Tesla originally envisioned the Cybertruck as a super utilitarian bare-bones vehicle that doesn’t even have paint. Although this was the original intent for the vehicle, it appears that throughout the Cybertruck’s lengthy 4 years development process, the vehicle has slowly morphed into becoming the one Tesla vehicle with the most bells and whistles.
Given some of the new details coming out about the Cybertruck, the above statement holds true even when compared to the high-end Tesla Model S and Model X.
First 8K Walk Around Video of a White Interior @Tesla Cybertruck Showcases Sub-10-Micron Level Impeccable Build Quality. @elonmusk#teslahttps://t.co/YxjfxT9Okx
— Torque News (@torquenewsauto) November 11, 2023
Tesla has already confirmed that the Cybertruck will be the first Tesla vehicle to feature rear-wheel steering, 48-volt low-voltage architecture, and 800-volt high-voltage architecture. The Cybertruck is also the first Tesla designed from the ground up with the company’s highest energy 4680 cells and structural pack in mind.
In the bells and whistles front, Tesla has also confirmed that the Cybertruck will feature a super advanced air suspension with an industry-leading 14 inches of travel.
The Cybertruck will also launch with Tesla’s next-generation interior design with ambient lighting and a secondary 8-inch screen for the rear passengers.
Add to this the fact that the Cybertruck will also feature Tesla’s next-generation HW4 autopilot computer and will come with more than the standard 8 Autopilot cameras, then the truck is shaping up to be an all-around luxury vehicle.
If all this wasn’t enough, the Cybertruck will also have a performance variant with a “Beast Mode” that can go 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds. A spy shot of a new promotional video Tesla is shooting at Giga Texas suggests that the Cybertruck will be able to outperform a Porsche 911 in a drag race.
Given all these features, it’s hard to imagine Tesla will be able to sell what the Cybertruck has evolved to become at the original $40,000 starting price.
This might be disappointing for some people who were hoping for a cheap electric truck from Tesla. However, for better or worse, we have a confirmation of yet another luxury car feature on the Cybertruck.
A video posted by Nic Cruz Patane on X shows the Cybertruck will have a steer-by-wire system that allows the vehicle to have a dynamic variable steering ratio.
Tesla Cybertruck Filmed Utilizing 4-wheel Steering to do a Standing 180-degree Turn, Drift in Reverse, & perform other Cool Tricks. @Tesla @elonmusk#Tesla
— Torque News (@torquenewsauto) November 11, 2023
If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest on vehicle steering system advancements, what does this really mean?
Almost all vehicles currently being sold on the market, with a few exceptional luxury vehicles, all feature a mechanical link between the steering wheel and the tires. This means although amplified by power steering the force the driver applies on the steering wheel is what turns the tires.
So what is steer-by-wire? A steer-by-wire is a system that completely decouples the steering wheel from the tires, so rather than the force applied on the steering wheel being transmitted onto the wheels, a computer registers a driver’s steering wheel input and then passes that data to an independent electric motor that controls the movement of the tires.
What is the advantage of having a steer-by-wire system to a regular mechanical link? When you have a mechanical link, the car manufacturer has to settle on a single steering ratio. What this means is when I move the steering wheel the tires turn a corresponding “X” degrees.
When a vehicle is moving slowly for example doing a 5-point turn, you want to be able to quickly turn the tires while putting minimal steering input. However, when a vehicle is traveling super fast, perhaps going 80mph down the highway, then you do not want a small steering input to cause an exaggerated response and lead to an accident.
This forces automakers to settle on a steering ratio that can work all the way from standing still up to more than 100mph. By definition, whatever steering ratio a vehicle has, it will not be perfect for both high-speed and low-speed driving.
However, in the case of a steer-by-wire system, since there is no mechanical linkage between the tires and the steering wheel, it’s possible to program the motors in charge of turning the tires to act differently taking into account whether the vehicle is traveling at high speeds or low speeds.
Although not *confirmed* Dynamic Variable Steering Ratio on Cybertruck all evidence is pointing to that direction.
** Dynamic Steer-by-wire enables the vehicle to automatically adjust (via the computer) how much a driver has to turn their steering wheel to maneuver the vehicle… pic.twitter.com/4BcM42H3k7
— Nic Cruz Patane (@niccruzpatane) November 1, 2023
So going back to the Cybertruck steer-by-wire dynamic variable steering ratio system, as you can see in the video above, a Tesla engineer is seen turning the vehicle’s wheels all the way from one end to the opposite however, when you see the driver's steering wheel input on the side view mirror, it appears that he barely turned the steering wheel 180 degrees.
In comparison, as you can see from the second video, in a refreshed Model S in order to complete a full rotation of the wheels a driver has to turn the steering wheel more than 720 degrees or in other words more than two full rotations of the steering wheel.
This is particularly annoying with a yoke steering wheel as the full rotation of the steering wheel is a bit awkward to maneuver due to the lack of the top half of the steering wheel.
The lack of a steer-by-wire system is one of the biggest complaints about the yoke steering wheel in the refreshed Model S & X which are otherwise almost perfect vehicles.
Even after several price cuts, the Model S and X start for around $80,000, however, even at this high starting price, the 2 vehicles lack some of the bells and whistles of the Cybertruck.
Tesla has not yet confirmed how much the Cybertruck will cost however, all these added features are giving credence to earlier leaks that suggested that the the Cybertruck Performance will have a starting price of $98,900.
It’s nice to see the Cybertruck featuring a steer-by-wire dynamic variable steering ratio steering system and coupled with 4-wheel steering, it should make the vehicle a breeze to maneuver. This is exciting, however, this is all the information we’ve regarding the Cybertruck. We’ll be sure to keep you posted if we learn more about Tesla’s plans.
Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Are you happy to see the Tesla Cybertruck will feature a next-generation steer-by-wire system? What do you think this means for the vehicle’s starting price? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Squawk Box on X
For more information check out: A Small Army of Tesla Cybertrucks Spotted Parked Outside In-N-Out, Here’s a Glimpse of How the Future Will Look Like
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.