Tesla has become synonymous with the image of being an innovative designer and manufacturer of vehicles. Since 2003, they have come out with various models of their electric cars, starting from the Roadster in 2008 to the Model Y in 2019. People praise the design of Tesla vehicles for high-performing vehicles that are energy-efficient and slick-looking. Because of their prestige as a design company, many were shocked to see Cybertruck, announced in November of 2019, have a rather unusual design.
While Cybertruck may initially look ugly to some, there is a clear intention for its design. By using bullet-proof stainless steel as the base for its design, Tesla can produce a truck that can run more efficiently and be produced cheaper than their competition.
While the design may have a purpose behind it, you probably still have other questions about Cybertruck, like what its design was inspired by and some of the specific advantages its form factor has. For your benefit, we’ve compiled a good chunk of info about the most vital facts to know about Cybertruck, its design, and more.
If your first thought after seeing Cybertruck was something along the lines of “wow, this looks like it’s straight out of science-fiction,” you’re not too far off the mark. Business Insider reports that Elon Musk confirmed various franchises are the inspiration for Cybertruck’s design.
Franchises such as the 1982 classic film Blade Runner and the first-person shooter video game series Halo are cited as inspirations for the vehicle. Perhaps most surprisingly, though, was that a white Lotus Espirit from the 1977 classic James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
James Bond is such a well-known franchise there is no real need for us to go over it here. Blade Runner, however, is a film that many have heard of, but not everyone has seen. Blade Runner, one of the earliest inspirations for cyberpunk, a sub-genre of science fiction usually focusing on high-tech in urban environments, is known for having futuristic and unusual designs. Cars are frequently seen flying, among other technical marvels.
While Blade Runner was unlikely the cyberpunk work referenced while creating Cybertruck, its inspirations are clear to see. We absolutely recommend you watch Blade Runner: The Final Cut if you’re looking for a classic sci-fi movie!
Halo is a very different franchise than Blade Runner and the James Bond franchise. Primarily a first-person shooter video gamer game created by Bungie and Microsoft, Halo is much less grounded than Blade Runner, focusing on battles and conflicts with various aliens races in space. The vehicle in question that was the inspiration for Cybertruck, the Warthog, is a ground transportation vehicle that has a vaguely similar look to Cybertruck, both being vehicles with a similar shape with the purpose of transporting things.
From this, it’s clear that Tesla has taken risks in designing Cybertruck, avoiding the conventional, homogeneous form factor common in the mass majority of pickup trucks currently on the market. You would be forgiven if you thought that Tesla chose Cybertruck’s design to be different than the competition, however. There are multiple benefits to the current design choice, which we will cover below.
The immediate thing that many people will find surprising about Cybertruck is that the base model is surprisingly affordable. Coming in at around $40,000, cheaper than most other electric trucks, you might wonder what Tesla had to sacrifice to get the price down to such a relatively low amount. Here’s the kicker: Tesla did not need to give up much due to several aspects.
The vehicle is designed using bare stainless steel for its base, forgoing a traditional body on top of a frame. By using Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel, Tesla has given Cybertruck several advantages, including:
- A material that does not readily corrode
- It is bullet-proof
- It is tough to dent
- It does not require a paint job
- It is easier to manufacture and assemble
- It is more environmentally friendly
Many modern pickup trucks, especially electric ones, are pretty expensive. For instance, a similar electric truck, the 2021 Rivian R1T, has a starting price of $67,500, well over the $40,000 starting price of Cybertruck.
One of the biggest reasons why Cybertruck is much more affordable than its competition is due to the actual design of the truck. Since the truck’s design is so radically different looking than the traditional pickup truck, Tesla could figure out ways to drastically decrease the price of the vehicle while not sacrificing any of the quality that they are known for producing.
The design of the car, explained by Musk, was design to be easily machine manufactured using machines to stamp the plate-like design of the vehicle. These machines are also responsible for making the plates extremely dense. The advantage of the density of the steel is that it is exceptionally resistant to pressure and force, meaning that Cybertruck getting hit by another vehicle or object will result in a much lower likelihood of your car getting totaled.
Another noticeable aspect of Cybertruck is that it is much lower than most other trucks. While it initially looks like the back of the truck will not be as spacious as the average pickup truck, the back of the trunk goes in quite deep.
Since the back roll-out cover of the truck can be folded up, you can easily transport large items inside the truck’s bed. As a bonus, you can also use the roll-out cover as a ramp, allowing you to load items into the bed quickly.
Finally, the often-ridiculed triangular shape of the roof has a clear yet clever purpose. Without getting too into the technical aspects of the design, the pointed top serves to distribute an equal force across the car.
Put even more simply: this allows Cybertruck to have a smooth, stable drive while also avoiding it from being knocked over. To see real-world examples of triangular designs acting to distribute force, look at bridges or other architecture, such as the Eifel Tower.
Many pickup trucks use light bulbs for their front and rear headlights. Cybertruck opts instead to use small yet bright electric LED headlights that illuminate the surrounding area while also being cheaper to manufacture. While it may not be as significant of a cost saver as some other elements of Cybertruck, it is undoubtedly still one that is worth mentioning.
While many may see this as a negative feature, in the case of Cybertruck, it is the opposite. On standard vehicles, paint is required because their exterior is prone to becoming rusted. However, since Cybertruck is made of stainless steel, it does not need paint to avoid rusting. While stainless steel is more difficult to paint efficiently than the bodies of traditional vehicles, Tesla chose to simply avoid paint and focus their efforts toward making a truck with advantages beyond colorful aesthetics.
Many cars use expensive leather and marble to make their vehicles look more luxurious. Cybertruck does away with these formalities and instead chooses to use materials that are more affordable and better for the environment.
The seats use a polyurethane material. This material is both cheap to produce and is easier to maintain than leather and other materials.
While the dashboard may initially look like marble, closer inspection reveals that it is actually made of a paper composite. However, it is not standard paper as it is more in line with really high-quality, dense cardboard. Having paper composite for the dashboard’s material is not only cheaper than a metal or stone material, though; in addition to this, it is safer in the chance of a horrific accident.
Cybertruck, unsurprisingly, has had very polarizing opinions from the general public. Many jokes have been made about its distinctive design, ranging from how it looks like “Lara Croft from the original Tomb Raider Play Station game to “a Viking helmet with horns on the inside.” On the opposite side, many people have also been impressed by the base model’s relatively low price and the impressive specs for its price.
However, as basic economics principles tell us, public opinion on a broad scale is not always the best indicator of a product’s market success. As of May of 2021, reservations have exceeded 1 million preorders. This is an exceptional amount and has been responsible for helping boost profits for Tesla.
When it comes down to it, Cybertruck is a truck that was destined to be polarizing. Many people will, undoubtedly, never warm up to the design and opt-out on considering purchasing the truck. Musk has been quoted as saying, “if it turns out nobody wants to buy a weird-looking truck, we’ll build a normal truck, no problem,” showing that Tesla is open to re-evaluating their current production line if demand does not meet a sufficient amount.
Despite all of the deliberate design choices made to make Cybertruck a vehicle that focuses on function over form, many people will still be unwilling to drive the truck due to its unconventional design.
So this leaves the question of if Tesla will radically redesign Cybertruck before its final production model. From what Musk has stated, the answer is no, but there will be some last-minute improvements.
Musk has stated that the final design will be “almost exactly” like the initial design first shown off in 2019. However, Musk has also alluded that the improvements will not be dramatic, opting more for slight tweaks to the size. For example, Musk recently explained (via Twitter) that Cybertruck will no longer have door handles. Per Musk, the vehicle (via the key fob or your phone) will recognize you and open its doors.
Musk has acknowledged that the design is unusual and is aware of its potential not being a huge success. He has said that “Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like aliens made it from the future” and that “it is so unlike anything else.” Despite this, Tesla is still moving forward with the design.
Those who are hoping for a drastic last-minute design change are going to be disappointed by this news. However, as we have seen now already, the purpose of the design is primarily focused on function over form. Those looking for the slickest-looking truck will not be the target demographic.
One of the first things you might see in some of the promotional photos for Cybertruck is a solar panel on the back of the truck. While this will be an optional feature, it makes Cybertruck stand out from its competition.
While the price has not been decided yet, the roof is anticipated to generate roughly 15 extra miles of drive time a day. Since the average drive time in the United States is around 30 miles a day, this could be a very cost-effective option for those who don’t want to spend as much time recharging their Cybertruck.
Unlike many trucks, Cybertruck can comfortably hold up to six people in its interior. For those who need to carry many items and people, Cybertruck will be an attractive option.
Cybertruck accelerates exceptionally quickly. With the base model, you can expect to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in roughly 6.5 seconds. However, the triple-motor option will be able to do the same in under 3 seconds.
What does all of this ultimately mean for the future of Cybertruck, Tesla, and vehicles as a whole? Despite initial shock at the vehicle’s design, preorder sales trends show that Cybertruck is going to do quite well.
The future can never be truly predicted, but, if nothing else, strong preorder sales seem to indicate that people are willing to give designs that are outside of the standard convention a try. Many people have been vocal about their dislike of the vehicle’s design.
Despite this, it is clear Tesla is ignoring traditional design practices and instead focusing on the benefits it can bring to drivers and passengers worldwide instead of worrying about what people may think about the design. By invoking a non-traditional, yet highly functional design, Tesla is proving why they are one of the most innovative companies in the world.