Just like the Cybertruck turned more than a few heads when its prototype was revealed in 2019, so did the DeLorean car back in the early 80s. Both are so unique and creative in their scope that you have to wonder where the concepts even came from. While that might be up for debate, many have drawn comparisons between the Cybertruck and the Delorean of the 80s.
There are certain connections that can be drawn between the Tesla Cybertruck and the DMC DeLorean in terms of design. This is not common for vehicles. In fact, the Cybertruck will be the most creative vehicle to hit the market since the DeLorean’s introduction in the early 1980s.
There is also an undeniable similarity in personalities between the founders of both companies. That has resulted in them both designing vehicles that are considered cutting edge and extreme for their time. However, it must be said that there are many differences to be noted between the Tesla Cybertruck and the DeLorean as well.
Stainless Steel at Their Core
There have been very few cars or trucks ever made almost entirely from stainless steel. In fact, only a few promotional cars have been manufactured since the 1980s in such a way. Those were never meant to be driven on the road. It was the DMC DeLorean that first came up with a stainless steel vehicle. Those were manufactured from 1981-1983.
Given that 40 years have elapsed before another stainless steel vehicle has been proposed in the form of the Tesla Cybertruck, many question why this is the case. It should be noted that stainless steel is known to be much more durable and rugged than regular steel. It also looks great. So, surely there must be a reason why it has been left out in the dark for so many years.
Why Did DeLorean Use Stainless Steel?
If you go back to the 1980s, DeLorean introduced stainless steel largely because owners could more easily buff out dents and scratches. Given that advanced safety systems were not available during that era, there were many more fender benders on average than there are today.
The founder of the DeLorean, John DeLorean, was keenly interested in the development of a vehicle that could look great no matter what type of abuse was thrown at it. He also noted that stainless steel had a skin that shimmered and glowed in the light. This made for great marketing material for the company, as it showed that cars could look great even after years of driving.
Why Has Tesla Now Brought Back Stainless Steel?
With stainless steel not being used in the production of vehicles for more than four decades, there was not even a supply chain available to begin using. In order for Tesla to even consider such an endeavor, they must have had a reason. That reason seems to lie with the similarity in vision between Elon Musk and John DeLorean.
Both of these entrepreneurs are hands-on. They are intimately involved in the design of their vehicles. For his part, Elon Musk desired an all-electric truck that was also the strongest on the road today. He felt that would be possible with stainless steel. Not only that, the stainless steel that the Cybertruck uses is hard-pressed 30 times before applied to the exterior.
You might be wondering why Tesla would go through this trouble. It is because the desire is to create a truck that is virtually impenetrable. The luster and shine will continue to be there even after being driven off-road or in a heavily urban environment. The vehicle would be so strong that a sledgehammer could not penetrate it.
These are all reasons why Tesla has brought back stainless steel. It also appears that Tesla is focused on using the stainless steel angle in its marketing for the Cybertruck. This is not unlike what DeLorean did with its vehicles in the 80s. It is so unique that it catches the eye of consumers who are looking for something different. The Cybertruck certainly checks off all those boxes.
Both the DeLorean and Cybertruck Have Unique Designs
Another connection between the DeLorean and the Cybertruck is reflected in the unique designs that both have. When the DMC DeLorean first unveiled its prototype back in the late 1970s, the world was stunned. Nobody had ever seen a vehicle like that. The stainless steel exterior was just the beginning.
The DMC DeLorean also incorporated gull-wing doors into its design. The car would consist of just two doors. Each door opened straight up into the air as opposed to the traditional way that car doors still open to this day. While the front of the car would not be anything special, it was difficult not to notice how much of a difference stainless steel made to its appearance.
Now that Tesla is about to enter production with its Cybertruck, this is another vehicle that is unlike anything the world has ever seen. In fact, its unveiling a few years ago was a globally watched spectacle. That is amazing for a truck that has not even driven one mile on the street yet.
The truck does not look like any ordinary truck that consumers are used to. The Cybertruck has sharp angles. Rounded corners are a thing of the past. There are no side mirrors, and the headlights have been tossed, with an LED strip replacing it. The exoskeleton made of stainless steel is also something spectacular to see. This means that it makes sense to connect its design to the DeLorean of old.
Company Personalities Rule the Day
As alluded to earlier, both John DeLorean and Elon Musk are no strangers to publicity. In fact, they seem to thrive on it. This is yet another connection between the two vehicles that can be made.
In the late 70s and early 80s, John DeLorean was arguably the most ambitious owner in the entire car industry. He took every chance he could get to attract television lights his way. With the rollout of the DMC DeLorean, media could not help but flock around him if only to get a picture of the unique type of car that his company was responsible for making.
Where John DeLorean fell short was his ability actually to turn a major profit. That is not the case with Elon Musk. His company has quickly made him one of the richest individuals in the world. He craves publicity, and this work seems to have paid off. He has been able to garner enormous airtime for the Cybertruck, and not one has actually hit the roadways as of yet.
Differences in the Type of Stainless Steel Used
Here is where we can make a major connection between the DeLorean and the Cybertruck. Let us begin with a cursory discussion of the type of stainless steel that the DMC DeLorean used. These cars were actually made with 304 stainless steel. That is a common type of steel, and it had the desired results.
The goal of the DeLorean was a bit different than the Cybertruck. With the DeLorean, the designers were looking for a car that shone like none other on the market. Also, it wasn’t that the stainless steel on the Delorean would not dent or scratch; rather it was designed to be easy to clean and polish out when it was defaced for whatever reason.
What About the Cybertruck?
When the Cybertruck was designed, the intent was not the same as for the DeLorean. An ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled form of stainless steel was incorporated into the design of the truck. This was done so that it could be tougher than any vehicle ever made for the open highway. Minor dings and scratches were meant never even to occur.
Whether or not this objective has been achieved remains to be seen. The truck has not yet made it into production. Famously, the Cybertruck protégé was unveiled to mixed reactions. A sledgehammer was taken to the door and it did end up doing quite a bit of damage. This was not supposed to have been the case. Perhaps that design flaw will be corrected prior to production.
The Stainless Steel Exterior of the Cybertruck
The Cybertruck goes much further in its use of stainless steel than the DMC DeLorean did. It forms the complete basis for the exterior of the vehicle. Since this is where the primary connection to the DeLorean comes from, it would help to go into a bit more detail about the exterior of the Tesla Cybertruck.
Its Uniqueness is Represented by the Exoskeleton
If Elon Musk was going for a creative look when designing the Cybertruck, that is exactly what he got. This thing looks like something that arrived from outer space. The intent was to create a truck that provided more protection for its occupants than any other passenger vehicle currently on the road today. To that end, it appears that it may have succeeded.
The exoskeleton is built to withstand most types of impact. Dings will be a thing of the past. It is also built to last. Because that stainless steel has been cold-pressed thirty times, it is just so much stronger than any other exterior you will find on a truck today.
While the intent might not have been to create a glossy and shiny look like was the case with the DMC DeLorean, that is what ended up happening. It does look unique. There is nothing like it on the road, which is going to be appealing to many consumers. That is also a goal that John DeLorean would have expressed when he created his vehicles in the early 80s.
With this exoskeleton in place, you will not have to worry about the truck getting dinged up in a parking lot or when driving through construction zones. Rocks and pebbles, for example, will glide off the exterior. In addition, because of the stainless steel nature of the exoskeleton, corrosion will be a thing of the past. There is no need to worry about that.
Even the Glass is Unique
The Cybertruck continues this theme of uniqueness by installing glass around the vehicle that is state of the art. It is designed to reduce impact as well. As a type of armored glass, it is believed to be bulletproof. We say ‘believed to be’ because the demonstrations thus far have been less than promising. Assuming that Tesla gets that worked out, the Cybertruck could be unique in this area.
Both Vehicles Had Legendary Designers Behind Them
As if we needed more connections between these two vehicles, the designers themselves speak volumes. For the DeLorean, Giorgetto Giugiaro was the creative genius behind the car. For his day, he was the world’s most recognizable and sought after car designer. He is responsible for the innovative design behind many of the Ferraris and Maseratis of the late 70s.
Tesla also went big when they enlisted the designer for the Cybertruck. For this job, Franz von Holzhausen was at the helm. He has also created most of the other vehicles for Tesla. Those continue to get rave reviews, so it should be no surprise that the look of the Cybertruck would be so unique that it captivates the attention of consumers across the globe.
It’s a Shaky Start
With all of this talk of stainless steel vehicles and creative designs, you might assume that both the DMC DeLorean and Tesla Cybertruck would be wildly popular. While we do not know how Tesla will end up faring, the DeLorean certainly did not live up to expectations. In fact, less than 10,000 of the vehicles were ever sold. The company went bankrupt.
While we do not anticipate Tesla falling the way of DeLorean, the introduction of Cybertruck to the global marketplace has been plagued by delays. The factories being built to manufacture the vehicles are still not finished. The production date keeps being pushed back. While the pre-orders have been wildly successful, we still do not how many Cybertrucks will actually be sold.
A Design That Transcends Time
One interesting thing about the DMC DeLorean is that it made a symbolic comeback in the mid-1980s. The car was so futuristic that a popular movie franchise used it to create a time machine. This revitalized interest in the company, even though the car was long since dead. That speaks of how long lasting innovative designs can be in the transportation sector.
Since the Cybertruck has been so widely talked about in the four years since its prototype has been unveiled, we already have a sense of how its unique design will be received. While people were shocked at first, it is that very feeling that has left so many people feeling that they simply must own one. This is obviously what Tesla is banking on.
What Is So Unique About the Cybertruck?
In the end, the DeLorean was so talked about because it look different than other cars on the market at that time. However, it was still a car in the end. Tesla is about to go the other direction from the DeLorean in this regard. They have created a truck that really is unlike any truck out there. Here are some ways that they have accomplished that objective.
The Cargo Bay Replaces the Bed
Instead of a traditional truck bed, the Cybertruck has a cargo bay. This is really more like a vault than anything else. It is 6 feet four inches long, which is massive for a truck of this size. That provides more than 100 cubic feet of storage space. There are also compartments that can be locked, allowing for the storage of many personal items throughout the journey.
The Future is Electric
Just like the DeLorean was designed to be a futuristic automobile, so is the Cybertruck. While other all-electric trucks have since entered the marketplace, the Cybertruck is going to be unique in this area. It will come with the option of between one and three motors. That will give drivers up to 620 miles of range per charge, which has been unheard of up until now.
Even though the truck is electric, it is still incredibly fast. The Cybertruck could seemingly go back to the future, just like the DeLorean. In fact, it beat the Porsche 911 in a quarter lap sprint. That is going to be appealing to so many different types of drivers. Beyond this, the three motor version of the Cybertruck will be able to tow over 14,000 pounds of cargo, which continues to beat that bar that has long been set.
It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to the Tesla Cybertruck when it finally enters production in late 2021 or early 2022. Given that people are still talking about the innovative design of the DeLorean from the early 1980s, it appears to be a near certainty that the Cybertruck will continue to garner its fair share of publicity in the interim.