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Tesla Cybertruck Wade, Baja, and Overland modes spied for better water crossings and off-roading

Tesla's Cybertruck may indeed float in Wade Mode. (Image source: Unsplash/Tesla - edited)
Tesla's Cybertruck may indeed float in Wade Mode. (Image source: Unsplash/Tesla - edited)
Elon Musk's claims of the Cybertruck temporarily serving as a boat may not be a complete lie, after all. Wade mode seems to prepare the electric pickup truck for deep water crossings, while the function of the Baja and Overland modes remains unclear.

During the development of the Cybertruck, a number of images leaked showing Tesla employees driving the stainless steel electric pickup truck through small swells on the beach and the truck undergoing water-resistance testing.

Now, just over a week after the official launch of the Cybertruck, images were posted on social media platform X (fka Twitter) highlighting a feature in the Cybertruck's infotainment system called "Wade Mode."

"Raises ride height and pressurizes battery when driving through water" reads the Wade Mode information blurb at the bottom of the screen.

In the off-roading scene, water crossings are not uncommon, with some off-roaders, like the Jeep Wrangler, capable of crossing water as deep as 34 inches (86.36 cm). The electric pickup truck at least has the benefit of not needing an air intake, like its ICE counterparts, which means no third-party snorkels or engine compartment sealing is necessary — at least in theory. 

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, had previously stated that the Cybertruck "will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren’t too choppy," although this claim is thus far unsubstantiated. It's also a mystery as to why Tesla would need to pressurise the battery for Wade mode, unless it plans on somehow using the Cybertruck's air suspension to increase the pickup truck's buoyancy.

Whatever the case may be, it'll be interesting to see the feature in action. The images also revealed Overland and Baja modes, which presumably have something to do with off-roading, but the specifics are anyone's guess. If the names are anything to go by, Overland mode will likely have some sort of suspension and throttle tuning for low-speed off-roading with heavy loads, while Baja mode could relate to high-speed off-road endeavours.

In September 2022, one Tesla Model X owner managed to escape flooding caused by hurricane Ian, alongside others doing the same on airboats. His Model X didn't escape the ordeal unscathed, though, losing a rear bumper in the process, and seemingly experiencing some water ingress as well.

It's unclear whether the Cybertruck's door seals are capable of withstanding water ingress, but if past Tesla models are any indication, future Cybertruck owners may want to tread lightly around water. Just this year, Tesla itself warned Model Y owners of a water ingress issue in the trunk, and there are plenty of reports of water ingress from Model 3 owners scattered around the internet.

One particularly angry Tesla Model Y owner was quoted £17,374 for out-of-warranty repairs, claiming that a Scottish rainstorm resulted in water ingress and damage to the car's battery pack.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 12 > Tesla Cybertruck Wade, Baja, and Overland modes spied for better water crossings and off-roading
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-12- 8 (Update: 2023-12- 9)