Tesla electric pickup gets “Blade Runner” nod: Now what will it look like?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has set a date for a first look at the locked-in design of the California company’s upcoming electric pickup truck. 

The reveal will happen Nov. 21, near the SpaceX facility (and Tesla’s Design Center) in Hawthorne, California. 

Musk noted in a tweet accompanying the announcement that the day was “strangely familiar” as it happens to be the month and location of the setting (Los Angeles, 2019) called out in the opening scene of the 1982 movie “Blade Runner.”

The unrelenting nods to 1980s cult science-fiction memes also add to the suspense about the truck’s final design. Musk has called it the “Cyberpunk Truck” multiple times. Last June, Musk said on a podcast that the upcoming truck won’t look like a normal truck, and that “it’s going to look pretty sci-fi.” He added: “What if we just made a mini version of the Tesla Semi?”

Tesla Semi early sketches possibly preview design of Tesla pickup truck

Tesla Semi early sketches possibly preview design of Tesla pickup truck

At the company’s annual meeting with shareholders in June, he said, “Worst case scenario, we’ll build a normal-looking truck…no problem, we know what those look like.”

That’s led to a series of widely (and wildly) varied renderings from fans, aspiring designers, and media outlets. 

In last month’s quarterly conference call, Musk called the truck, which he terms the Tesla Cybertruck, “our best product ever.”

Tesla pickup truck teased by Elon Musk on Twitter

Tesla pickup truck teased by Elon Musk on Twitter

Musk has made many lofty claims about the truck in the past—including that he wanted it to beat the functionality of the Ford F-150 and yet be a better sports car than the Porsche 911. 

A fully electric version of the Ford F-150 is on the way potentially as soon as 2021, while an all-electric GM pickup will follow in 2022 or 2023. Rivian might release its fully electric personal pickup as soon as late 2020.

As standard features, the Tesla truck will include dual-motor all-wheel drive, plus a suspension that will dynamically adjust for load. It will also have a power takeoff for 240V outlets running work tools.

Tesla hasn’t yet been any more specific about when the truck will reach the market, other than saying that it will come “right after Model Y,” according to Musk. The company announced last month that its Model Y crossover was running ahead of schedule, with production starting as soon as early 2020 and deliveries likely before the middle of the year. Trial production has also started for the Model 3 in Shanghai, also ahead of schedule.

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