Automotive

Tesla Cybertruck: A design failure or stroke of genius?

Weirdly futuristic

Illustration by MJ Jucutan

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As a pickup truck lover, I make it a point to stay updated with new models coming up through launches and announcements. Several companies are gearing up to launch their EV trucks like the Rivian R1T and Lordstown Endurance to name a few, and they already got me hyped for the future of trucks and off-roading.

So when Tesla announced that they were making their own truck, it got me excited. Plus, seeing the concept design renders on the internet got my expectations high.

Although when the launch day came and I first saw posts about Tesla’s Cybertruck and what it looks like, I ignored it thinking it was just a prank. I knew Musk has a sense of humor so I waited thinking he’ll soon announce that it was all a joke. But days passed and I realized that this guy wasn’t kidding at all.

I kept asking “Why? Why does it look like an old school iron? Why is the roof triangular? Why is it so weird?” But, I only needed to watch one video to change my mind. It seemed weird at first, but then you’ll realize that this truck is a potential game-changer.

The body may seem simple and minimalistic but it is in fact designed as an exoskeleton. Let me paint you a quick picture: the body is made of ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel structural skin which is so rigid, a 9mm bullet will literally shatter on impact. This type of metal is extremely difficult to mold and cannot go through traditional sheet metal stamping. Basically, the metal used is harder than the stamp itself and only through folding can this material be formed. Thus the shape of the Cybertruck.

If you still haven’t figured it out, this thing is pretty much a tank.

Unlike any other truck bed, the Cybertruck seems to be the most versatile of them all.  Boasting 100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage, plus it comes with a magic tonneau cover that’s strong enough to stand on.

It is a vault on wheels and it’s exciting to see what modular upgrades you can do with this truck bed. It also features an adaptive and self-leveling air suspension system that can give up to 16 inches of ground clearance.  Being able to adjust the ride height makes it super easy to access and load the truck bed.

Stepping into the Cybertruck, you will find a very clean and minimalist design. The interior matches the exterior in uniqueness and simplicity. It will seat six people comfortably and features an all-new 17-inch touchpad.

Tesla’s reputation on performance has set the standard high on EVs and we can expect no less on the Cybertruck. A powerful all-electric drivetrain with extraordinary traction control will catapult this heavy truck from 0-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds! That is hyper-car car territory. And though horsepower and torque have not yet been revealed, we can be sure that they will not disappoint. There will be three models in the line-up: A single motor RWD with 250 miles of range, a dual-motor AWD with 300 miles, and the top-spec tri-motor AWD with 500 miles. All models will come with the full self-driving autopilot system.

Even though the window demonstration failed, the rest of the truck is ingeniously purpose-built. People don’t prefer change and we normally reject something we’re not used to, but most of the time we end up loving it. The same thing applied to me —  the more I got to know about this truck, the more I started loving it.

A truck this bold could only disappoint people or make them love it. And though I still haven’t been in one, I still would have to say it is a genius piece of work — a game-changer and a trendsetter. It will be the start of a new era of pickup trucks and the start of the futuristic-looking trend. My first impression of this truck was close to an off-the-street, put-together vehicle. But after learning all about it, I see it as a stealth F-117 Nighthawk bomber. And I absolutely love it.

But that’s just a pickup fanboy’s opinion. What do you think about the Tesla Cybertruck? Is it something you’d even consider?

Automotive

General Motors unveils a flying Cadillac taxi concept

Personal taxis of the future may look like this

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CES 2021 continues to wow everyone with the launching of new products and the unveiling of concept products that could become a reality one day. One such concept product showed at CES is the flying Cadillac taxi concept by General Motors (GM).

The flying taxi concept is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle, eliminating the need for any runway. Based on the exhibit by GM, it is a single-seater with eight coaxial rotors on the side. The vehicle will also operate autonomously with an electric motor and a 90-kWh battery powering it. The motor also enables the flying taxi to speed up to 56 mph.

Further details about the Cadillac flying taxi are scarce beyond these basic specifications. GM says that this concept is part of its “multi-modal future”: the taxi will act as a personal ferry between two points. Upon arriving at these points, a person can take another electric vehicle to carry them to their destination.

The flying taxi is also a part of GM’s new Ultium platform, which is its in-house solution for EV fleets. As for real-world availability, GM hasn’t disclosed anything so the final product may look drastically different than this one. However, it still is a cool concept that could bode well in the future.

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Automotive

Apple and Hyundai are partnering for an electric car in 2024

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For years, the enigmatic Apple Car has popped in and out of the limelight. Merely because of the volume of reports, the company is certainly working on a vehicle for the future. Finally, the rumored vehicle gets some much-needed confirmation. After several reports, Apple and Hyundai are partnering for an electric car in 2024.

Late last week, an ambiguous rumor reported as much. According to a South Korean outlet, both companies were reportedly in early talks for such a partnership. At the time, the electric car was supposedly entering production in 2027. However, both Apple and Hyundai denied the rumors, casting the report in doubt.

Today, however, a new report has updated last week’s seemingly debunked rumor, as reported by Reuters. This time, Korea IT News, a South Korean newspaper, confirmed the upcoming partnership of the two companies. Apple and Hyundai will reportedly ink the deal by March this year. And, instead of a 2027 deadline, the Apple Car will enter production by 2024.

Again, both companies have refused to comment on the potential partnership. Soon after, the newspaper removed the 2024 anticipated date. According to the same report, Apple and Hyundai will create and release a beta version of the vehicle next year.

Besides their iconic iPhones, Apple has dabbled in other industries over the past few years. For example, the company successfully released an Apple Card, its entry in the fintech industry.

SEE ALSO: Apple is developing its own search engine

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Automotive

Nissan offers exclusive discounts, low downpayment on select models

Save up to PhP 430,000 on your next Nissan purchase!

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Getting your first car is tempting this holiday season. Nissan has just extended its Safer Drives and Deals promo until December 31, offering exclusive discounts and savings on select models.

You can avail of up to PhP 430,000 discount when you buy a brand-new Nissan Patrol, Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Terra, Nissan Sylphy, Nissan Urvan, and Nissan Almera. Through Nissan’s financing program, you can also benefit from monthly offers such as PhP 5,769 downpayment with 0% interest for up to 24 months, or free amortization for up to 6 months on select vehicles.

Select variants of Nissan Navara also come with cash savings of up to PhP 185,000. Also bundled on this exclusive offer is a free bedliner accessory. However, this exclusive offer is only available through Nissan’s financing program.

If you are paying through cash though, you can still take advantage of cash discounts for other Nissan models. You can save up to PhP 330,000 on select variants of Nissan Patrol, Terra, X-Trail, Sylphy, Navara, Urvan, and Almera.

Meanwhile, an all-in low downpayment option for as low as PhP 28,000 is available for Nissan Almera, Sylphy, X-Trail, Terra, Navara, and Urvan. Downpayment options are available through select partner banks of authorized Nissan dealers.

Tempted to get a Nissan car already? Visit Nissan Philippines’ website for more information on their latest promo.

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