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The First Tesla Cybertruck Will Have a Quad-Motor Powertrain, Elon Musk Says

The range-topping version of the battery-powered pickup will also be able to drive diagonally.

The Tesla Cybertruck Tesla

We still don’t know when the Tesla Cybertruck will get here, but when it does, it could be even more powerful than expected.

Late last week, Tesla CEO and hypeman Elon Musk revealed out of nowhere that the top-of-the-line variant of the company’s eagerly anticipated electric truck will now feature four motors instead of three. He also teased a teased a couple of other new features, including the ability to drive diagonally.

The announcement was made was made on Twitter, as is so often the case with Musk (Tesla disbanded its press department last year). In response to a tweet suggesting the EV giant had disabled its Cybertruck configurator because it had pulled the plug on the entry-level, single-motor model, Musk tweeted: “Initial production will be 4 motor variant, with independent, ultra fast [sic] response torque control of each wheel.”

The tweet represents the first official mention of a quad-motor Cybertruck. Since the EV was unveiled in the fall of 2019, Musk and Tesla have said the tri-motor variant would be the most powerful variant. Although no horsepower or torque figures have ever been revealed, the automaker has promised its top-tier pickup would be able to zoom from zero to 60 in less than three seconds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and travel 500 miles on a single charge. One can only assume that a Cybertruck with an extra motor would be faster and more powerful, though its range might take a hit.

We know that the four-motor variant will arrive first and sit atop the Cybertruck lineup, but we don’t know if it will replace one of the previously announced models. It’s possible that the newly announced version could take the place of either the single- or tri-motor model.

We do know that having a motor situated on each wheel will give the EV at least two new features. In a follow-up tweet, Musk wrote that the quad-motor pickup will also have front and rear wheel steering, which would likely allow it to perform tank turns. It will also be able to drive diagonally “like a crab,” according to Musk. Notably, the GMC Hummer EV, a direct competitor to the Cybertruck, also has a driving mode called “Crab Walk.”

One glaring question Musk didn’t address in his tweets: When can we expect to finally see the Cybertruck? Originally, the pickup was supposed to go into production late 2021, but this summer the company pushed that date back until at least the end of next year. A quad-motor Cybertruck is definitely intriguing, but let’s hope it doesn’t delay the EV’s arrival even further.

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