Reports out of the US are claiming Tesla is planning to build its controversial Cybertruck in not one but two sizes, with the second, thus far unseen version, being smaller than the original.
The report from market watch site, StreetInsider, claims the second version will be “about 15-20 per cent smaller” than the original, meaning it would be better placed to challenge rivals perhaps even in the dual-cab class, below what the American market considers a “full-size pickup”, like the F150 Lightning or Rivian R1T which will be the Cybertruck’s prime rivals in the US.
StreetInsider claims more details may come to light at a “special virtual event” slated for March 2022, and that significant tweaks have been made to the Cybertruck’s design since its original unveiling.
The Cybertruck has been surrounded by controversy and mixed reports in recent months, and while a more compact version seems to align with early comments from CEO Elon Musk that a smaller international variant would be spun off, he has since told industry source Automotive News that the Cybertruck is unlikely to be sold outside of North America due to safety compliance challenges in other jurisdictions.
Regardless, Tesla is still taking refundable $150 deposits for the Cybertruck on its Australian website.
The Cybertruck was recently captured by drone footage on a test track, with some possible changes to the original design. It included large wing-mirrors not seen on the original design, and an enormous wiper blade, apparently to replace the laser-based wiper system originally envisioned.
It's still a mystery how much of the original Cybertruck design will make it to production.
These changes are likely to comply with the US-market’s safety features, although there are some notable items (like side reflectors) still missing.
The Cybertruck has faced delays to production and is now expected to be ready for a late 2022 launch, but time will tell if Tesla can turn this into a reality due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage.
Globally, Tesla is on a roll, delivering record numbers (nearly a million units) of its popular Model 3 sedan, which is built either in the US or China.
While the brand doesn’t officially report its sales numbers in Australia, it is thought around 10,000 Model 3s were delivered locally in 2021.
The brand will expand its line-up to four vehicles with the arrival of the Model Y small SUV expected imminently.