QOTD: Tesla's Pickup Truck - Where Do You Start?
It’s sometimes hard keeping up with the specific engineering feats Tesla actually plans to pull off and the forward-thinking visions uttered just to keep the tech press salivating (and its readers buying up shares). Is CEO Elon Musk actually sending a tunnel with an elevator in it to Jupiter? Wait a minute — it’s possible that promise fell victim to the purple-monkey-dishwasher chain of distortion before it reached this author’s ears.
One thing we’re more or less assured of now, following Musk’s stint at the Twitter pulpit Tuesday, is that Tesla will build an electric pickup truck. Yes, just as soon as the compact Model Y’s out the door. This means Tesla fan club members and curious buyers will have to wait until after the Model Y crossover finishes development and finds a place in which it can be built — not an overnight process by any means.
What we’re left with is a pickup that’s a blank slate in terms of size and design. Grab your pencils.
Yes, you’re being tasked with ensuring the Model T (or whatever it’ll be called) appeals to the largest group of truck buyers imaginable. In this exercise, there are no worries about development costs or manufacturing capacity. Cash is flowing like cheap shooters on New Year’s Eve. Everything’s just hunky-dory at Tesla.
Back at November’s launch of the Tesla Semi and second-generation Roadster, Musk flashed an image of the thing you see above. A pickup truck based on the Semi, minus a rear axle. Pictured carrying a Ford F-150 in its bed and theorized to be drivable by an operator with a Class 6 license, this cab-forward megatruck never seemed serious. But that didn’t stop Ford spokesperson Mike Levine from trashing the concept on Twitter earlier this week:
Tesla pickup rendering makes zero practical sense. I added a person for scale. Reach into cargo box? Not without a ladder. Tow a gooseneck / 5th wheel? Only with a custom trailer. Tow conventional? Only with 20″ drop hitch. Easy to park? Good luck. pic.twitter.com/ctX5k5kQrh
— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) December 27, 2017
On Tuesday, Musk tweeted that the truck would probably fall squarely into the full-size category, positioning it alongside the biggest Detroit Three sellers. It might even grow a bit larger “to account for a really gamechanging (I think) feature I’d like to add,” Musk said.
Think of the market, then think of that blank page. Is Musk on the right track to right-sizing this future model? Should it go bigger, or could Tesla have a hit on its hands if it went the midsize route? What’s the minimum acceptable range and payload? Would you go with a cab-forward design to maximize utility, or would a latter-day Corvair Rampside scare off potential converts already spooked by the missing gas tank? So many questions…
You’re in charge, B&B.
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- Lachlan Anyone remember what happened the last time a senator named Hawley pushed a big tariff?
- Craiger I love the people who call Musk an imbecile. As if they could even get an interview for a job at one of his companies.
- Lou_BC I'm waiting for Tesla to make a pickup!
- Lou_BC Autograph? Turn Up the Radio?
- Oberkanone Were these available with diesel?At $3700 this Volvo presents nicer than other vehicles I see at this asking price.