Vehicle teardown expert Sandy Munro had a first look at the Tesla Cybertruck suspension earlier this week. Candid photos of the Cybertruck suspension were first posted on Electrek. However, since then we have seen a few more Cybertruck suspension pictures taken by a Tesla enthusiast in Arkansas.
Sandy Munro took a closer look with his team at Munro & Associates to give his first impressions of the Cybertruck’s suspension system. Interestingly, these photos showed the front and rare suspension of Tesla’s electric pickup truck for the first time since its unveiling in 2019.
Sandy Munro said, “It looks pretty standard to me,”. “This doesn’t look extraordinary,” Munro added. There are many products in the automotive market right now that would look very very similar to Cybertruck’s front suspension, according to Munro.
Cybertruck Front Suspension
One of the pictures clearly shows the front suspension tie-rods of the Cybertruck (video below). There are two parts of a tie-rod, outer and inner. The outer tie-rod (OTR) connects to the wheel hub while the inner connects to the steering rack.
The Cybertruck that was photographed in these spy shots has a centerpiece joining both the outer and inner tie-rod arms. This according to Munro’s Senior Program Manager Jordan Arocha’s analysis is a billet-machined piece of steel. Why would Tesla take this approach? Because this is easier done on a prototype without the need for the factory tooling in place.
An aluminum casting is attached behind the front Cybertruck suspension. According to Jordan, this casting looks like a low-pressure permanent mold-type diecast component. Munro & Jordan speculate that Tesla has used this front suspension aluminum casting to increase the crash safety of the Cybertruck.
In case of a frontal crash, a front suspension aluminum casting quarter is made to fracture and as a result, the wheel detaches from the vehicle. So, Tesla applied this safety mechanism to the Cybertruck’s front suspension.
If the front suspension is attached to the vehicle with a rigid material like steel, the wheel does not peel away from the vehicle. In a frontal crash, this results in the wheel and tire getting trapped in the wheel well and can possibly cave into the vehicle cabin.
According to Munro, Tesla may have used aluminum casting for Cybertruck’s front suspension as it is lighter in weight compared to steel. Cybertruck’s rear suspension casting is made out of steel (2 stampings welded together).
Cybertruck Rear Suspension
The automaker chose steel for the rear as it does not pose safety concerns and also helps bear the large Tesla pickup truck’s weight along with its occupants. Additionally, it’s cheap and lightweight, which makes it a perfect choice for this application according to Sandy Munro.
The interesting thing noticed by Jordan in these pics was the presence of ball joints in the rear suspension. This confirms that the release candidate Cybertrucks Tesla is producing at Giga Texas are the top-end 4-wheel steering variants.
Tesla Cybertruck is a large pickup truck and to maneuver it around tight corners and short turning radius, the automaker decided to add the 4-wheel steerability. This is similar to what GM introduced as Crab Mode in its Hummer EV.
Cybertruck’s Adaptive Air Suspension
Talking about the air suspension setup visible in these Cybertruck images, Sandy again points out that this is a typical air suspension present on modern-day trucks. Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, and the Rivian R1T also have a similar air suspension setup.
Cybertruck’s air suspension can help lower the truck down to get in and out of it for various reasons ranging from disability to height. This will of course help lower the truck for performance purposes like the Tesla Model S Cheetah Stance.
A couple of photos of the Cybertruck air suspension were also taken by Stephen (@swarren08 / Twitter) while the Tesla truck temporarily made a stop in Arkansas yesterday.
Let’s explore the pictures and video, add your thoughts in comments below.