Skip to main content

Tesla Cybertruck delivers on some promises, falls painfully short on other expectations

Will Tesla Cybertruck reservation holders back away due to unkept promises?

Tesla Cybertruck EV driving in snow

The Tesla Cybertruck is finally here. The newly launched Cybertruck maintains the divisive look of the prototype, but the irresistible numbers leading up to and during the original reveal in late 2019 fall short.

When Elon Musk introduced the Cybertruck in November 2019, most observers immediately declared love or hatred for its stainless steel exterior design. Musk said deliveries would start in late 2021, but few listeners took the delivery date seriously due to the delayed launches of the Tesla Model X and Model 3.

In 2019, the Cybertruck’s proposed cost and capacities were outstanding. According to Musk, the Cybertruck would have a 6.5-foot bed, travel up to 500 miles per charge, carry 3,500 pounds of cargo, and tow 14,000 pounds, with a starting price of $39,900. If Tesla could deliver the Cybertruck as promised, it would compete with the Ford F-150 and GM 1500 series pickups on price and compare with the Ford SuperDuty F-250 and F-350 and GM 2500 and 3500 series trucks on capacity and capabilities.

Tesla Cybertruck display model
Sarah Joseph / The Manual

The Cybertruck vision and the reality

Four years since the announcement and two years later than initially projected, the Cybertruck is in Tesla showrooms. We now know three Cybertruck versions will be: rear-wheel drive (RWD) starting at $60,990, all-wheel-drive (AWD) for $79,99o, and the full-out performance-focused Cyberbeast starting at $99,990.

Notably, the first model available for delivery in early 2024, the AWD Cybertruck, is slightly more than twice as expensive as the 2019 teaser price. Reservation holders who opt for the Cyberbeast will wait until late 2024 for deliveries to begin. Tesla now says that the base rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck delivery will start in 2025.

The price went up, but the other numbers all decreased. The payload capacity fell to 2,500 pounds from 3,500  pounds, the towing maximum dropped from 14,000 to 11,000 pounds, and the six-foot bed length was six inches shorter than the original specification.

None of the three Cybertruck models have a 500-mile range between charges. Tesla estimates a range of 250 miles for the RWD version, 340 miles for the AWD model, and 320 miles for the Cyberbeast. An optional extended-range battery option will boost the AWD model’s maximum range to 470 miles. The price for the extended-range battery is not yet available, but based on an image on Tesla’s website, it will take up about one-third of the storage space in the truck’s 6-foot by 4-foot bed.

Tesla Cybertruck charging a Tesla EV using a bidirectional socket

Specs and features shared by all Cybertrucks

So, the Cybertruck costs more and doesn’t meet all the originally touted expectations, but that doesn’t tarnish its impact on the EV truck market. While Ford’s F-150 Lighting EV truck sells better than initially expected and Chevrolet and RAM electric trucks will commence deliveries within the next 12-to-18 months, none of those electric truck alternatives to Tesla strays far from the traditional pickup truck mold. Starting with its oversized door wedge design, the Cybertruck is anything but conventional.

The Cybertruck models differ in starting price, range, horsepower equivalent, torque, and acceleration, but they share more than their stainless steel skin. According to Tesla, the Cybertruck’s ultra-hard, unpainted exoskeleton minimizes damage from impact. The trucks have an electronically adaptive air suspension with 17 inches of clearance and up to 12 inches of travel. Shatter-resistant acoustic armor glass in the windows and the all-glass roof will protect the truck interior and keep it quiet. The cabin seats five adults, including three in the second row.

The truck can hold up to 2,500 pounds of cargo in 67 cubic feet—the sliding bed cover locks to protect the contents. Folding the second-row seats provides 54 cubic feet of additional storage. The Cybertruck has a fully steer-by-wire system with rear-wheel steering, enabling a smaller turning radius than most trucks and cars. Tesla also states the Cybertruck can regain up to 136 miles of range in 15 minutes when connected to a Tesla Supercharger.

A Tesla Cybertruck with camping gear on the truck bed.

Cybertruck RWD model, $60,990 starting price, available in 2025

Of the three Cybertruck models, Tesla has released the most minor information about the rear-wheel drive version. So far, it will have an estimated maximum range of 250 miles between charges, zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds, 112 mph top speed, and 7,500 pounds towing capacity. The rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck will be available in 2025 with a $60,990 starting price.

Tesla Cybertruck at the Bellevue, WA location
Sarah Joseph / The Manual

Cybertruck AWD model, $79,990 starting price, available in 2024

There’s a fair chance that the all-wheel-drive Cybertruck will be the most popular model. Buying such an otherwise capable truck with only two-wheel-drive and the RWD model’s 250-mile range doesn’t make much sense, so this is the smart money choice.

The Cybertruck AWD variant produces 600 horsepower and 7,435 pound-feet of torque for zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is 112 mph, the same as the RWD version, so it’s likely limited electronically. Towing capacity increases from the RWD’s 7,500 pounds to 11,000 pounds.

With up to 340 miles range between charges, AWD Tesla Cybertruck owners may pass on giving up a sizable chunk of the truck’s bed space for the extended-range battery option that boosts the range to 470 miles. This version of Cybertruck Tesla says you can add up to 136 miles of range pugged into a Tesla Supercharger for just 15 minutes.

Tesla Cybertruck wheel
Sarah Joseph / The Manual

CyberBeast, $99,990 starting price, available in 2024

Tesla Model S Plaid owners will likely dominate the list of early Cybertruck reservation holders who opt for the CyberBeast. Performance is usually nothing but blurry numbers when the digits go this high. Still, the CyberBeast’s reasonably outrageous 845 horsepower and astounding 10,296 pounds of torque are enough to clear anyone’s head long enough to ask, “What will you do with all that power?.”

Tesla assures owners that zero-to-60 mph times of 2.6 seconds are possible, although the engineers again limit the top speed, in this model cutting off at 130 mph. Possibly thinking that the ability to tow anything larger than a fully loaded Airstream Classic trailer at high speeds might not be the best idea, Tesla rates the Cyberbeast’s maximum towing capacity at 11,000 pounds, the same as the AWD model.

The maximum range per charge for the Cyberbeast is 320 miles, although knocking off a few acceleration runs on the way to soccer practice could knock that number down appreciably. With the optional range extender, the Cyberbeast maximum range rises to 440 miles. Suppose Cyberbeast owners exercise the vehicle’s capabilities with regularity. In that case, I suspect Tesla’s aftermarket sales group could do well selling range extender packs to Cyberbeast owners who didn’t add one to their original order. Hooked to a Tesla Supercharging station, the Cyberbeast adds 128 miles range in 15 minutes, Tesla says.

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
Audi hits milestones and meets goals for Audi Power Unit for 2026 F1 racing season
Audi started work in 2022 to be ready for 2026
Audi Formula Racing GmbH CTO Stefan Dreyer talking with an engineer at one of th Audi Power Unit test benches.

Audi Formula Racing GmbH recently announced that it has achieved its goals and met significant milestones on the Audi F1 Power Unit for the 2026 Formula 1 racing season. Working at a dedicated facility in Neuburg, Germany, the Audi team reports the complete F1 Power Unit running on a test bench. It runs simulated races based on F1 tracks, such as Singapore and Las Vegas.
Why the Audi Power Unit matters

In 2026, the Stake Kick Sauber F1 team, which currently uses Ferrari engines, will become an Audi factory works team. Audi established a separate business unit, Audi Formula Racing GmbH, to develop the hybrid power unit for the next-gen Formula 1 racecar. Working in private but in compliance with FIA F1 Rules and Regulations, Audi has been developing the Audi F1 Power Unit since 2022.

Read more
Bentley fourth-generation Continental GT Speed: The most powerful ever
Choosing between the coupe and convertible could be difficult
2025 Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible right front three-quarter view.

The Bentley Continental GT has never been a slouch in power and maximum speed, but the 2025 Continental GT Speed hybrid opens the gate for new performance levels. The fourth-generation Continental GT is the most powerful road car Bentley has ever produced.
Why the Bentley Continental GT Speed is important

While it was owned by Rolls Royce, Bentley was always considered the sportier of the two luxury brands. BMW Group now owns Rolls Royce, and VW Group owns Bentley, but the similar appearance of some models, especially the older ones, and their shared history inevitably lead to comparisons. However, the new Bentley Continental GT breaks even further from the mold, with 68% all-new components. If Rolls is the ultimate luxury car, Bentley is the ultimate luxury driver's car.

Read more
Formula E is the ‘future’ — Maserati team talks Portland race, track changes, and more
Formula E drivers share what it's like to drive for Maserati MSG
Maserati MSG Formula E drivers Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala.

Maserati MSG Racing Formula E Maserati Tipo Folgore race car during the Sao Paulo e-Prix Maserati MSG Racing / Maserati MSG Racing

Four races are left in all-electric Formula E's 10th season, including double-headers on June 29 and 30 in Portland, Oregon, and July 20 and 21 in London. Earlier this week, the Maserati MSG Racing Formula E racing team held a virtual media roundtable to discuss Maserati's Formula E racing success and share their thoughts on the remainder of the season, particularly the upcoming races at Portland International Raceway.
Maserati and the Maserati MSG Racing team in Formula E
Maserati MSG Formula E drivers Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala Maserati MSG Racing / Maserati MSG Racing

Read more