In September 2019, Elon Musk unveiled the Plaid Mode Model S. Tesla’s flagship sedan had received a “revamp,” or even a “rejuvenation” if you will. The Tri-Motor setup with a slightly wider body, front lip spoiler, rear diffuser, spoiler, and large front air intake was poised to become Tesla’s fastest and most aerodynamically superior vehicle to date.
The car hit the track at the Nürburgring in Germany, speeding around the “Green Hell” at speeds that are rumored to be a track record. However, we as Tesla fanatics never got a verified track time, and maybe, in a way, it is better that we didn’t. Elon knows something we don’t, and perhaps that the best is yet to come.
Here we are, around eight months after the Plaid’s initial announcement, and Elon drops another bomb on us: The Plaid Cybertruck. Of course, it is what he’ll drive around in, as he announced to the world on Twitter that the fastest and most polarizing truck will be his daily driver.
But to the average consumer who is looking for speed, efficiency, sustainability, and a unique look, the Plaid Cybertruck could be the perfect option. In my personal opinion, it is the ideal option.
I have several reasons for this: For car enthusiasts who love a good bit of speed, the Plaid Cybertruck will be the solution. It’s already got the Tri-Motor setup with a 0-60 MPH of 2.9 seconds, but the additional aerodynamics package that could come along with extra power from a bigger battery pack will give drivers even more of a punch when the accelerator hits the floorboards. Could the Plaid Cybertruck offer 2.5 seconds, or even less, from 0-60? Could this new truck be faster than some of the quickest performance vehicles in the world? It seems incredibly likely.
Next, the Tri-Motor variant of the Cybertruck already offers 14,000 pounds of towing capacity. Could the Plaid Cybertruck provide more? This would be more incentive for those owners who may be using their Cybertruck for utility, including construction. With a bigger battery pack and more horsepower, it could possibly offer 15,000 or 16,000 pounds of towing capability. While the Cybertruck is considered a large pickup, its Tri-Motor configuration is already capable of 14,000 pounds, 800 pounds more than the 2020 Ford F-150, which offers a class-leading 13,200 pounds of towing capacity.
Finally, the unique aesthetics of the Cybertruck are something that cannot be matched. We use the word polarizing a lot, and for a good reason: there is nothing like the Cybertruck on the market. Not only on the outside but the inside, too. The truck’s recycled dash, expansive and bright dash screen, interior LED bars, all are features no other vehicle can match. It truly is polarizing, unique, and individualized in every sense of the word.
The question is: How will legacy automakers compete with the Plaid Cybertruck?
We see companies everyday adapting Tesla’s minimalistic interior style. Cars that once were equipped with enough bells, whistles, and knobs for everyone in the car to play with have opted for simpler designs because the Tesla look simply makes sense and allows for more effortless operation. With that tidbit of information, we know Tesla has an impact on other automakers.
One thing other manufacturers can’t compete with is the speed and performance of Teslas because their vehicles are not powered by batteries. Most of us know that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) offer instant torque, which is why Teslas are notorious for knocking off some of the fastest cars on a drag strip.
The problem for legacy is some of their customers have left them for Tesla. Why? The design. The speed. The engineering. The innovation.
More people will leave their leases and bought out F-150s and Raptors. GMC Sierras, Toyota Tundras and Tacomas for Cybertrucks. And the reasons are all there.
While legacy automakers are stuck with the same general designs for their vehicles year in and year out, Tesla’s cars and SUVs continuously change. While the design stays the same somewhat, the cars are updated through the internet on what is becoming a weekly basis. The cars continuously improve, and you cannot do that with a legacy vehicle. To have the newest technology, you have to have the latest car, and that is not an affordable strategy for many of us.
There are, of course, going to be a few owners who have driven vehicles built by legacy automakers for their whole lives, and they will not stray away from that. And that is perfectly fine. After all, competition is what drives the economy, right?
However, legacy automakers will be forced to adapt to Tesla’s business model in order to compete with the Elon Musk-led company. Many pickup owners will seek speed, engineering, and towing capacity so they can have the most powerful and fastest truck on the market. The Plaid Cybertruck will offer that, and other trucks will not. Plain and simple.
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