Tesla suspends overseas Cybertruck reservations, Android Auto gets a massive update, Toyota blacks out a bunch of cars and trucks, Ken Block’s new Pikes Peak car goes pretty hard. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Tesla Suspends Cybertruck Reservations Outside Of North America
More than two years after Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck concept, the pre-launch saga of Silicon Valley’s big shiny object continues. According to Reuters, Tesla has stopped taking non-North American reservations for the Cybertruck. The option to plunk down some cash on the steel doorstop recently disappeared for international customers, with Tesla taking its typical approach of not commenting at all on the matter.
Honestly, I can think of a few possible hang-ups for overseas sales. If the Cybertruck happens to weigh more than 7,700 pounds (3,500 kg), Europeans won’t be able to drive it on a standard Class B license. There’s also the matter of pedestrian safety which doesn’t look so good on the Cybertruck with its sharp corners and tall steel front end. Speaking with News Australia, former CEO of Australian vehicle safety body ANCAP (you couldn’t think of a better acronym?) voiced further concerns about the Cybertruck’s exoskeleton structure, saying “We would expect that a vehicle should be able to absorb some (crash) energy because if it doesn’t absorb some energy…it will be the people inside who bear the brunt.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound so great, I’d rather my spleen not be considered a crumple zone. Regardless, residents of Canada, the United States, and Mexico can still pre-order Tesla’s Cybertruck in the hopes that delivery will happen eventually. Elon Musk claimed in April that the Cybertruck would go on sale next year, but who’s to say for sure?
Cadillac Hikes The 2023 Lyriq’s Price, Then Gives Some Back
I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t Cadillac already release pricing for the Lyriq? Well, yes and no. The limited-run Debut Edition may have stickered for $59,995, but the standard version of Cadillac’s electric crossover ratchets things up to $62,990 plus tax, title, dealer fees, markup, the blood of a firstborn and a crisp handshake. While a $2,995 price hike without any added features seems a bit steep, Cadillac’s making up for some of that price jump with a choice of benefits.
According to a Cadillac press release, Lyriq buyers can choose between two years of unlimited free charging at EVGo stations or $1,500 towards a home installation of a Level 2 240-volt charger. Honestly, the home charger installation is the smart move if you’re not racking up a ton of miles on road trips. Orders for the standard series Cadillac Lyriq open up on May 19. Deliveries of rear-wheel-drive models are expected to start this fall, with the AWD model coming in early 2023 for $64,990.
Android Auto Gets A Massive Update
Not content to let Apple CarPlay hog the spotlight, Android’s rolled out a massive update to Android Auto that allows for split-screen scaling to any screen size and aspect ratio. Yeah, this is pretty huge. Previously, Android Auto came locked to certain aspect ratios, not great if your car has a massive portrait screen or a super widescreen display. In addition, most cars only supported an icon-based single-screen interface, which was fairly limiting as you’d have to choose between displaying your preferred mapping app or your preferred music app.
With the next update, not only are all cars getting split-screen Android Auto functionality, it actually seems like a well-designed split-screen interface. Navigation is big and bold, with smaller music and communication tiles either off to the side or underneath depending on your infotainment system’s aspect ratio. It’s a bit like what Apple’s been doing with CarPlay, except a communication tile is far more useful than a calendar tile. Another neat perk of the new Android Auto update is better integration of Google Assistant. According to a press release, Google Assistant will be able to send suggested replies to text messages, share a user’s location with a friend, and recommend music. Honestly, these sound more creepy than useful, but that’s just me. Expect this big update to Android Auto to roll out over the next few months. Your move, Apple.
Ken Block Is Bringing A Wild 911 To Pikes Peak
It’s the 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Ken Block is planning on winning the whole thing. An impressive goal, but one that would require incredible skill and a highly-advanced car, preferably with a silly name. Well, we know what makes up the second half of that equation. Say hello to Hoonipigasus.
The builders of this pink beast, famed BBi Autosport, call it a Porsche SVRSR. This 911 has been hacked, slashed and bewinged to become the hill climb special we see today. As altitude sucks power, this thing comes with a lot of ponies, 1,400 of them to be precise. Methanol fuel and boost combine to send the force of explosions to all four center-lock wheels. Total weight? A fleet 1,000 kg, or around 2,205 pounds. As for the visual package, well it’s simply killer. I mean come on, this is everything I loved in middle school mashed together. Race cars, old Porsches, vintage liveries, skate-inspired all-over print designs, it all floats my boat. The livery itself is a tribute to the 1971 917/20 Pink Pig race car, except with a street art twist courtesy of Trouble Andrew, a.k.a GucciGhost. With major sponsor Mobil adding their iconic Pegasus logo, Hoonipigasus is certainly one eye-catching special. As for Block’s Pikes Peak ambitions? I guess we’ll find out on June 26 when competitors take on the mountain.
Toyota Gets Wild With Blacked-Out Trim
Not content to be out-stealthed by a goddamn Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Toyota has dropped three special appearance packages that swap chrome for more subtle stuff. Say hello to the 2023 Tundra SX, 2023 Tacoma SX and updated 2023 Camry Nightshade. I won’t lie, SX feels like an underrated trim level designation. S is a good letter, X is a cool letter, put them together and you get vehicles like the AMC Eagle SX/4 and Suzuki SX4, nifty little all-wheel-drive passenger cars. So what does SX gets you on this pair of Toyota pickup trucks? Let’s start with the big one, the all-new Tundra.
Building upon the one-step-up-from-base Tundra SR5, the SX adds dark gray wheels, body-color exterior trim, and a black 4×4 emblem on 4×4 models. The SX also deletes the door emblems for a cleaner look and swap silver interior trim for satin black. Honestly, I’m shocked. A black trim appearance package that doesn’t go overboard and is based on a lower trim level? Toyota’s been quite tasteful here. Of course, there is one caveat. The Tundra SX is only available in two body styles and four grayscale colors. Hey, the crew cab with the 5.5-foot bed and the double cab with the 6.5-foot bed are volume models and grayscale colors are what sell right now.
Moving on to the 2023 Tacoma SX, it too is based on the SR5 trim. The Tacoma gets a lot more black, from black wheels with black lug nuts to black trim, black mirrors, and black badges. The cherry on top is a set of bedside SX graphics that look straight out of MX vs ATV Unleashed for the Playstation 2. Honestly, the Tacoma SX is probably worth it for those bedside graphics alone, the font is wonderfully nostalgic.
Despite the Tacoma SX’s wonderful bedside graphics, it’s the 2023 Camry Nightshade that’s likely the most interesting of the bunch. Available with four-cylinder front-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, or hybrid powertrains, it actually dials things back from last year’s model to become a very good spec indeed. Building on the mid-range SE model, the Camry Nightshade will be most easily distinguishable by its lovely set of bronze alloy wheels. You really don’t see a ton of manufacturers offering bronze wheels, so it’s dope as hell that Toyota’s hopped on the good taste bandwagon and ditched the black holes of black wheels. Also new are black-trimmed lighting assemblies, a subtle yet wonderful touch. Other trim bits include black mirror caps, the black mesh grille from the TRD Camry, a black rear spoiler and black badging.
You can get the updated Camry Nightshade in black or white, but the new Reservoir Blue is the color to go for. Honestly, an all-wheel-drive Camry Nightshade sounds like a pretty solid, attractive all-weather family car. The available all-wheel-drive system is actually quite deft and proactive, shuffling torque rearward when starting from a stop and under hard on-throttle cornering. Slap on a set of sticky summer tires and you’d have a really surefooted, handsome daily driver. Good stuff.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on this edition of The Morning Dump. With almost every car in the past five years offering Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto in some capacity, I have a question for you. If you own a car with phone mirroring, how often do you actually use your native infotainment system? I’ll admit, whenever I’m in a press car I like to poke around in the menus to discover cool features and Easter eggs, but I almost exclusively use CarPlay when on the move. It’s intuitive, it integrates beautifully with Waze and it just works. Then again, maybe you like to have your Hyundai N performance page open or navigate to charging stations to precondition the battery on your EV. That’s totally cool too.
Lead photo credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
I wonder how much of the disuse of SX as a trim level had to do with old nerds remembering SX as the cheap trim on Intel processors?
I think a CyberTruck would be fine in the UK. As an agricultural vehicle. So, no more than 25mph on the road and a maximum of 9.5 kilometers a week on said road.With a big orange flashing light on the top.
You do get tax free diesel though. Oh, hang on, erm, never mind.
Quit mixing miles and kilometers, the Americans’ heads will explode.
9.5km per week? How do you actually operate a farm with restrictions like that?
“Are we going to harvest the next field?”
“Yes, but we can only drive halfway there, then we have to park until Sunday.”
It’s the UK. There are rules about being over productive.
I very much like the camry blue but have reservations about the wheels.Didnt that style go out a decade ago?
Good point about the Wedge -E’s crumple zones and pedestrian safety
“If You Live Outside Of North America, Good Luck Getting A Tesla Cybertruck”
Good Luck Getting A Tesla Cybertruck
There, fixed. (Some strikethrough would be nice)
I came to post that as well. I think there is about a 5% chance it actually reaches production.
I came to say the same thing.
Does anyone get major Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet vibes from the Cybertruck?
Specifically the vibe of The Entire Engineering and Manufacturing Divisions of This Company Were Forced to Realize the Utterly Nonsensical Vision of a Megalomaniacal Top Executive and This Is the Result and We’re Sorry.
I’m glad some folks are talking seriously about the general unsafe nature of having the body be rigid steel. Has Musk not seen the videos of cars crashing that don’t have crumple zones?
Another way he wants the public to test his products.
The crash structure is irrelevant. Everybody knows Tesla’s don’t crash.
I dunno about that evaluation. Given how much SpaceX has been monkeying around with the stainless steel alloys Tesla has been looking at AND the insane crash safety of the existing Tesla models, I’m betting there’s something we’re missing. Given their knowledge base, I wouldn’t bet against them.
The “insane” crash safety of the existing Tesla models was considered by some to be a fluke that was very quickly capitalized on. In 2013 the IIHS tested the car and found that the lack of an engine up front means the entire front section of the vehicles is a crumple zone which slows the impact enough that the rigidity necessary for protection of the battery can act upon the rest of the impact. The battery protection effectively turned the body into a massive bumper car. Rollover risk is likewise extremely low due to the massive battery pack and the weight of the thing down low.
Some feel that this was unintended, I wasn’t in the design meetings so I don’t have an opinion. I can point out that in 2014 Toyota dissolved their partnership with Tesla specifically because they felt the armoring underneath the vehicle was insufficient to prevent punctures that could create fires. Skimping on that is a decent indicator to me.
Additionally, when compared to its crash test ratings, Tesla traditionally gets pretty poor ratings for protecting vulnerable road users (meaning pedestrians, cyclists, children, etc)
The absolute lack of a crumple zone on the Vaporware truck negates the first advantage, the bumper car effect will still be there to an extent, but that’s not going to make the people inside the vehicle any safer it will just cause them to be shaken more (and considering that as of a 2017 IIHS test that, despite the airbag deploying, allowed the driver’s skull to impact the steering wheel in another Tesla vehicle that doesn’t sound great.) Low CoG is no longer a thing with this vehicle, so I’d expect it to maintain some semblance of a low rollover risk, but still be pretty high.
Other things to think about:
Tesla has lied about its crash safety standing and where it sits in the ranking.
The “undentable” steel body and “unbreakable” armored windows mean that if you get in an accident and are unable to get out, you might get to burn to death if the fire dept can’t get you out of the vehicle.
Tesla sells known defective vehicles that have been turned in as lemons as used cars
Tesla gets around safety recalls by allowing for “goodwill recalls” and then gets customers to sign NDAs so they can’t talk about what was fixed, such as suspension defects which allow the entire suspension to collapse.
I’m not a Tesla fan. I also don’t hate them, I think they’ve done a lot of good towards advancing electric vehicles and getting the world away from ICE vehicles.
What I am is an engineer, mechanical engineer to be specific. My career field was started literally because steam boilers would explode and kill people and no one knew how to design them properly to not do that.
The primary rule of this career field is to remember that when what you’re designing goes out into the world it will interact with people, if its designed wrong it can maim or even kill.
To my mind, from all I have seen, Tesla doesn’t give a shit about that rule.
And I’m an engineer too. Specifically, and engineer that spent a lot of time with high energy power conversion system and now networks. I get where you’re coming from — steam explosions are nasty, and let’s not even get into the “fun” failure modes high pressure hydraulics get. However, this is very different. And we’re seeing a chunk of folks walk away from accidents in Tesla’s that might not have made it in other cars. If it’s believing you or the NHTSA, I’m going with the NHTSA.
But the real point is this: none of us have any idea what the crumple zone will look like on this thing. You don’t. I don’t. Perhaps the pulling of this from anything but North America reflects this. Perhaps they want to launch into markets where they have a ton of orders and do a smaller truck later. Also a thing we don’t know. And your assertions of ethically questionable behavior on Tesla’s part pale next to what GM (ignition disabling airbags), Ford (Firestone and Pinto and…) and all the others have done. I mean, seriously?
“And your assertions of ethically questionable behavior on Tesla’s part pale next to what GM (ignition disabling airbags), Ford (Firestone and Pinto and…) and all the others have done. I mean, seriously?”
Its about percentages sold vs accidents. As an engineer, I don’t need to explain p-value and sample population to you. You already know this is a big factor in how dangerous something is. Last I checked there were around 300 deaths for over 6 million vehicles recalled in the GM ignition switch issue, slightly more than a dozen of those deaths were specifically the fault of the airbag being disabled.
Tesla has actively cancelled tests that all other large manufacturers do. Tests that find issues before they go out to the customer. I can’t really get behind that.
People are walking away from all sorts of accidents now. Modern cars are absolutely amazing. Doesn’t help the few that don’t when its a company that cuts corners.
Tangent: The Pinto had something like 27 fires from being rear-ended. That myth was debunked back in ’94 or ’96.
“The primary rule of this career field is to remember that when what you’re designing goes out into the world it will interact with people, if its designed wrong it can maim or even kill.
To my mind, from all I have seen, Tesla doesn’t give a shit about that rule.”
Move fast and break things. In this case pedestrians.
If taste is relative, then the Cybertruck is an orphan.
I tried Car Play once, hated it and have never used it again.
Let’s be real, the Cybertruck and its reservation system is an interest-free crowdsourced business loan for other programs at Tesla.
What is ponzi scheme?
I rent cars on almost a weekly basis, and if it has CarPlay, the only time I access the native infotainment system is to get back to CarPlay.
I use carplay to access Google maps on my phone. Native UConnect for everything else.
Look I’m not one to point fingers but you can’t comment on the Road Roller Fuel Gauge post….
“I have a question for you. If you own a car with phone mirroring, how often do you actually use your native infotainment system?”
I find Car Play to be buggy and limited, and basically do nothing better than the native infotainment. It’s a solution in search of a problem IMO.
That means Android Auto could be available for single-DIN aftermarket radios with 3-4″ screens. There are some Chinese single-DIN radios on ebay that have Mirrorlink, but not full AA, probably because of screen size restrictions.
CarPlay was one of my primary motorvations for getting a newer car, I didn’t want an aftermarket replacement. That, and it was time to upgrade anyway. Love the split screen options.
I do wish it had been wireless but may get an aftermarket dongle for that functionality.
I don’t like blacked out trim, I think it always looks cheap.
TOYOTA, ARE YOU LISTENING? YEAH, SORRY, CITRUS SAYS THE BLACKED OUT TRIM IS A NO GO, SO JUST SHUT IT DOWN OK? SORRY ABOUT THAT, WE JUST FOUND OUT HE DIDN’T LIKE IT.
You don’t have to be an ass about it.
“I won’t lie, SX feels like an underrated trim level designation. S is a good letter, X is a cool letter, put them together and you get vehicles like the AMC Eagle SX/4 and Suzuki SX4, nifty little all-wheel-drive passenger cars.”
Plus, you know, it practically says “SEX”.
I’m still going to say this…..Even if you have a Toyota Camry SEX it will still be a boring car. You can hit that bumper hard enough to leave a dent, but it still won’t be worth a double tap.
I don’t want to buy a CyberTruck but I really kinda want to see some on the road already.
I don’t. I can’t even imagine what the dudebro community will do with these. If they can’t roll coal, what will they do to compensate?
Literal Tesla coils. Shock innocent bystanders while driving to the local shop for milk.
You beat me to it. Or maybe just big versions of those glass plasma balls where you can touch the sides to attract the plasma.
Nowhere near obnoxious enough.
some will also install train airhorns.
It’s unpainted stainless steel, so the mind boggles. You should be able to weld directly to the skin with no issues, laser etch patterns, and wrap with ease.
You know, the usual stuff. Lift, squat, lights under, tires large enough to make tractors jealous.
No doubt they will add accessories to simulate a V8 engine sound and something to generate smoke so they can still roll coal on EVs.
Literal pile of burning coal in the bed, just to own the libs.
I can already see the JC Whitney Tesla Faraday cage lightning effects dome in their catalog already…
Agreed, I look forward to staring, possibly pointing, maybe even some light yelling.