One of the Tesla Cybertruck’s most striking features is its stainless steel body. The exterior does more than crib the DeLorean DMC-12, too. It provides real durability that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was willing to demonstrate during the truck’s debut last night. A sledgehammer hit to the 3-millimeter-thick stainless-steel door left no dent. But don’t ask about the side windows, though. Motor Trend reports that the Cybertruck will use the same 301 stainless steel Tesla’s sister-company SpaceX will use for its Starship spacecraft.
Musk claimed the body is bulletproof, capable of withstanding a 9mm round. That’s a bold claim for any company to make, but one not yet supported with proper ballistics certification, as the Motor Trend story notes. Proper certification requires passing a rigorous set of tests designed to mimic real-world firearm situations.
According to publication, Tesla considered increasing the thickness to 4 millimeters but decided against it. The 3-mm-thick door panels already weigh 60 pounds each. Adding one millimeter of thickness would add 20 pounds of weight per door, though it would have increased the truck’s ballistics protection.
Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Truck Debut
The Cybertruck’s wild exterior styling and material are just one of the more jaw-dropping aspects of Tesla’s latest model. Performance is equally impressive with 250 miles of range and a 6.5-second 0-60 time in the entry-level, $39,900 model. Those looking for serious performance will upgrade to the top-tier model for $69,900 receive a 14,000-pound tow rating, 500 miles of range, and a 2.9-second sprint to 60.
Tesla always makes headlines when it debuts a new model. The company is designing and producing products traditional automakers are just now pursuing. The company has a history of whiffing on a lot of its big promises. The Cybertruck could go either way, but it’s certainly eye-catching.