Tesla CEO Elon Musk has lofty ambitions for the company's upcoming pickup.
Speaking on an hourlong podcast recorded last week, Musk said he's aiming to price the pickup under $50,000 and have it outperform the industry's best-selling vehicle, the Ford F series. Just don't expect it to look like one.
"It's going to look pretty sci-fi," Musk said. "That means it's not going to be for everyone. It's going to be a truck that's more capable than other trucks. The goal is to be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of trucklike functionality and be a better sports car than a standard 911."
Musk's comments came on the "Ride the Lightning" podcast, hosted by Tesla Model 3 owner Ryan McCaffery and recorded Wednesday. The interview touched on a number of topics, including Musk's desire to build the Model Y crossover at the company's Fremont, Calif., plant as well as Tesla's push toward full autonomy.
It's unclear when — or where — Tesla would build the pickup, which Musk briefly teased in a video during the Model Y's reveal this year. The image shows a thin, single light and a Tesla logo at what Musk said was the front of the vehicle. Musk said late last year that Tesla may show the truck this summer.
"It's kind of like a 'Blade Runner' truck," Musk said on last week's podcast. "That's the idea. It's not going to be for everyone. When we unveil this thing, there'll be some people who are like, 'Oh, that doesn't look like a truck; I don't want to buy it.' It's like when they came out with automobiles, people were like, 'Oh, I like a horse and carriage.' Sure, OK, you can stick with your horse and carriage, but you're going to get an automobile later. You just don't know it."
Last year on Twitter, Musk claimed the pickup will come standard with dual-motor all-wheel drive, a suspension that adjusts dynamically for load and "crazy torque." He also said it will have power outlets to accommodate heavy-duty, 240-volt power tools.
He also claimed on Twitter the pickup would have a 300,000-pound towing capacity, although it's unclear how that would be possible.
While Musk has struggled to deliver an entry-level version of the Model 3 sedan, he said that, ideally, the pickup's starting price will come in under $50,000.
Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles offer entry-level pickups that start around $30,000, although customers often opt for more expensive models. Average transaction prices for large pickups can rise into the high $40,000s.
"It's got to be something that's affordable," Musk said. "Now, there will be versions of the car that will be more expensive, but you've got to be able to get a really great truck for $49,000 or less."