At Tesla’s Battery Day, founder Elon Musk dropped a typically cryptic reference to a smaller version of the Cybertruck for markets outside of the U.S. This is a truck that Musk has talked about before—more on that in a minute—but what he called it during the Q&A session is what perked our ears up. “Tight Wolverine”…what’s that?
What Was Musk Talking About?
Here’s what Musk said, specifically: “We’ll probably make an international version that’ll be—kind of smaller, kind of like a tight wolverine package. It’ll still be cooler, but it’ll be smaller because you just can’t make a truck like [the Cybertruck] for most markets.”
The statement comes at the 2:45:00 minute mark in the Battery Day video, when asked about Cybertruck sales volume—as noticed by Fox News. In the conversation, Musk said he envisions Cybertruck orders will support 250,000 to 300,000 units of the full-size truck per year for the U.S. market. Not that Tesla will end up selling or building that many, mind you, but it is indicative of how many units he thinks overall interest would support. With his taut Mustelidae comment, Musk is indicating a smaller international truck could add to Tesla’s total truck volume beyond the big Cybertruck.
What Is Wolverine Code For?
That’s the part we don’t know. Tesla is quite fond of using goofy or nerdy references for various features, components, and vehicles. Ludicrous and Plaid Modes are pulled straight from Spaceballs, a movie parody of Star Wars from 1987. “Wolverine” could certainly just be a code name for the international truck. Perhaps Musk is fond of Hugh Jackman’s recent turns as Wolverine. The Wolverine character is famous for his nearly indestructible skeleton made of fictional adamantium metal and his fearsome claws, so maybe it’s an oblique reference to the upcoming truck’s alloy chassis. Long story short: It’s an open question.
Is a Small Cybertruck Variant a New Idea?
No, actually Musk has discussed a smaller version of the Cybertruck before. As Musk is very clear about in the rest of the Q&A, the Cybertruck we’ve seen is very much designed only for the U.S. market, being about the size of a Ford F-150. It’s much too large to work in most other car markets.
If you’re wondering what size does work in those markets, look no further than the international version of the Ford Ranger—a truck considered to be mid-size here. It’s extremely similar to its rest-of-world variant. It has competition in the Toyota Hilux, a truck completely distinct from our Tacoma but similarly sized, and a bevy of more unusual trucks that are roughly analagous dimensionally, or even smaller.
We’d expect a Cyberwolverine—tight or otherwise—to be about the same size as a Ranger or Hilux should it come to fruition. And knowing Musk, an announcement and product demo could happen at just about any time.
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