TESLA's Cybertruck

"Behind the Bold Design"

Suraj Thokal

2/19/20243 min read

                                                             Referance 2                                                                                                     Reference 1

As a designer and part of the Mechanical Engineering community, many of us were initially surprised by the distinctive design of Tesla's Cybertruck. Its angular, sharp-edged appearance seems unconventional and untraditional for a vehicle, which prompted me to dive deeper into the reasons behind its unique design. Here's what I discovered based on available information:

What could be the reason behind the Cybertruck's angular and edgy design?
  • Material- The Cybertruck's body is constructed from ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel, known for its exceptional toughness. This material's stiffness makes it challenging to achieve curves/bends and complex features.

  • Durability- The stainless-steel exoskeleton provides exceptional durability and protection, making it resistant to dents, scratches, and even small-Caliber bullets. The flat surfaces and sharp angles contribute to the vehicle's structural integrity and provide a robust platform for off-road adventures and utility use cases.

  • Distinctive Design- Tesla aims to differentiate its vehicles from traditional automotive designs with the Cybertruck's futuristic and unconventional appearance. The sharp angles and geometric lines align with Tesla's design philosophy of pushing boundaries and creating vehicles that stand out from the crowd.

  • Market Differentiation- By introducing a radically different design with the Cybertruck, Tesla seeks to attract a segment of the market that values innovation, technology, and boldness. The vehicle's unconventional appearance sets it apart from traditional trucks and SUVs, appealing to customers looking for something unique and forward-thinking.

That shape question’s aerodynamic ability of the cybertruck?

Despite its seemingly unorthodox shape, Tesla claims that the Cybertruck's design has been optimized for aerodynamic efficiency. However, this remains a subject of debate among automotive enthusiasts and experts. The coefficient of drag (Cd) is a measure of how aerodynamic an object is. It quantifies the resistance an object experiences as it moves through a fluid, such as air. In the context of vehicle aerodynamics, a lower Cd indicates that the vehicle has a smoother and more streamlined design, which results in reduced drag force and improved aerodynamic performance.

Tesla recently released the Cybertruck's coefficient of drag (Cd), which is 0.335. Comparatively, other Tesla models like the Model S (0.24), Model 3 (0.24), Model X (0.25), and Model Y (0.24) have lower drag coefficients. Some of the Cybertruck’s competitors have higher drag coefficients, such as the Ford F-150 (0.34-0.40) and the GMC Hummer EV (0.41).

How does Coefficient of Drag affects Range and subsequently efficiency of the vehicle?

The range of an electric vehicle depends on its efficiency, which is influenced by factors such as aerodynamics, rolling resistance, vehicle weight, battery capacity, and driving conditions.

Range of vehicle = Battery Capacity / (Drag force= 0.5 Cd A ρ v^2), Where Cd is the drag coefficient, A is the frontal area of the vehicle, ρ (rho) is the air density, v is the velocity of the vehicle. With other parameters held constant, a vehicle's range is inversely proportional to Cd. that lowers Cd helps to increased vehicle range.

After watching and analyzing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses of the Cybertruck's design, there appear to be opportunities for potentially minimizing the coefficient of drag in its current design.

  • Streamlined Shape- Optimizing the vehicle's shape for smoother airflow and reduced turbulence can lower pressure drag and overall Cd.

  • Reduced Surface Roughness- Smoothing out surface imperfections can minimize skin friction drag, further decreasing Cd.

  • Contour Optimization- Fine-tuning vehicle contours to maintain laminar airflow can minimize turbulent regions and pressure drag.

  • Boundary Layer Control- Improving control of the boundary layer reduces flow separation and enhances Cd.

  • Wake Reduction- Minimizing the wake region behind the vehicle by reducing turbulence can lower drag and improve aerodynamic performance.

  • Optimized Frontal Area- Minimizing the frontal area exposed to oncoming airflow reduces pressure drag and improves overall aerodynamics.

By addressing these aspects, Tesla could potentially enhance the Cybertruck's aerodynamic performance and efficiency.


  1. https://youtu.be/gf4eXXcbcB8?si=BiggWiJKnlcpQ5xR

  2. https://www.tesla.com/en_ca/cybertruck

  3. https://teslamag.de/news/aerodynamik-studie-tesla-cybertruck-690-km-batterie-180-kwh-62699

  4. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/aleix-lazaro-prat_pacefish-numericsystems-lbm-activity-6953662440844759040-EMoV?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

  5. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/eugen-riegel-7b138573_tesla-cybertruck-pacefish-ugcPost-7134839637218312192-28wt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

  6. https://www.hotcars.com/tesla-cybertruck-unique-design-philosophy-explained/

  7. https://carbuzz.com/news/tesla-will-change-cybertrucks-design-after-all