We get our first close look at Tesla Cybertruck’s suspension thanks to a prototype that was left on the side of the road.
Yesterday, we reported on a Tesla Cybertruck found broken down on the side of the road.
The person who found it, Wayne, was smart enough to sneak a camera under the electric pickup truck. He shared the pictures with Electrek – giving us our best look at Cybertruck’s suspension to date.
Here are the pictures of Tesla’s suspension system on the Cybertruck prototype:
I showed the pictures above to my friend Bastien Theron, CEO of Theron, a manufacturer of electric ATVs. Before making electric ATVs, Bastien was a suspension engineer so his insights are more valuable than mine when it comes to this.
He noted that Tesla is using an anti-roll bar, but it isn’t using a hydraulic system like Rivian’s. He said:
“It remains to be seen how they manage the difference in travel.”
The engineer also noted about the Cybertruck’s rear suspension:
“The rear lower A-arm is in 2 pieces of welded steel, different to the casting at the front. However, it might just be a prototype way to test form and function.”
It’s not clear at what stage of prototyping is this specific truck. With the wrap, it looks to be one of the more recent ones, maybe even a release candidate, but it also features parts that are marked for “New Zealand Testing”.
Tesla still has several Cybertruck prototypes in New Zealand for cold weather testing, with some being there for months. It’s not clear if this truck was in New Zealand and came back or it is just using some parts that were meant to be tested in New Zealand.
Bastien added more observations based on the pictures:
There seems to be an actuator to modify the damping dynamically (at least at the rear but should be at the front too), which is perfect for a vehicle that is made to carry loads.
The engineer also noted that it might be difficult to increase the tire size in the front due to a knuckle that embarks over to join the upper arm.
Finally, Bastien concluded based on the images, which admittedly give a limited look at the system:
“Overall, I’m surprised by the simplicity of the system. When there’s simplicity, there’s generally robustness too.”
Tesla didn’t release a lot of the details about the Cybertruck’s suspension, but it said the electric pickup truck will have a strong adaptive air suspension. The automaker wrote on its website:
Raise and lower suspension four inches in either direction for easy access to Cybertruck or the vault, while self-leveling capabilities adapt to any occasion and assist with every job.
Later, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla is updating the air suspension to have even more travel for off-roading.
We’re working on increasing dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading. Needs to kick butt in Baja.
He is referencing the Baja 1000, a Mexican off-road motorsport race held each year on the Baja California Peninsula. It features a bunch of cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and buggies outfitted for off-roading.
If you have any in other insights about the Cybertruck suspension, please feel free to share in the comment section below.