approach to innovation - describes a fascinating moment in Tesla's history.

The announcement of the first Cybertruck rolling off the production line in Giga Texas, sparked an explosion in related news, presenting a perfect opportunity for Isaacson to share more insights via Twitter. He posted an image displaying an array of initial Cybertruck sketches, alongside a compelling medley of inspirational references, such as the DeLorean, RoboCop, tanks, and images from the movie Tron.

A photo collage of Cybertruck inspirations
A photo collage of Cybertruck inspirations
Not a Tesla App

The Future Looking Like the Future: Musk’s Unconventional Vision

Despite the success of the Model Y, Musk did not want to play it safe with the Cybertruck. He desired a design that was bold and surprising. A question posed by his son Saxon added a profound layer to Musk's quest for originality. “Why doesn’t the future look like the future?” This question resonated with Musk, who reiterated it to his design team, underlining his craving for a paradigm-shifting design.

In a pivotal meeting fraught with resistance, Musk declared, "We are going to do this whole thing in stainless steel.” As Isaacson astutely observes, using stainless steel meant the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes no longer constrained the design team. Instead, it ushered in a realm of sharp angles, straight planes, and a daring, even jarring aesthetic - a veritable embodiment of Musk’s “demon mode.”

A Bold Approach: From Video Games and Sci-Fi Movies to Reality

In another tweet, Isaacson elaborated further on the design process. The team had set up a visual juxtaposition in their workspace, with pictures of a vast spectrum of vehicles - ranging from sleek video game designs to rugged sci-fi movie vehicles - displayed alongside a Chevy Silverado. The intent was clear; to break the mold and redefine what a truck could be.

There were dissenting voices, however, questioning the commercial viability of a hyper-futuristic truck. Yet Musk, unflinching in his resolve, famously retorted, "I don’t care if no one buys it. We’re not doing a traditional boring truck. We can always do that later. I want to build something that’s cool. Like, don’t resist me."

This intriguing behind-the-scenes insight serves as a testament to Musk's audacious vision, substantiating why he previously described the Cybertruck as a "futuristic-like cyberpunk Blade Runner design" and an "armored personnel carrier." With the Cybertruck, the future no longer has to look like the past. It can indeed, as Musk so desired, look like the future.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

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