Here’s Your Cybertruck Rundown

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Cybertruck with 48 volt battery

By Richard Truesdell


The hype is over. Tesla’s Cybertruck, was unveiled yesterday with Elon Musk personally delivering the first production units. CEO Musk proclaimed, “The future finally looks like the future.”

As promised, the truck has a 48 volt battery for its low voltage system.  The screen is 18.5 inches.  We’ll get back to that in a moment.

Musk did not announce the vehicle’s prices at the event. From the Tesla website we know that prices will start at $61,990 (before tax credits) for the rear-wheel-drive version. But it will not be available until the calendar year 2025. The first model available will be the dual motor, all-wheel-drive version at $79,990 (before tax credits), and the highest performance variant, the three-motor all-wheel-drive “Cyberbeast” that starts at $99,900 will be available in 2024 as the Austin, Texas, gigafactory ramps up production. Full production output is expected to be reached by the end of 2025 when all models will be available. There will be restrictions in place to discourage “flipping” as Tesla retains the right of first refusal to buy back your Cybertruck. These will be difficult to enforce.

Cybertruck screens


Of most interest to the 12-volt retail community is its onboard infotainment package. The front cockpit is dominated by an 18.5-inch widescreen touchscreen infotainment display. For back-seat passengers a 9.4-inch rear display is centered between the individual front seats.

There was not much specific information contained in the media materials released on Thursday. We do know that the audio package will have 15 speakers, including two subwoofers (indicating some sort of center channel is included) with distributed amplification.

Cybertruck infotainment

We suspect that like other Tesla vehicles, all speakers will be super efficient and thus not readily suitable for high-powered upgrade amplification. Further investigation indicates that Tesla’s audio supplier (rumored to be B&O) had a hand in designing the system. But as of now, no premium-branded audio package has been announced. The aftermarket’s upgrade path will be to replace the OEM speakers and subwoofer and at the same time, the amplifier as a complete package.

The vehicle sports a new 48-volt/800-volt platform. This means a thinner wiring harness that will increase overall efficiency and the 800 volt platform allows for drive-by-wire capabilities. But it should have little impact on most aftermarket upgrades.

Takeaway: 48-volt architecture is big news and will be followed by other OEMs. It will be calendar year 2025 before production fully ramps up with lower-priced models becoming available. In the meantime, learn all you can.

Prediction: Love or hate its looks, 12-volt retailers will likely embrace the Cybertruck as a signature demo vehicle. Get in line, if you haven’t already as there are a reported 1,000,000+ reservations. But with the softening new-vehicle market going into 2024, many reservations will likely vanish before full production ramps up 18 months from now.

Rich Truesdell

Rich Truesdell

Rich is an industry veteran and longtime automotive photojournalist   He has served as an installer, a 12 volt retail store owner, and a car audio and automotive journalist.

Truesdell founded Kartunes Mobile Electronics in New Jersey in 1976 with a retail storefront from 1980 to 1992. He’s contributed to publications including Motor Trend and has been a full-time automotive journalist since 2000 to more than 30 magazines around the world.  He is also the co-author of three books with collaborator Mark Fletcher; Hurst Equipped (2012), 1970 Maximum Muscle (2021), and Hemi Under Glass (2021). Truesdell even appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage!

Truesdell welcomes questions from readers and he hopes to connect with colleagues from his many years in the car audio industry at [email protected]


Keywords: Tesla, Tesla Cybertruck, Cybertruck, Cyberbeast, infotainment, infotainment system, 15 speaker, distributed amplification, sound system, Elon Musk

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  1. The truck looks like an avalanche render on a video game on windows 95 or maybe the Lego movie. The interior and infotainment looks a lot better from the inside. Regardless to if you love it or hate it the pre-order list almost guarantees it’s success. As an industry we have to get ready for new challenges. Maybe I just hate the wheels but I’ll be happy to do the upgrades as they roll out.

  2. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see the autobody repair process for these..

    Can’t refinish the panels, can’t use body filler and paint, pretty much can only replace whether it’s for a scratch, a ding, or actual heavy damage? PDR is probably out of the question, or at very least much more difficult since stainless is so difficult to work compared to thin sheet metal. We even see issues with aluminum being more difficult in the PDR world.
    Nevermind the the detailing world.. keeping a stainless fridge clean is tough, now go and drive that stainless fridge everyday outside.

    I’m afraid these are going to be a nightmare for just about every industry that has to deal with them. Tesla owners have been traditionally hard to work with, and I’m wondering if the Cybertruck is going to bring for an even worse group.

  3. I find the vehicle to be Hideous looking and a wast of money $80k ..if it was the year 2080 maybe the design would fit .. but it’s odd looking vehicle in this day and age .. ev vehicle are unreliable

    1. Fred, I appreciate your perspective but from what I know, it was designed from the start to be polarizing.

      In 1992, people said the same thing when the 1994 Dodge Ram was first shown. Now all five full-size trucks (Ford, GM, and Toyota) have followed the design lead of Ram.

      Because of space/focus concerns, Amy edited out my second paragraph. I’ll include it here.

      “Externally, it’s a polarizing design. Either you love it (I do), or hate it (most of my Facebook and LinkedIn followers). You won’t or can’t mistake it for anything else. It reminds me, as CEoutlook’s resident car guy, of the introduction of the revolutionary 1994 Dodge Ram with its “Kenworth big rig” styling. In 1992 Dodge had 6% of the domestic pickup truck market. Just two years later, it quadrupled sales and share of market.”

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