Here’s something we didn’t expect to see at the 2023 LA Auto Show (or necessarily any show): an all-new Cybertruck-like electric pickup that somehow manages to look more strangely disjointed than the original. It’s the Robotruck 1T from Silicon Valley automotive startup Aitekx. And while the truck’s looks hurt the eyes even more than the garbled company name, its list of estimated specs is pretty intriguing: 550-mile (885-km) range, 3.5-second 0-60-mph (96.5 km/h) sprint, a practical 6-foot expandable pickup box … er …prism, and packages for every type of pickup driver, from project managers to overlanders.
Aitekx seems to be trying desperately to put together bits and pieces from several of the most noteworthy electric trucks into an offering of its own. The most obvious of those recycled bits is the Robotruck’s very clear Cybertuck-derived appearance. The new debut flashes the same kind of shiny, metallic geometry-class styling as the Cybertruck, but while Tesla’s vehicle is at least a cohesive design from bumper to bumper, Aitekx tries to embellish the design with more curves, character lines and volumetric surfaces … to ill effect, to our eye.
The Robotruck reads to us like Aitekx designed an SUV cab and front-end, then smashed it onto the front of a Cybertruck-inspired pickup bed. Then maybe it attempted to blend the two disparate elements together by slapping too many thick, over-designed lines and facets on the flanks and merging the sloped bed rails into a ridiculously long roofline. The tiny glasshouse sandwiched between further destroys any possibility of aesthetic proportions or symmetry. The epsilon-lamped front-end itself has the potential to be attractive on a crossover or larger SUV, but it’s too short and soft to carry that stretched hunk of sharp, raw metal trailing it.
Aitekx imagines the 198-in (503-cm) Robotruck as a midsize pickup that can put on full-size clothes and do some of the same tough work. To do so, it borrows from the General Motors’ playbook, offering a midgate-expandable bed. The 6.1-foot-long (1.9-m) box itself is comparable to large-bed midsize trucks but expands to 9.5 feet (2.9 m) with the rear seats folded and midgate down. Drop the tailgate and total floor length jumps to 11.5 feet (3.5 m), besting the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra EVs by over half a foot (15 cm).
Aitekx hasn’t revealed much about the Robotruck’s mechanical hardware, outside of listing plans for a single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD. It does estimate a couple of projected specs, including a 550-mile (885-km) range that bests the extra-rosy 500-mile (805-km) prediction Tesla gave at the Cybertuck’s 2019 world premiere. We’d think the company was just picking out Cybertruck specs and adding 10%, but its 3.5-second 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) is notably slower than the Cybertruck’s 2.9-second estimate.
Aitekx plans to offer the Robotruck 1T in both 188-in (478-cm) single-cab and 198-in (503-cm) double-cab variants, with options that include two off-road packages, a camping package, an AI driver-assist system, a foldable bed cover and butterfly-style “Hawk Doors.” It’s aiming for base prices ranging between US$45,000 for the single-cab RWD to $99,000 for the flagship AWD sports model. Reports out of LA suggest it’s targeting a 2026 production launch. An eight-seat Robotruck 1V SUV is also in the company’s plans.