Tesla has shown off its latest planned model – a futuristic pickup truck design “influenced” by James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, according to Elon Musk.
The company’s founder and chief executive took to the stage in California to unveil the Cybertruck.
Tesla’s first pickup truck, he had said in advance, was partly shaped in a nod to the Lotus Esprit sportscar-submarine used in the Bond film.
The angular vehicle will be the first all-electric pick-up in a US market dominated by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler.
Musk told the launch in Los Angeles: “We need sustainable energy now. If we don’t have a pickup truck, we can’t solve it.
“The top 3 selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck.”
The event did not go entirely to plan.
A side window, described as being made from armoured glass, cracked when hit with a metal ball during a demonstration.
Musk said Cybertruck production was due to begin in two years’ time with a starting price of $39,900 (£31,000).
It can seat six people and the top spec version would have a range of more than 500 miles, Musk said, despite a heavy stainless steel body.
There is pace with 0-60mph being achieved in 2.9 seconds, Tesla said.
“Cybertruck is designed to have the utility of a truck and the performance of a sports car.
“The vehicle is built to be durable, versatile and capable, with exceptional performance both on-road and off-road.
“Cybertruck will come in three variants: Single Motor Rear-Wheel Drive, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, and Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive.”
Tesla, whose Model 3 is the world’s top-selling battery electric car, is gradually increasing the size of its vehicles as battery technology evolves.
The Model Y compact SUV is due to join the Model next year.
Reaction to the Cybertruck launch was mixed.
One fan, Julie, wrote on Twitter: “When #Cybertruck showed up on the stage I instantly fell in love with it. YES. THE LOOK. Just BAD***. So many people saying it’s ugly but I…love it!!”.
But another commentator, Chris McKulka, said: “If a Delorean and a platypus had an ugly baby … … it would still look better than this thing.”