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

Land Rover launches hybrid electric SUVs, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

Part-electric, all-terrain

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When you think of electric vehicles, you’re usually thinking of city driving or, at least, travelling through city roads. However, the electric vehicle segment has already developed cars that can traverse all types of terrains.

Recently, celebrating its 50th anniversary, Land Rover has launched its second set of hybrid electric SUVs, the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) sport a 2.0L Ingenium turbocharged petrol engine complemented by an 85kW electric powertrain, churning out 404ps of horsepower and 640Nm of torque. Both engines have a 0-100km/h time of just 6.7 seconds. Both also have a top speed of 220km/h.

Either model will come in two modes: Parallel Hybrid mode and EV mode. The default Parallel Hybrid mode will use both the petrol engine and the electric motor to power the vehicle. In doing so, the vehicle can optimize usage of both engines, complemented by a smart computer analyzing driving conditions and destinations. Meanwhile, the all-electric EV mode will allow for a quieter, no-emission drive.

Using the default mode, drivers can reach up to a whopping 700 kilometers before needing a recharge or a refuel. On the other hands, the EV mode can reach up to 50 kilometers without the petrol engine.

Both models come with a 13kWh Li-ion battery that charges from empty in just 2 hours and 45 minutes. Both are covered with an eight-year, 160,000-kilometer warranty for when the battery dips below 70 percent health.

If you purchase either model, Land Rover will bundle a free Type 2 7kWh wall charge. However, you’ll still need to pay for installation fees outside of the price tag. The carmaker will evaluate households if their homes are compatible with installation.

The Range Rover PHEV starts at PhP 11,990,000. Meanwhile, the Range Rover Sport PHEV starts at PhP 9,490,000. The price tags already come with a wall charger. A second charger will sell for PhP 105,000, pending installation fees.

SEE ALSO: Jaguar launches the all-electric I-PACE

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Automotive

Jaguar launches the all-electric I-PACE

Two motors to power through the week

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In today’s tough times, an electric vehicle presents one of the most economic decisions when it comes to travelling around the metro. Besides an incredibly quiet drive, powering an electric vehicle is more affordable than chugging through liters of fuel every week. Unfortunately, the problem is still the same: the lack of infrastructure.

Fortunately, electric carmakers are working on building personal infrastructure for its customers. Particularly, Jaguar has launched its globally recognized electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE.

Sporting 400ps of horsepower and 696Nm of torque, the I-PACE can effectively use 97 percent of its electric power, compared to a paltry 70 percent in traditional electric powertrains. Further, Jaguar boasts a 0-100km/h time of just 4.8 seconds, thanks to two motors under the hood. The company will also ship software updates over the air, preventing the need to visit service centers all the time.

With its 90kWh battery, the vehicle can drive up to 470 kilometers, a perfect distance for driving around the city. Charging from empty will take 12 hours and 48 minutes. Of course, since drivers won’t usually drive the maximum range every day, a weekly charging time should be enough.

The I-PACE comes with a future-proof 11kW on-board charger. Further, Jaguar is bundling a Type 2 7kW wall charger for households. However, the price tag doesn’t come with installation costs. The company will assess the homes of those interested in the electric vehicle, especially to accurately price the car. In any case, the battery comes with an eight-year, 160,000-kilometer warranty for when the battery dips below 70 percent health.

The all-electric Jaguar I-PACE will start at PhP 7,590,000, pending installation costs. The first charger will come with the price, but a second one will cost an additional PhP 105,000.

SEE ALSO: Land Rover launches hybrid electric SUVs, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

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Apps

Waze gets a new look!

It was long overdue and it’s finally here

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If you frequently take the roads and use Waze as your driving companion, you may have gotten used to how it look — no matter how dated it seemed. That’s changing now as the app is getting an all new look.

The company says the brand refresh “reinforces inclusivity and connection into every journey on the road.” Whatever that means, the revamped Waze app now follows a more flat design and with more expressive cartoony mood indicators.

The new visual language based on roads and maps which will also be seen in multiple places, including the Waze website, emails, and social channels.

“This brand refresh encapsulates that unique Waze experience visually, with a new grid format based on our map, new Moods to capture the infinite array of emotions we all feel while driving and a lively color palette that celebrates the joy that we always try to bring to the road, and the magic of our community and the way we work together for better,” said Waze Head of Creative Jake Shaw.

What do you think? Do you like this new look or do you prefer the old one?

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