Cybertruck and other Tesla future models

Cybertruck and other Tesla future models

Cybertruck and other Tesla Future Car Models

It’s been an especially hectic 2019 for Tesla. The car making division has been working through a large bank of orders for the Model 3, the Model Y and Cybertruck have been shown as prototypes, plans revealed for vehicle and battery production in Germany, and any day now, the first vehicles are due to roll off the line at the Shanghai factory. There is even more to come in the 2020s.

After the four S3XY vehicles, Tesla had to come up with new names for its future models as the Cybertruck shows. The Model 3’s name is represented on the car’s badge by three stacked horizontal lines. This, after Ford insisted it would not allow Tesla to call a car Model E.

A small hatchback or sedan (it is presumed) would be available by 2023, according to Musk, who replied to a question at the annual shareholders’ meeting in June 2018: “I think we’ll do a compact car in less than five years.” Should Tesla bring a 4.3-4.4m long car to market, it would be in the same segment as the ID.3, Leaf and by then, second generation Ioniq EV.

The biggest question surrounding this vehicle is where it will be manufactured. That could be in Shanghai, Fremont and/or Grünheide.

The Model Y is due to be in production next year. That follows the debut of a prototype in March.

The US market line-up has been announced as:

  • Standard ($39,000, 230 miles/370km, 120mph top speed)

  • Long Range ($47,000, 300 miles/483km, 130mph)

  • Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive ($51,000, 280 miles, 135mph)

  • Performance ($60,000, 280 miles, 150mph)

As well as the US$4,000 additional cost over the Model 3 upon which it is based, the Y has two key differences – it is a hatchback and can be ordered with a third row of seats. Unlike the Model X, there are conventional rear passenger doors. The extra two seats will cost US$3,000.

US deliveries could be expected to begin “in fall 2020 for Model Y Performance, Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive, and Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive variants, and spring 2021 for the Standard Range,” the company’s CEO stated at the preview event in March. While announcing Tesla’s results for the previous quarter, Elon Musk stated in October 2019 that the Model Y would now be in production in summer 2020.

In July 2018, the governing authority of Shanghai issued a media release stating that Tesla had been granted permission to have a factory erected in the city. The plant’s initial eventual annual capacity is 250,000 vehicles. Plans exist for that to be doubled as part of a second phase. The Model Y is to be built there too, with the Model 3 the plant’s first vehicle. There was a ground-breaking ceremony for what Tesla terms ‘Gigafactory 3’ in January 2019 with the facility now said to be complete. The site had formerly been 86 hectares of muddy farmland on the outskirts of the city’s peninsula.

Elon Musk said for some years that he had plans for a car plant and a battery factory to be located in Europe. The company already had one site in The Netherlands but Tilburg is merely an SKD operation which fits batteries so as to avoid EU import duty. Musk announced on 12 November that the factory would be close to Berlin. He referred to it as ‘Gigafactory Europe’ but it will likely be called Gigafactory 4. As for Gigafactory 2, that’s the name of a solar panel and solar roof factory in Buffalo, New York. The German site, expected to be located in Gruenheide, will make the Model Y.

Elon Musk stated in late April that he would decide where in the US that the Model Y would be manufactured “in the next few weeks”. In late May, rumours began appearing in the press that the Model Y would be built at Fremont. These proved to be true, with Musk announcing this in early June.

Given how long the Model S has been in production, the Y might follow a similar life cycle, although it is impossible to know just how long the vehicle will be built for. There could well be a facelift in 2024 and a successor in 2028 but this is speculative.

Longer claimed range for the Model S (and Model X) was announced in April. As rated by the United States’ EPA, the range for the top-spec Model S rose to 375 miles and 325 miles for the equivalent Model X. At the same time, the pneumatic suspension was revised so as to lower the car when it is at higher speeds and reduce drag. The company also reintroduced Standard range variants.

The Model X and Model S had been expected to be facelifted during the second half of this year and also given an interior which resembles that of the Model 3. However, Elon Musk denied this in a 9 July tweet. The X is only four years old but even so, not giving it a mid-life facelift seems to be one of the reasons why sales have fallen throughout 2019. The same has happened to the Model S, production of which commenced more than seven years ago. What Tesla intends to do with these vehicles remains a mystery. The most likely scenario would be interior and exterior makeovers in 2020 and replacements in 2023/2024.

Cybertruck

A “different kind of pick-up truck” was how Elon Musk described the pick-up he was planning in an announcement on 20 July 2016. The Tesla CEO then revealed a sketch of a giant pick-up at the unveiling of two prototypes in November 2017. There were two examples of a proposed ‘Semi’ – an electric Class 8 truck – and one example of a sports car. The latter was a targa but was called the Tesla Roadster. Meanwhile, a sketch of the pick-up showed a vehicle which looked a lot like the Semi but obviously with a load bay. Being carried in this tray was a conventional-looking pick-up along the lines of the Toyota Tacoma or VW Amarok.

Elon Musk tweeted new thoughts on the pick-up in December 2017, stating that it would be larger than a Ford F-150. Six months later, in another series of tweets, Musk said the truck would have dual motors and all-wheel drive as standard, ‘crazy torque,’ a suspension system which dynamically adjusts for the load, that it would be able to parallel park itself, and have 360-degree cameras plus sonar. No production date was announced.

In March this year, Musk announced via Twitter that the truck would be shown later in 2019. Six months later, he stated that this would take place in November. The date was then stated as being 21 November. The dramatic looking ‘Cybertruck’ was indeed revealed on that date, the event being remembered for the glass layer of two of the prototype’s armoured windows shattering in front of reporters and Tesla fans. This happened as chief designer Franz von Holzhausen threw a metal ball at each pane to test their durability. The so-called ‘Tesla Armor Glass’ is a composite comprising glass and polymer layers. Despite how some reported what happened and the reaction of Tesla executives, the glass part of the armoured sandwich breaking was normal.

The vehicle’s loadbay has a claimed 100 cubic-feet of lockable storage. This is under the bed, in the front boot/’frunk’ and within certain pillars. Covering the loadbay itself is a ‘magic tonneau cover’. Tesla says it can take the weight of an adult. Other features include air suspension which can be raised and lowered by four inches, plus onboard power and compressed air.

The Cybertruck is due to be in production by the end of 2021. The top speed of the fastest ‘Tri-Motor’ variant – the first one to become available – is claimed to be 130mph and 0-60mph will take 2.9 seconds, says Elon Musk. The maximum range is said to be in excess of 500 miles/800km and the towing rating is a claimed 14,000 lbs.

Pricing starts at $US39,900. The base, rear-wheel drive version – available from 2022 – has a single motor and a stated maximum range of 250 miles (400+km), claimed 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds and a towing rating of 7,500 lbs. The third of the three to have been announced so far is the Dual Motor. This has all-wheel drive, 300+ miles (circa 500km) of range and a tow rating of 10,000 lbs (4,535 kg). Its 0-60mph time is 4.5 seconds.

Unlike previous Tesla vehicles, this one will have stainless steel panels. These could be key to understanding the whole project. As the vehicle revealed a few weeks ago was a prototype or ‘Alpha’ as the company called it, understandably, no weight was stated.

Tesla might be intending to save the cost of crash testing if the Cybertruck ends up with a Gross Vehicle Weight in excess of 10,000 pounds (more than 4.5 tonnes). The United States classifies such vehicles as Class 3 trucks. The heavy, unpainted body panels would also in theory also negate the need for a paint shop in whatever facility ends up assembling the Cybertruck.

Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE. This includes those Tesla models not discussed above.

The next OEM to have its future models strategy examined will be Honda Motor. That will include not only Honda passenger vehicles but also those marketed under the Everus, Ciimo and Acura brands.

“Cybertruck and other Tesla future models” was originally created and published by Just Auto, a GlobalData owned brand.

 


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