Only Tesla will be able to tell us what it will be.
Tesla may have revealed the Cybertruck, but it is still surrounded by a lot of mystery. How powerful will it be? How many will the Fremont plant deliver? When? Will it look like that in its production guise? There are many unsolved questions, but one is bugging engineers: how aerodynamically efficient will it be? While many studies point to numbers above 0.4, Elon Musk tweets this:
It was already an answer to an Interesting Engineering article precisely on how aerodynamically efficient the Cybertruck could be. We have also covered that study and another one, comparing the Cybertruck to the RAM and the Ford Raptor, but they keep showing up.
Take this video above, for example. It was published at Engineering-Log.com along with an extensive study on the electric pickup truck aerodynamics. According to it, the Cybertruck would have around 0.427 of drag coefficient (cx). With rotating wheels, that number would fall to 0.387. It is definitely worth the read.
Gallery: While Studies Point To A Above 0.40 Drag Coefficient, Musk Believes In 0.30 For the Tesla Cybertruck
Another study appeared at Reddit. Unfortunately, we do not have the name of the author – just his Reddit profile (WeegeeNumbuh1) – but this one pointed to a much higher cx: 0.47. That is above the 0.40 of the Ford F-150 and the class-leading 0.36 of the 2018 RAM 1500.
We seriously doubt Tesla would make an electric pickup truck that would do worse than the RAM. It probably already is better than that. At least this is what Musk allows us to infer from this other tweet:
There is no sense in having a truck bed that can be covered if it is not an air-resistance advantage. Nor is having such an unusual shape if it could do better following what every other carmaker is currently doing.
That said, how much better will the Cybertruck be? If Tesla’s efforts are rewarded, it will beat the RAM by a wide margin. And its range will genuinely benefit from that aerodynamic efficiency. But the truth is we will not get to know that at this point.
For as much competent as these airflow studies are, they lack the required info for precise measurement. The best ones will simply get close to the real number. And the best one will still be a guess, even if a very well-grounded one.