Tesla has unveiled its first electric pickup truck – known as Cybertruck – at an event in Los Angeles.
However, it’s created headlines worldwide not for the bizarre styling of the vehicle but for a failed demonstration of the vehicle’s supposedly shatterproof armoured windows.
The futuristic-looking vehicle will apparently be released at the end of 2021, and with a range of up to 500 miles, although as with any Tesla launch it’s probably best to pencil it into your diary rather than using permanent ink.
Tesla says the vehicle has “more utility than a truck, with more performance than a sports car”, while company boss Elon Musk attempted to show its ruggedness during a live demonstration at the launch event in Los Angeles.
Not as tough as it looks?
The launch will be best remembered for a bizarre series of demos that have immediately been mocked on social media around the world. Mr Musk first directed Tesla head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, to hit the door of the truck repeatedly with a sledgehammer, before suggesting it was nearly bulletproof.
However, when attempting to show off the Cybertruck’s supposedly shatterproof armoured glass by having Mr von Holzhausen throw a metal ball at it, the glass broke – in two attempts on separate windows.
This led a clearly sheepish Mr Musk to say “at least it didn’t go through” and that there was “room for improvement”.
Tesla also said the top of the range, triple electric motor version of the Cybertruck would be capable of going from zero to 60 miles an hour in 2.9 seconds – comparable with many sports cars.
The truck will start at 39,900 dollars (£31,000) for the single motor version and can be pre-ordered in America now, Mr Musk said.
He had teased the idea of creating a truck for some time, first tweeting about building a truck in 2012, before including the idea in his so-called “master plan” for the company, published in 2016.
Mr Musk also referenced the unusual design of the Cybertruck last year, saying in an interview with Recode that the vehicle had taken on a “futuristic-like cyberpunk, ‘Blade Runner’” design.
As part of the announcement, Mr Musk also unveiled a quad bike built by the company, which can fit into the back of the Cybertruck and also be charged once there.
The Cybertruck is the fourth production model that Tesla has unveiled that is not actually available to buy, and the previous three are not likely to be hitting UK roads anytime soon. Earlier this year, the company revealed the Model Y crossover, while the next-generation Tesla Roadster and the Tesla Semi truck were revealed two years ago and have still yet to start production.