Los Angeles (AFP)
Half armored vehicle, half stealthy aircraft, Elon Musk has unveiled Thursday night near Los Angeles a strange machine covered with stainless steel mat now known as "cybertruck", which he presented as the future 100% electric pickup soon produced by his firm Tesla.
"It does not look like anything else," summed up Tesla's CEO, pointing to the massive pickup truck with angular lines in a carefully orchestrated show in the manufacturer's design center in Hawthorne, California, a a show with futuristic accents that sometimes took a surrealistic turn.
Failing to display an elegant design, the "cybertruck" shows on the paper impressive performance, widely praised by Elon Musk with demonstrations involving mass shots, throwing balls of steel that have pressed two windows, but without them. shatter, or even firearm shots, those videotaped for security reasons.
"It's literally bulletproof 9mm caliber bullet," he said.
"This is an ultra-resistant stainless steel alloy that we have developed, we are going to use the same alloy for the space rocket as for the + cybertruck +," Elon Musk said, referring to the activity of SpaceX, of which he is also the founder and the CEO.
The future pickup Tesla will have six seats, will carry more than 1.5 tons and will be able to tow 7 tons, he detailed.
The "cybertruck" will be declined in three models, 39,900 dollars and 400 km of autonomy for the entry-level, up to 69,900 dollars and 800 km of autonomy announced for the higher model.
And he can go from 0 to 100 km / h in about three seconds, welcomed the fantastic boss of Tesla.
Elon Musk had promised that his famous pickup would cost less than $ 50,000, an average price for this category of vehicles, and that he would surpass the performance of the Ford F-150, the number one in the United States on this segment since long time.
- "Blade Runner" and James Bond -
The model presented Thursday night has nothing really classic and Elon Musk had also warned, speaking of a "futuristic" and "cyberpunk" inspired by "Blade Runner", sci-fi film Ridley Scott, whose opening stage is supposed to take place in November 2019.
Shortly before the show, Tesla's CEO also referred on Twitter to James Bond's famous Amphibious Spirit Lotus in "The Spy Who Loved Me".
Some experts believe that the Tesla electric pickup will have a hard time seducing the traditional customer for this type of gear.
"Even though the Tesla pickup does not appeal to the usual fans of the F-150, it does not necessarily need," said Jessica Caldwell, director of foresight for automotive guide Edmunds, in a statement sent to the AFP before the presentation.
"If the Tesla pickup was not a bit controversial, it would not be a Tesla," she says.
"The fact that this pick-up is out of the norm will be considered an asset, not a default" for Tesla fans and technology lovers, says Karl Brauer, head of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
Autonomy, however, will remain a key factor for him. "There is worse than running out of energy, it is running out of energy far from civilization, where pick-ups are often used," says the expert.
No specific date has been communicated for its release on the market but analysts believe that this pickup Tesla will not leave the factories before the end of 2021 at the earliest. It would not be the first vehicle of its kind to enter the United States, the start-up Rivian (in which Ford has invested heavily, as well as Amazon) having a good chance to advance with his R1T.
Pick-ups and SUVs are among the best-selling vehicles in the United States. Significant margins on these models enable builders to cope with the rising costs of steel and aluminum, the expected capping of sales and the decline of compact cars (sedans and city cars).
Pick-ups are particularly popular in the US market, where their share rose from 13% in 2012 to about 17.5% this year.
© 2019 AFP