Elon Musk says he'll have to build a smaller truck for sale outside of North America.
At Tesla’s Battery Day event, Elon Musk said the upcoming Texas-built Cybertruck was designed for the North American market, and that if the company ever sells a pickup in other regions it will be much smaller that the planar, angular monster truck.
This makes good business sense. While the full-size Ford F-150 reigns supreme in the United States, the best-selling pickup outside of it is the Toyota Hilux, which is closer in size to the Tacoma.
“I think we’ll probably make an international version of Cybertruck that’ll be kind of smaller, kind of like a tight Wolverine package,” Musk said.
But what exactly did he mean by “tight Wolverine package?” Tesla did not respond to a request from Fox News for comment, nor has it for any story since Aug. 2019, but we have some ideas.
A Halo model?
Musk has previously said that the Sci-Fi-style Cybertruck was inspired by video games like Halo, which includes the M12 Warthog fast attack vehicle. But the United Nations Space Command has plenty of other futuristic military vehicles at its disposal, including the M9 Main Anti-Aircraft Tank, AKA: the Warthog. However, the 25-foot long surface-to-air missile-equipped half-track is bigger than the 19’ 4” Cybertruck, so that’s probably not it.
A retro ride?
In the real world, the U.S. Military has a gigantic bridge layer called the Wolverine that’s even larger than the Halo vehicle, but there’s a much older military truck that might be closer to what Musk has in mind.
The M151 was first built by Ford for the U.S. military in 1959 as a successor to the Willys MB and MC, but was customized and modernized in 1975 by a specialty vehicle fabrication company in Florida and sold under the Wolverine name. At just about 11 feet long, it's perhaps too small for Tesla's requirement, but turn it into a four-door and put a bed on it and you practically end up with a Jeep Gladiator-sized midsize truck. Perfect.
Classic Car Studio owner Noah Alexander, who recently handled one for a client, told Fox News Autos that records about Warthog production have largely disappeared, but from what he was able to dig up, they were apparently built in small quantities for both military and civilian use, with most having been shipped to foreign countries. Could one of them have made its way to Musk’s boyhood home of Pretoria, South Africa, and imprinted itself in his mind as an iconically cool truck? Technically speaking, it’s possible.
The Yamaha Wolverine isn't a truck, but it is a popular line of side-by-sides, also known as utility task vehicles or UTVs. This is the most likely candidate for what Musk was thinking about, because Tesla has experience with the brand ... unofficially. The electric Cyberquad it debuted with the Cybertruck last November was later discovered to be converted Yamaha 700 Raptor ATV that the powersports company said it didn't have any involvement with.
Of course, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when you say “Wolverine” these days is Hugh Jackman’s depiction of the Marvel character in the X-Men films, and you don’t have to look any further than the jacked actor to find an example of a “tight Wolverine.”