The Tesla Cybertruck is undergoing some significant updates as it approaches its release.
Even though the Cybertruck has been unchanged since its reveal in 2019, we suspected this was coming. The pattern of Tesla removing Cybertruck pricing and specs from their website back in October, followed by news that Tesla was testing new Cybertruck prototypes just days later, raised a few eyebrows.
Now we know why, and the reason comes in fours.
See also: Tesla Cybertruck: everything we know
Elon Musk confirmed that the most significant change coming would be a quad-motor powertrain, replacing the original tri-motor version.
“Initial production will be a four-motor variant, with independent, ultra-fast response torque control of each wheel.”
The Cybertruck has to compete with similar EV trucks set to hit the market sooner, such as the Rivian R1T and the GMC electric Hummer. Those electric pickup trucks will have quad motor powertrains, and now so does the Cybertruck.
More motors, the merrier?
You may feel having one motor for each is an unnecessary price hike, but it does afford more maneuverability. Musk stated that rear-wheel steering allows the Cybertruck differential steering and crawling sideways.
“It will have both front and rear wheel steer. So not just like a tank – it can drive diagonally like a crab.”
One can’t help but think that we may not have gotten these features if production on the Cybertruck hadn’t been delayed. During that time, GMC announced the development of a similar “crab mode,” and Rivian has been teasing “tank-turning” for even longer.
The EV competition is healthy, and we’re starting to see others influence Tesla.
As for when we can expect the Cybertruck to arrive, that may still be a while. Tesla aims to wrap up production on the Model Y before focusing on its futuristic pickup. As a result, we will likely hear about changes to pricing details closer to that date.