The evolution of the Tesla Cybertruck: from concept, to prototype, to production

The EV pickup, four years in the making, is just as polarizing as ever.
  • After a four-year wait, deliveries of the Tesla Cybertruck are well underway
  • The unique pickup is like nothing we’ve seen before – including the original Cybertruck concept and prototype
  • We trace back the Tesla Cybertruck all the way to see how it’s taken shape

Published on Feb 5, 2024 at 9:17PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 7, 2024 at 1:30PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

With the launch of the Tesla Cybertruck back at the beginning of December 2023, we’re getting to know more about its specs, idiosyncrasies and pitfalls.

But many claim that the model being rolled out and delivered today is different to the Cybertruck revealed in November 2019.

From the size of the vehicle to the truck bed and the interior layout, the Cybertruck concept and production version are almost like two different vehicles altogether.

READ MORE! Elon Musk confirms low-cost Tesla coming with target date set

We take a walk down memory lane: from the initial concept of the Cybertruck, to prototype, all the way up to production and present day celebrity sightings.

Tesla Cybertruck – range

According to the initial specifications, the Cybertruck should’ve offered 402 kilometers (250 miles) of range for the real-wheel drive (RWD) variant.

The all-wheel drive (AWD) version offered 482 kilometers (300 miles).

Meanwhile, the tri-motor setup offered 804 kilometers (500 miles).

However, the dual-motor Cybertruck ended up offering 547 kilometers (340 miles) of range.

The RWD variant is likely to do better than the 402 kilometers promised in 2019, too.

As for the Cyberbeast – well, that’s a different story.

It transpires the tri-motor version can only go 515 kilometers (320 miles) on a charge.

The original plan was for the top-of-the-line Cybertruck to have a bigger battery enabling more range.

However, the Cyberbeast shares the same 123-kWh pack with the dual-motor Cybertruck, and the additional motor can only lower that range estimate.

One thing’s for certain: cold weather significantly reduces its range, and this experiment was conducted during relatively chilly conditions of 45°F (7°C).

Tesla Cybertruck – seat configuration

The first renderings of the Cybertruck showed a six-seat cabin with the front row having three seats.

The front center seat was supposed to fold, turning into a table or a desk, making the cabin more functional.

In the end, though, Tesla chose to simplify things and opted for a center console instead, which features storage space and is even big enough to support a laptop or food tray.


As the Cybertruck inched closer to production last summer, a picture surfaced online showing how much the space-age truck had evolved since it was first unveiled.

Posted to Twitter by Greggertuck, the split image showed the Tesla Cybertruck in 2019 at the unveiling and nearer the time at the Petersen Museum Exhibition.

The differences between the prototype models were almost impossible to miss.

For starters, the second prototype was noticeably more squat and lower to the ground, which suggests adjustments have been made to the suspension.

The front end appeared to have been tweaked since the first unveiling, too.

Where the 2019 Tesla Cybertruck prototype had a longer, more angular front end, by 2023 it had a stubby nose.

There’s little to no overhang at the front of the Tesla Cybertruck now, with the front fender and headlights appearing to have made way.

Another noticeable difference is the set of wing mirrors – noticeably missing on the first prototype.

What’s more, theres an extra fold in the bottom of the door now.

Sitting beneath the doors are black rocker panels, which look like they’ve been made smaller, too.

Integrated tailgate ramp

Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the Cybertruck was the integrated tailgate ramp.

The telescopic ramp, which consisted of two segments extending from the tailgate, would deploy to allow the Cyberquad to board and unload.

It must’ve proved too challenging for Tesla, though, as the production Cybertruck doesn’t have the ramp.

Instead, it’s got a rather basic tailgate, at least compared to the industry’s other smart tailgates.

That being said, Tesla is offering a $400 tailgate ramp as an accessory for the Cybertruck, although it looks more like a tri-fold ladder than a ramp.

Integrated air compressor

Having an integrated air compressor in the Cybertruck would’ve be a godsend for adventure lovers.

Even if you don’t need to inflate the tires very often, having an air compressor available to inflate sports and camping equipment would’ve been a massive bonus.

Despite the Tesla pickup having adaptive suspension that pumps air into the suspension chambers to adjust ride height and road handling, the pickup keeps its air to itself, with no air outlet offered for external equipment.

Floating on water

Back in 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the Cybertruck would be “waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat.”

Someone took him literally, and drove a Cybertruck into the ocean.

However, on the day of the Cybertruck Delivery Event, there was no word about the pickup’s ability to float.

Even if it doesn’t float, it should be more than capable of fording a river, provided the water’s not too deep.

That’s largely in part due to its impressive ground clearance of 17.4 inches (440 mm).

What’s more, the Tesla Cybertruck also comes with a ‘Wade Mode’, which apparently raises the ride height and pressurizes the battery pack when driving through water.

While the Cybertruck didn’t manage it, this Chinese EV can go swimming and almost fully submerge in water up to 1400mm in depth in an emergency.

Some of the images used in this article are created using AI.

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