Tesla pickup: specs and on-sale date

Elon Musk has promised the new Tesla pickup will have a classic shape, but that’s about all that'll be conventional about this huge six-seater

The new Tesla pickup has been teased, with company CEO Elon Musk revealing that the forthcoming vehicle made a brief appearance in a launch video of the Tesla Model Y last week.

The image reveals very little about the design of the pickup, with few details visible even with the teaser (above) digitally brightened. It's possible that the boxy shape is that of a load-bay cover, with the white light strip altered to disguise a full-width brake light.

The Tesla pickup – which has yet to be named – could go on sale in 2020.

As is often the case with forthcoming new models from Tesla, we've discovered more about the vehicle from Musk’s tweets than from any official announcements from the company.

We already know that the pickup will be what's referred to in the US as a ‘full-size’ pickup. That means it'll be about the same size as a Ford F-150 and much bigger than the likes of the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 that dominate the market in the UK. 

Tesla’s model will be based on the same platform as the Tesla Model X SUV, but as it’ll be a bigger vehicle, it may well be able to use bigger batteries, which might mean a longer range. 

Indeed, Elon Musk has said he thinks the pickup will have a range of between 400 and 500 miles, which seems at least plausible.

As this will be a genuine working vehicle, it’ll have four-wheel drive, thanks to dual electric motors that'll power the front and rear wheels separately. The traction-control systems may even be set up to mimic the effect of locking differentials.

And, to keep the whole thing nice and even, no matter how much stuff is loaded onboard, every version of Tesla’s pickup will have self-levelling suspension.

Just don’t expect it to be as plush as the Model X or Model S. You’ll see 240-volt outlets for power tools – which Musk claims users will be able to run all day from the pickup’s batteries – but perhaps not the finest grades of leather upholstery in the six-seat interior. 

On the plus side, though, that should translate into a price that’s a little lower than the Model X’s. For the moment, that remains to be confirmed – as does when the car goes on sale.

We think the pickup will arrive in 2020, but that could yet be delayed because of the problems with production of the Model 3. The Model Y is also set to arrive in 2020, with the cheaper versions not going on sale until 2021.