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Elon Musk reveals new feature coming to the Cybertruck

As Tesla Cybertruck customers wait to hear if they’ll be receiving their pickup before the end of the year, CEO Elon Musk recently announced a new feature for the vehicle.

Tweeting in response to an inquiry about the Cybertruck, Musk said that while the futuristic, all-electric pickup will launch “almost exactly as shown” at the original unveiling event in November 2019, the design team is also adding rear-wheel steering for improved maneuverability.

Musk didn’t go into detail about the Cybertruck’s rear-wheel steering, so we’ll have to wait and see whether it mirrors the yet-to-launch GMC Hummer EV‘s “CrabWalk” mode that pivots the front and rear wheels in the same direction for diagonal movement.

Friday afternoons are usually Tesla design studio time. Cybertruck will be almost exactly what was shown. We’re adding rear wheel steering, so it can do tight turns & maneuver with high agility.

Lot of other great things coming.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2021

Alternatively, the Cybertruck’s incoming steering feature could see the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels, enabling a tighter turning circle.

Bringing the feature to the sizable Cybertruck certainly makes sense, and some will be wondering why Tesla didn’t announce it at the start. Without the feature, Cybertruck drivers would end up grabbing attention not only for the vehicle’s extraordinary look, but also for the 9-point turn they have to execute every time they try to get into a narrow parking space.

Depending on how Tesla designs it, the rear-wheel steering feature could also subtly deploy at faster speeds, whereby the rear wheels move in the same direction as the front wheels for smoother lane transfer.

In his tweet, Musk also promised a “lot of other great things coming” to the Cybertruck, though he declined to go into details.

Tesla will build the Cybertruck at a plant that’s currently under construction in Austin, Texas, with the electric car company aiming to bring the vehicle to market by the end of this year.

According to the company, more than half a million people have pre-ordered the pickup, which currently requires only a $100 deposit rather than any substantial payment.

Coming in three versions, the $39,900 version features a single electric motor, a 250-mile range, and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

The $49,900 dual-motor type offers a 300-mile range and a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds, and according to Tesla has proved to be the most popular among those placing orders.

The priciest Cybertruck costs $69,900. This one is a tri-motor model with a 500-mile range and a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds.

The strikingly designed vehicle got off to a disastrous start when a stunt at its unveil that was supposed to highlight the strength of its windows went horribly wrong.

But that certainly wasn’t the first mishap to hit tech firms during onstage events. Check out this collection of cringeworthy calamities featuring everyone from Apple’s Steve Jobs to Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

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Trevor Mogg
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