Tesla Cybertruck previewed in Malaysia

The Cybertruck is flanked by the Model Y (blue car) and the Model 3. Technologies showcased in the Cybertruck are to be found in the Model Y and Model 3.

CYBERJAYA: Tesla's much anticipated Cybertruck is previewed here today.

Shown to the local press for the first time, the Cybertruck is the mid-spec all-wheel drive variant with dual electric motors that retails for US$80,000 (RM380,000)  in the United States. Tesla is also selling an even higher performance version dubbed the Cyberbeast, which comes with three motors, priced at around US$100,000 (RM475,000). A US$61,000 (RM290,000) rear-wheel drive entry-level Cybertruck with a single motor is expected to be produced in 2025.

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The left-hand drive electric pick-up truck has been on a world tour that began with China and continued on to Japan, Thailand and now Malaysia. It will be in Malaysia for "several weeks" as a Tesla spokesman said and will be exhibited to interested parties and members of the public. However, it is not for sale and Tesla Malaysia could not say if it would ever be launched here.

The 3-tonne plus truck is unlikely to be road-legal in Malaysia on account of its sharp edges and hard steel body, which safety experts say pose a big risk to pedestrians, cyclists and other road-going vehicles. Based on what the Tesla spokesman said, the reason for the Cybertruck to show up in Malaysia is to present it as a technological showcase, and that many of its features are already to be found in the Model 3 and Model Y that are currently offered locally and fully imported from the Tesla plant in Shanghai.

Much bigger than the regular pick-up trucks Malaysians are used to, the Cybertruck has gobs of interior space for front and rear passengers. But the bare outer shell is prone to collect smudges and fingerprints so wrapping the truck is one option. Its electrically operated tonneau shutter is made of a tough plastic that is strong enough to withstand the weight of an adult - or two. Like the Model 3 and Model Y that were also on display today, the Cybertruck sports a minimalist dashboard with most controls accessible through the centre touchscreen.

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With 600hp and 10,080Nm on tap, the AWD Cybertruck can hit 0-100kph in 4.3s. Top speed is capped at 180kph and rated range is 547km. A range extender in the form of a second battery pack stored in the truck bed can be ordered as an optional upgrade to add around 200km to the range. However, the extra battery pack takes up one-third of the bed space.

The truck has a payload of 1,134 kg and towing capacity of 4,990kg.

In contrast, the Cyberbeast has 845hp and 13,959 Nm of torque, giving it a supercar acceleration time of 2.7s in the 100kph sprint. It can keep going until 209kph, and range is 515km. The Cyberbeast can also be paired with a range extender.

Range for the yet-to-come RWD (rear-wheel drive) Cybertruck is given at around 400km with a 0-100kph time of 6.7s and a top speed of 180kph.

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The long-delayed Cybertruck is Tesla's first new model in nearly four years. US deliveries began last November.

The five-seater is produced at Tesla's plant in Austin, Texas, which is also its headquarters.

The Cybertruck that was airflown into Malaysia is Tesla's so-called "Foundation Series" model, which comes with extra accessories and are the first ones to be delivered. US reservation holders reportedly have to pay an extra US$20,000 (RM95,000) for it though.

The Cybertruck has proven to be a hot seller in the United States and Tesla is struggling to meet orders in its home market, with one US motoring news website claiming a waiting period of as long as five years.  Tesla  is also bogged down by delays in ramping up production of the new 4680-type batteries that the Cybertruck uses.


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