Tesla CEO Elon Musk used his preferred method of communication—Twitter—to reveal a few more details about the upcoming Cybertruck electric pickup truck on Friday.
"Active ride height & active damping are game-changing for a truck or any car with a high max/min weight ratio," Musk tweeted.
Achieving a balance of capability and comfort in pickup trucks can be difficult. A stiff suspension is needed to handle heavy loads, but is also detrimental to ride quality. Tesla plans to address this with an active air suspension system, which can self level to account for a payload.
Active suspension systems aren't unheard of in trucks. The Ram 1500 is already available with air suspension that includes a self-leveling feature, while the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali can adjust damper firmness on the fly depending on road conditions.
Musk also mentioned that the production Cybertruck's dimensions will differ slightly from the version unveiled to the public in November 2019.
The truck seen at the unveiling was about 84 inches wide, but the production version will be closer to 82 inches wide, Musk said.
For context, a base Ford F-150 measures 79.9 inches without mirrors, as per convention—but it's useful to note that bigger mirrors like those offered on the F-150 can add a significant amount of extra width. Musk said the 82-inch specification supersedes that, but the extra two inches likely don't leave room for mirrors.
The concept version of the Cybertruck shown in 2019 did not have mirrors, and Tesla likely wants to keep it that way to reduce aerodynamic drag.
But the alternative—using cameras instead of mirrors—isn't currently legal in the United States. That's why the Audi E-Tron gets cameras in other markets, but conventional mirrors here.
Musk has said the Cybertruck will achieve a drag coefficient of 0.30, a significant improvement on the Ram 1500, which currently leads the pickup pack with a 0.35 Cd.
In his series of tweets, Musk also said the Cybertruck will come standard with "upper laser blade lights." Again, it's unclear if this technology will pass muster with U.S. regulators. German luxury automakers have had difficulty getting their most sophisticated laser-light systems approved for sale in the U.S.
Tesla has already released some impressive specifications for the Cybertruck. The top Tri Motor AWD model will do 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds, and achieve 500 miles of range, the automaker has claimed. The Cybertruck will also have a maximum payload rating of 3,500 pounds, and be able to tow up to 14,000 pounds, according to Tesla.
But other automakers are planning their own electric pickup trucks. Startup Rivian is working off a clean-sheet design, while Ford is planning an electric version of its bestselling F-150. GMC will revive the Hummer name for an electric truck with a claimed 1,000 horsepower.