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Tesla unveils eye-catching electric Cybertruck pickup

What started off as a casual comment by Elon Musk in 2012 about wanting to build a truck has evolved into Tesla's first production pickup truck. Called the Cybertruck, it's built to fulfill a lot of familiar tasks but, beyond that, is anything but familiar.

The Cybertruck is 231.7 inches long, 79.8 inches wide and 75.0 inches tall, with seating for six. For comparison, the Ford F-150, measures between 209 and 250 inches long, 80 and 86 inches wide and between 75 and 78.5 inches tall.

Musk claimed the Cybertruck will reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds before continuing through the quarter-mile marker in under 11 seconds. Three ranges will be on offer, with "250+" miles at the low end and an astounding "500+" miles at the top.

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Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk speaks in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck with shattered windows, after a failed resistance test, at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California, on November 21, 2019. Getty

The Tesla CEO also claimed the stainless steel alloy on the Cybertruck's body is strong enough to withstand certain types of small arms fire. During its unveiling, he and his team hit the body with a sledgehammer to no effect. The Cybertruck's windows weren't as mighty, failing to withstand a stress test after a solid metal ball was thrown at the driver's side and rear passenger window.

On the towing front, Musk estimated the truck will be capable of towing 14,000 pounds. According to a video played at the debut, the Cybertruck out-pulled the F-150 in a tug of war.

The Cybertruck isn't the only electric pick-up coming to market: Rivian made waves with its R1T, promising more than 400 miles of range and 700 horsepower, with a 0-to-60 time of 3.2 seconds, 11,000 lbs of towing and 1,764 lbs of cargo. The starting price is $69,000.

Given its relative performance and price, the Cybertruck could be a massive success for Tesla as it enters into the largest segment in the U.S. market. Almost three million pickups were sold to consumers in 2018. If Tesla can carve off a tiny sliver of that, it'll go a long way toward taking Tesla's annual sales to the next level.

This story first appeared in CNET as "Tesla Cybertruck electrifies the truck segment"

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