A Tesla Cybertruck prototype was left covered on the side of the road a couple of days ago, and someone stopped and took some pictures of the suspension components, sending them to Electrek.
After the blog published the images, well-known vehicle teardown expert Sandy Munro made a video in which he analyzes the all-electric pickup truck’s suspension setup. Embedded above, the 13-minute-long presentation shows an independent front suspension with aluminum front lower control arms, as well as an air suspension strut.
The reason for using aluminum at the front is that in case of a crash, aluminum cracks, allowing the wheels to detach, while steel bends and keeps the wheel in its place, which can lead to impact forces being translated into the cabin.
An interesting thing is the presence of a carbon fiber shield underneath the front part of the battery pack, supplemented by a steel undercarriage. The two teardown experts speaking in the video theorize that it could be a more cost-effective way to do things, compared to a regular steel or aluminum tray, if the production volume is high enough.
At the back, there’s also an independent suspension setup with air struts, but this time the lower control arms are made out of regular steel. Additionally, there’s a ball joint in the wheel hub area, confirming that the Cybertruck has rear-wheel steering capabilities, as shown in previous leaked videos.
Sandy Munro goes on to say that this particular setup is a perfect application of a steel suspension arm, as it’s relatively lightweight as well as very cheap and easy to manufacture.
Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck
As for the air suspension, the strut has the Tesla logo on it and a metal shield to protect the airbag underneath, but as Munro says, it looks very similar to all the other air struts used in vehicles made by other brands, such as the Rivian R1T.
The two presenters say that this particular vehicle is definitely a prototype, seeing how it has some components that aren’t off-the-shelf parts, like some machined bits in the front suspension that look like they’ve been made using a lathe. Plus, it looks like there’s a bolt missing along the high-voltage cable channel, and the cables themselves aren’t protected with a rugged cover of some sort.
All in all, the two say that everything looks pretty conventional and that there’s nothing groundbreaking in the suspension setup. However, at one point in the video, clues about Tesla’s gigacasting techniques are visible, which is something no other carmaker uses at the moment.
As a reminder, the Austin-based's first-ever pickup is expected to debut sometime in the next quarter, possibly in September, with release-candidate (RC) units already being built at the company's Texas Gigafactory.
As always, we’d like to know what you think about this, so after watching the video, head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.