Musk says Tesla's next-gen vehicle will be much more utilitarian
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With all the attention on Cybertruck, Tesla is quietly working on the real game changer. Somewhere in Tesla's research and development is the Model 2, the next-gen, more affordable Tesla. It is the car that Tesla predicts will sell more than all of its other vehicles - combined!
The company has long been known for its futuristic and sleek designs, with the upcoming Model 2 touted as the most affordable and utilitarian offering yet. Yes, utilitarian were the words used by Elon Musk as he reiterated the primary focus for the Model 2 would be simplicity in design, manufacturing efficiency, and affordability.
But how might this vision translate into the actual car design? We have a few ideas using some hints and lessons from the past. For simplicity's sake, we will refer to the next-gen car as the Model 2 in this article.
Teardrop Shape: Aerodynamic Mastery
Aptera's vehicle design next efficiency to another level
Arguably the most aerodynamic shape for cars, the teardrop design minimizes drag, which is crucial for electric vehicles where range is paramount. The Model 2 could integrate this shape, focusing on the perfect harmony of form and function.
A vehicle is yet to be produced, but it has shown this design and how Tesla could use it. Aptera knows that in vehicle efficiency, drag coefficients are king. It is a crucial metric denoting aerodynamic resistance: while a Toyota Corolla registers at 0.29 and the Tesla Model 3 impresses with 0.23, the Aptera records 0.13. To put that in perspective, the bottlenose dolphin puts up a 0.1.
The McLaren Speedtail
When McLaren set out to conceive their swiftest road-going model, it didn't merely optimize the engine; it sculpted the very form of the car itself. The McLaren Speedtail's streamlined silhouette, exemplified by its elongated tail, the omission of conventional side mirrors, and aerodynamic front wheel covers, is a testament to this design philosophy.
Three Wheels: Sneak Peak Lines up with Aptera
Tesla working on a concept car
An image in the Walter Isaacson books seems to be a mock-up of a Model 2. Take a good look at both the product and the pictures on the wall behind it. It appears to be a three-wheel, tear-shaped vehicle. Aptera also has three wheels. The company says it "leads the pack by having the least "rolling resistance" — the energy needed to keep your tires rolling at a straight and steady pace."
Going to three wheels reduces the touch points and areas where energy can be lost. It could incorporate unconventional headlights or eliminate the traditional trunk. The Aptera's radically efficient design offers a glimpse of such out-of-the-box thinking.
Rethinking Doors and the Frunk: Simplifying Structure
While a four-door design is conventional, a two-door Model 2 would be simpler and likely cheaper to manufacture. Moreover, since the frunk primarily serves as storage in electric vehicles, Tesla could consider eliminating it altogether. This recalls Volkswagen's audacious 1-litre car concept, which featured gullwing doors and a futuristic design.
But we don't need to go back that far, as again, we can point to Aptera's design. The two-door, two-seater has storage room but certainly not to the same level as a Model 3. Given this Model 2 is going to be a point A to point B car, how much storage space is required?
Aero Wheel Design: Balancing Aesthetics with Efficiency
Tesla's Model 3 aero wheels have already demonstrated the balance between aesthetics and efficiency, offering up to a 3.4% boost in range. The Model 2 could take this further by fully enclosing the wheels or adopting innovative designs similar to the McLaren Speedtail's aerodynamic front wheel covers. It could go even further than that; see the next point.
Fender Skirts: Maximizing Range
A render of the Model S with fender skirts
Road and Track
Historically, fender skirts have shown a marked improvement in fuel efficiency. The original Honda Insight from 1999 achieved a drag coefficient of 0.25 with its covered rear wheels. By re-introducing fender skirts, Tesla could further streamline its impressive aerodynamics, extending the Model 2's range. But, as General Motors pointed out, this could require certain design adjustments, like narrower rear tires, to maintain safety and handling.
Mirrorless Design: Reducing Drag
The original Tesla Cybertruck prototype didn't have mirrors
Mirrors add drag, and if Tesla can persuade regulators, a mirrorless design would make the Model 2 even more streamlined. Replacing mirrors with cameras has been around for a while. Still, Tesla could be the one to popularize this in mass-market EVs. The company has already been touting this as a feature for the Cybertruck. However, some jurisdictions require external mirrors. At some point during the evolution of the car, regulators must understand that camera technology is superior to mirrors.
While these speculations are based on current trends and historical data, one thing is certain: Tesla's Model 2 will challenge conventions. As the company delves deeper into achieving unmatched manufacturing efficiency and affordability, the Model 2 will likely carry Tesla's legacy of innovation.
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We have good news if you happened to be one of the first handful of people who took delivery of a Cybertruck on November 30. More than 25 accessories are available for purchase to amp up the most talked about vehicle on the planet.
Cybertruck Color Paint Film, Matte Black or Matte White
There are three wraps available for the Cybertruck
We thought wraps would become available, but surprisingly, Tesla is offering the service immediately. Cybertruck wraps are available in matte black or white for $6,500. This premium wrap option allows owners to personalize their vehicle and adds a layer of protection to the Cybertruck's already robust exterior.
Another option for those seeking to maintain the Cybertruck's appearance is the transparent satin film, available for $5,000. This film provides an extra layer of protection, helping keep the vehicle's body safe from scratches and the elements.
Basecamp - The Outdoor Enthusiast's Dream
Basecamp is a tent made specifically for the Cybertruck
Since day one, four years ago, people have been talking about the camping capabilities of the Cybertruck. Like most trucks, it's unlikely that most Cybertrucks will even leave the pavement. However, for those who love the great outdoors, the Cybertruck BaseCamp has you covered.
Priced at $2,975, this accessory is perfect for camping, featuring an ultra-light geodesic air-frame design. It inflates quickly, offers a tactical grey kaleidoscope-patterned interior, and includes screen windows for airflow and star-gazing, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.
More Shopping Options
A foldable ramp for the Cybertruck adds more utility
Tailgate Ramp ($400): is a practical addition for loading and unloading cargo like ATVs or dirt bikes, enhancing the Cybertruck's utility.
Cybertruck MOLLE Panels ($250): we saw these at the Tesla Lithium factory groundbreaking. Customize and organize your Cybertruck with the MOLLE Panels for $250, offering versatile mounting options for gear and tools.
Tesla is offering a roof rack for the Cybertruck, similar to other models
The roof rack costs $800 and is an essential accessory that offers additional storage options for long trips.
Vault Cargo Divider ($350): This divider allows for better organization and secure transportation of goods in the truck's bed.
Snow Chains $345: a must-have for driving in snowy terrains, ensuring safety and traction in challenging conditions.
Additional Cybertruck Accessories: Enhancing Functionality and Style
Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra + Tire Repair Kit: Keep your journey uninterrupted with the Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra and Tire Repair Kit, priced at $550. This kit ensures that you're prepared for any tire-related emergencies on the road, which becomes since the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire. This item will become available in early 2024, according to Tesla.
Cybertruck Bumper Protectors: Protect your Cybertruck's exterior with durable bumper protectors for $80, safeguarding against scratches and dents.
Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade: For $115, the Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade reduces sunlight glare and heat, making it a must have in extreme temperatures.
Cybertruck Spare Tire + Tool Kit: Although the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire, you can buy one to tie down in the truck's bed. The Cybertruck Spare Tire and Tool Kit is $1,250.
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck
My personal favorite is the Cybertruck OMFG Decal for $55. The window didn't smash during the delivery event when it was hit with a baseball, like it did with a steel ball at the Cybertruck announcement four years ago. However, you can relive that moment and have an OMFG Decal.
The Cybertruck has bi-directional charging, letting you power your home
Not a Tesla App
Elon Musk stood in the back of a Cybertruck with the words behind him: more utility than a truck. Faster than a sports car. Tesla's CEO then backed up that statement for the next 20 minutes with real-world examples.
The presentation showed a Cybertruck out pull an F350 and other competitors. A video demonstrated the Cybertruck beating a Porsche 911 on the quarter mile - the Cybertruck was also hauling a Porsche 911. Of course, the bullet tests video was on screen, with a slow-motion shot of a bullet bouncing off the stainless steel.
The delivery event mostly exceeded expectations, as the stainless steel beast is now on the road. Let's dive a little deeper into some of the unprecedented functionality and cutting-edge technology Cybertruck offers.
Biggest Breakthroughs: Steer-By-Wire System
One of the most talked-about features is the Cybertruck's steer-by-wire system. This advanced technology eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels, offering precision control and a new level of driving experience.
Its implementation is a game-changer, providing drivers with enhanced maneuverability and a turning radius that rivals most sedans. Elon Musk compared it to a jet fighter, stating if you steer the yoke just a little in a parking lot, the vehicle can turn a lot, but if you steer the yoke on the highway, it will adapt to the speed and maneuver the truck accordingly.
We hoped this one was coming. One of the Cybertruck's most innovative features is bi-directional charging. This capability allows the Cybertruck to charge its own batteries and power external devices and even other electric vehicles. Whether it's powering tools at a construction site or providing emergency power during a grid outage, the Cybertruck doubles as a mobile power station.
Tesla has put its largest-ever battery into the Cybertruck. The Cybertruck isn't a light vehicle, coming in at 6,603 lbs for the AWD version and 6,843 lbs (3,103 kg) for Cyberbeast, so the fact that it includes Tesla's largest battery isn't surprising.
The AWD and Cyberbeast versions of the Cybertruck both contain a new 123kWh battery. This battery uses 4680 cells and is the equivalent of more than 9 Powerwalls. If you're planning to use the Cybertruck for backup power for your home, there's a lot to like here.
The Cybertruck will be the first Tesla to include a powered frunk. It seems that you'll not only be able to open the frunk, but also close it from within the vehicle or through the Tesla app. The spacious trunk also doubles as a bench seat for two for tailgating, sporting events or camping.
To go along with the power station Cybertruck's super-tough composite bed doesn't require a liner, setting a new standard in durability. This feature is designed to handle all sorts of cargo without worrying about scratches or dents, reflecting Tesla's commitment to both utility and longevity.
Theater on Wheels
The Cybertruck has a massive 18.5
The Cybertruck is designed to offer an unparalleled in-vehicle entertainment experience. Its recording studio sound dynamics featuring 15 speakers, including two dedicated subwoofers and distributed amplifiers, transforms into a mobile theater, delivering an immersive audio experience.
At the heart of the Cybertruck's interior are the massive 18.5" touchscreen in the front and the 9.4" touchscreen in the back, both boasting an all-new user interface. These screens are more than just displays; they're control centers that put a wide range of functions at the fingertips of both the driver and passengers.
In line with Tesla's focus on safety and health, the Cybertruck comes equipped with a built-in hospital-grade HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode, providing protection against 99.97% of airborne particles. This feature, known as the Bioweapon Defense Mode, ensures that the cabin air is clean and safe, regardless of external conditions.
With a range of up to 340 miles on a single charge and the capability to recover up to 136 miles with just 15 minutes of supercharging, the Cybertruck is ready for any adventure. The electronically adaptive air suspension further enhances its off-road capabilities, offering up to 17" of clearance.
Price and Specs Overview
The Cybertruck is offered in three trim levels: the Tri-Motor "Cyberbeast" at $99,990, the Dual-Motor All-Wheel-Drive at $79,990, and the Rear-Wheel-Drive at $60,990. Each model promises a blend of power, efficiency, and range that sets a new benchmark in the electric truck segment.
Tesla has previously stated that it will produce 200,000 Cybertrucks a year. With well over a million reservations, many people could wait a long time to get this vehicle. With that in mind, Tesla offers $1,000 off any other model when customers buy a Cybertruck but take delivery of a different Tesla before December 31.
TeslaFi logs your drives and charging sessions, letting you keep a log of your vehice's activity. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. Visit their site and see everything they have to offer!
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