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You’ll get what you deserve if you buy this Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck is starting to hit the auction block, but with a supercar price attached. Can we find a better alternative?

TMOOI-banner-cybertruck

The M5 CS is the one to grab, but by a narrow margin of 52%. Closer than I thought. Now, let us turn our attention to the Tesla Cybertruck, because I  think some funny things are going on right now.

The 2024 Tesla Cybertruck Foundation Series

cybertruck
Do you think it comes in blue? Photo: Cars and Bids.

See the Cybertruck listing here

At first I was going to ignore this thing. It might be a truck, but it’s really just a fashion statement like a Lamborghini. Then, I started to see a few things that bugged me, like the 10,296 lb-ft of torque they list, or the fact that they have the MSRP with “probable fuel savings” included. Elon is a bad dude.

So this will be a little different from a typical Talk Me Out Of It. Let’s help dispel some Cybertruck myths.

The Cybertruck isn’t rusting, but…

cybertruck-rusts
It’s fine, I don’t see any salt. Photo: Tesla.

Have you ever noticed how brake dust is harder to clean than typical road grime? That’s because both the wheel and dust itself become hot as you drive, and as the dust lands on your wheel, it sticks to the opened metal pores of the wheel surface.

Well, that’s what’s happening to the entire Cybertruck because it’s stainless steel. If the car has been in the sun, and there’s something like a train nearby – whatever kind of metallic dust is in the air will stick to the surface and can look like rust. It comes off with some AMMO stuff I’d assume, and the car will not disintegrate right before your eyes.

That said, “stainless” is a bit of a misnomer, because if you get anything like road salt on it and you don’t clean it right away, it’ll stain and pit the surface.

Can you PPF stainless steel?

The Cybertruck has 10,296 lb-ft of torque, but…

cybertruck-torque
Disintegrates under its own power. Photo: Tesla

Sounds amazing! A tractor trailer usually has something like 2,500 lb-ft of torque, so the Cybertruck must be able to launch into space!

Stop. That big number is because of gearing it uses to transfer torque to the wheels, also known as reduction gearing. In simple terms, a big gear is meshed with a smaller gear that has less teeth, and that has a multiplying effect on torque.

We can apply this dark science to any car for sale today. For example, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye is rated at 707 lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft. First gear has a ratio of 4.71, and the rear axle ratio is 3.09.

cybertruck-tow
Attach rocket engine – now it has 10,000 lb-ft! Photo: Tesla

707 * 4.71 * 3.09 = 10,290 lb-ft. That”s why companies like Dodge would sometimes offer a differential with a shorter gear ratio – more torque to the wheels.

It’s a bit like saying the horsepower number at the crank vs at the wheels – except all the automakers agreed long ago to list the crank number because the government said so. The Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast has around 700 lb-ft or torque when you list it like everyone else does.

The Cybertruck is under six figures, but…

cybertruck-rear
Just wait, it’ll come down. Photo: Cars & Bids.

This is a bit tough. The car listed for sale right now is at $128k – brand new, 600 miles. Two others have been listed and not sold for over $150k, so what is a good price for a Cybertruck?

This is a Foundation Series – a first edition, with about 600 horsepower. The Cyberbeast coming in 2025 will have more, and will have an MSRP $99,000, so you’re already overpaying just to be one of the first with one. However, who knows it’ll be before you take delivery of one, and who knows what the real sticker will be.

On their website, Telsa actually lists the MSRP as $96,390, with an asterisk:

Prices assume estimated gas savings of $3,600 over 3 years. 

How they are allowed to do this is beyond me. It’s a totally arbitrary number that has no basis in the real world. What would your savings be if you were in a Prius before this car? What about your electric bill going up because you’re charging this thing now?

So many rhetorical questions.

Is there a Cybertruck alternative?

Hummer EV
This thing gets a lot of attention too.

If you want to make a statement that’s almost as big, how about a Hummer EV?

Here’s a new one that sold last year for $111,000. It has more horsepower, an imposing size, and just as much tech as the Cybertruck. It’s also built way better, though if you like the specific look of the Cybertruck, there’s really nothing else like it on the road right now.

Despite the questionable build quality and price gouging, the Cybertruck is still an important car. 48-volt architecture and drive-by-wire steering that fully turns the wheels in about 180 degrees of rotation will change cars for many years to come.

But…do you want one now?

Want MWS to review your car?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email! 

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