Food, Travel and Tech

Jay Leno: What it's like to drive the Tesla Cybertruck—from 'instant acceleration' to how the interior feels

VIDEO7:0107:01
Elon Musk and Jay Leno go for a spin in the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla's legion of superfans have been buzzing about the company's first all-electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck, ever since Elon Musk unveiled the truck's unique design at a highly-anticipated event in November. 

But with the Cybertruck not slated to go into production until late-2021 — at which point, it will start at $39,900 — few people have been able to actually drive the much-buzzed about pickup. That's why comedian Jay Leno jumped at the chance to take the Cybertruck for a test drive — with Musk himself in the passenger seat, no less — in the latest episode of "Jay Leno's Garage" that airs on CNBC on Wednesday at 10 pm ET.

"It feels very much like any other Tesla. You get instant acceleration," Leno tells Musk while driving the Cybertruck near Tesla's Hawthorne, California headquarters. Tesla says the pickup can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds.

Tesla Cybertruck
CNBC

Leno also compliments the Cybertruck's "greenhouse," a term that refers to the truck's windshield, side windows and a transparent glass roof that gives the pickup's interior a bright and open aesthetic.

"The greenhouse is fabulous," Leno says. "I love how open it appears to be."

Leno goes on to ask Musk if he plans to change any aspects of the Cybertruck's design before the pickup goes into production and starts shipping to customers over a year from now. Musk replies by saying he doesn't want to make any substantial changes to the truck.

"At Tesla, we always want to have the production car be better than the show car," the Tesla CEO tells Leno.

"It always drove me crazy when manufacturers would come out with this cool-looking show car and then the actual production car would be way worse," Musk says, adding: "We won't do show cars that aren't real."

The Cybertruck's futuristic design garnered massive amounts of media attention when it was revealed in the fall, thanks to its "cyberpunk" styling that Musk says was inspired by the sci-fi movie "Blade Runner" and the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me"

Musk goes on to tell Leno that the proportions of the Cybertruck's show version are "pretty close" to what they'll be once the pickup goes into production, though he does toy with the idea of making the pickup smaller to ensure that it can "fit in a normal garage."

In fact, Musk tells Leno that Tesla could take all of the pickup's proportions and "drop them by 5%." However since the test drive, Musk has tweeted that he and Tesla's chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, decided against the change. Musk also tweeted on Saturday that Tesla will "probably do a smaller" electric pickup "at some point."

Otherwise, Musk says, there are "lots of little details" that the average person might not even think about that Tesla will tinker with between now and the time when the Cybertruck starts production. Those details include improving visibility through the pickup's dramatically sloped windshield.

And speaking of the windshield, Musk touts the fact that Tesla is using "effectively, armored glass" for the windshield, roof and other windows in the truck. He also points out that the body of the Cybertruck will be outfitted with bulletproof stainless steel.

To that, Leno asks: "Why is that important to you that it be bulletproof?"

Musk responds, simply: "Because it's bad-ass and super cool."

Leno eventually concedes that it's "a good answer." 

Finally, the pair drive the Cybertruck to the site of one of Musk's other company's most famous creations — The Boring Company test tunnel for a rapid transit system — where Leno drives the pickup through the tunnel that runs for 1.1 miles underneath Los Angeles. 

Watch all new episodes of "Jay Leno's Garage″ Wednesdays at 10P ET on CNBC.

Don't miss: 

Couple paid $100 for abandoned car they found in a storage unit—Elon Musk bought it from them for nearly $1 million

This is the James Bond sports car Elon Musk bought for nearly $1 million that inspired Tesla Cybertruck

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

VIDEO1:1201:12
Jay Leno: Elon Musk is a 'visionary'
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM