Automotive

Tesla Cybertruck: A design failure or stroke of genius?

Weirdly futuristic

Illustration by MJ Jucutan

Published

on

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

New Ford Ranger FX4 is an updated workhorse truck

Ford’s truck lineup offers a Ranger for everyone

Published

on

Ford Philippines has just introduced a new model for its already successful lineup of pickup trucks. Called the Ranger FX4, it exudes toughness with its bold design, work-ready performance, and smart technologies.

It also adds to the company’s Ranger portfolio making it the automotive company with the widest lineup of pickup trucks in the country with 13 available variants.

Ford Ranger FX4

The new FX4 still maintains the Ranger’s general appeal but it comes with unique 18-inch black alloy wheels, door handles, front and rear bumpers, and fresh fender features.

Decals along the lower doors and a 3D badge on its tailgate make sure that onlookers will know this is the updated model.

Stepping inside, you’ll be welcomed by Fx4-embossed leather seats, FX4-branded floor mats, and sporty dark environment highlighted by race red stitchings on the soft top instrument panel, center console, gear shifter, and door trims.

In terms of features, we know that Ford doesn’t skimp on the essentials. The new FX4 carries an infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on its 8-inch touchscreen display.

Powering the Ranger FX4 is the company’s 2.2-liter Duratorq diesel engine mated with a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, producing 160PS of power and 385Nm of torque.

The new Ranger models are now available in Ford dealerships nationwide. Pricing is at PhP 1,256,000 for the 4×2 MT model and PhP 1,316,000 for the 4×2 AT variant.

They’re available in five colors — Absolute Black, Aluminum Metallic, Arctic White, Meteor Grey, and True Red.

An updated lineup of trucks

  • Aside from the new Ranger FX4, Ford Philippines is also introducing a series of enhancements and upgrades to its entire Ranger lineup.
  • Ranger XLS variants now come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability. A new Ranger XLS Sport 4×2 A/T variant is added to the Ranger XLS products available to customers.
  • Ranger XLT variants also come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability.
  • Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 variants now have a new wheel design and LED headlamps. The Wildtrak 4×4 also has a new wheel design, LED headlamps, camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection and high-mount USB feature to support various dashcam models.
  • Ranger Raptor now comes with a camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, high-mount USB, and LED headlamps.

Test drive Ford’s trucks for yourself

The launch of the Ranger FX4 also marks the official kick-off of the Ford Island Conquest event this year. The first leg of the experiential test drive will happen on January 24-26, 2020 from 9AM to 9PM at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Pasay City.

During the three-day event, customers have the chance to test drive the Ranger FX4 and other Ford vehicles on a specialized driving course that will showcase the vehicles’ best-in-class features and capabilities.

Customers also have the chance to avail of exclusive offers and deals when they purchase a Ford vehicle. This includes a PhP 10,000 outright cash discount and pick-a-prize cash discount of up to PhP 100,000 on top of existing promotions for the month. Over Ph 1.3 million worth of cash discounts and prizes are up for grabs during the Ford Island Conquest kick-off.

Continue Reading

Automotive

Audi shows off its empathetic car at CES 2020

It’s concerned about the passenger’s well-being

Published

on

For people who drive or commute in the city, traffic jams, crowded streets, and other eyesores can add to the stress we already have. It’s an unavoidable lifestyle every time we’re on the road and is something we wish we had a solution to. Audi, at the CES 2020, seems to have the answer to this with the revelation of their concept car, the Audi AI:ME.

Described as an empathetic car, the fully automated Audi AI:ME represents a personal “third living space,” alongside our homes and workplaces, this self-driving vehicle is sure to pamper its passengers through the use of the latest automotive AI technologies.

So how can a car be empathetic? For starters, by recognizing its users and their habits, it will combine artificial intelligence to increase the passengers’ safety, well being, and comfort.

You can communicate with the car intuitively and even have it order your favorite food or enjoy a wellness experience with a pair of VR goggles that will allow passengers to change the environment in real-time together with the movement of the vehicle.

Upon arriving at your destination, you will find that your ordered food was delivered on time thanks to the AI navigation coordinated by the car’s navigation data. In the future, the car will also conduct a precise analysis as to the functions and settings that its user prefers, ranging from the seat position, media, route guidance, and temperature to the fragrancing of the interior.

Audi has also introduced, along with this vehicle, a 3D heads up display that works like a 3D television. Developed in cooperation with Samsung, Images generated for the left and right eye will give you a true 3D image. You will be able to see vital information, like navigation arrows as if they were floating in front of you at a distance of 8-10 meters and can even be increased to 70 meters. Your eyes will no longer have to refocus looking at the instrument cluster.

Should the driver get tired, different ambient lighting will provide a remedy from blue to cool white light which can have a stimulating and invigorating effect on the driver.  Audi calls this the Human-Centric Lighting.

Continue Reading

Automotive

Nissan shows off Ariya concept, zero-emission ice cream van at CES

There’s even a self-sinking golf ball!

Published

on

Apart from other car brands strutting their newest offerings, Nissan is also in full swing over at the ongoing CES 2020 in Las Vegas. Their booth showcases things that first and foremost promote sustainability with technologies that are soon within reach.

To further show what these features can do, the company has taken their technologies and developed new, creative uses for them. These are then available to experience at Nissan’s booth. Check them out:

Nissan Ariya concept: The crossover vehicle is making its North American debut and brings together advanced technologies on an all-new EV platform. It carries the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite that we’re pretty familiar with along with an expansive lineup of innovative features.

Technology experts will give demonstrations of Ariya Concept features such as the ProPILOT 2.0 advanced driver assistance system, twin-motor all-
wheel-control system, acoustic meta-material, and Smart Route Planner.

Nissan’s zero-emission ice cream van: Chill out with ice cream served from a concept van that combines an all-electric drivetrain, second-life battery storage, and renewable solar energy generation. Based on the 100% electric e-NV200 light commercial vehicle, the ice cream van’s motor is driven by a 40-kilowatt-hour battery. A portable power pack, which uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles, powers the on-board equipment.

Nissan’s booth at CES with its interactive displays

The ProPILOT golf ball: Inspired by the ProPILOT 2.0 advanced driver assistance system, Nissan has created a golf ball that always manages to find the hole. At the booth’s putting green, an overhead camera will detect the position of the golf ball and hole. Sensing technology and an internal electric motor will ensure the putt stays on course until reaching the cup – just as Nissan cars equipped with ProPILOT 2.0 can maneuver along a predefined highway route.

Power Selfie: CES visitors won’t be able to drive the Formula E race car on display at Nissan’s booth, but they can recreate the exhilarating experience. With the help of high-powered fans and special effects, the Power Selfie booth records a short video to mimic the acceleration of the 100% electric race car from 0 to 100 kph in a mere 2.8 seconds. Guests will be able to create a GIF that looks as if they’re racing down the track.

Formula E race car: Nissan, the first Japanese carmaker to join the all-electric Formula E street racing championship, will show its new, Japan-inspired livery for the new season.

The Nissan LEAF e+: Nissan LEAF e+ electric vehicle features a powerful motor, long-range, advanced technologies including the ProPILOT driver assistance system (called ProPILOT Assist in the U.S. marketplace), and the innovative e-Pedal mode for one-pedal driving.

Continue Reading

Trending