Albert Radu / Edge columnist
The Tesla Cybertruck: a source of controversy between many automotive experts, and between Gleneagle students looking to cars such as the Cybertruck as an inspiration of design alternatives and innovation for the future of their generation.
When Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed his new truck design at the Tesla Cybertruck reveal, fans and critics alike exploded into debate over the car.
The design is uncommon when compared to vehicles of similar class, such as the Ford F-150 or the Ram 1500.
The sharp triangular design and emphasis on an exoskeleton-based body shocked many, and the media blew up.
Some influential social media figures openly mocked the design’s strange new direction in the automotive industry.
Mike Levine, Ford’s North America product communications manager, reacted to Musk’s Cybertruck with a laughing GIF on twitter during the reveal.
But is the Cybertruck truly a flop? Or does Musk’s newest design hold a hidden genius that offers a glimpse into the future of cars?
Leaving the design aside, the specs are undeniably impressive.
The truck is proven to be more powerful than an F-150 two years before its release.
The cheapest model of the Cybertruck boasts a higher maximum payload, greater towing capacity, more exterior storage space, a tougher body that can withstand bullet impacts, higher ground clearance and better off road capabilities, all at the price of $39,900.
Additionally, the Cybertruck is a fully electric vehicle, meaning that gas prices are eliminated, and its engine can reach 100km/h in an astounding 2.9 seconds.
Outperforming both the F-150 in trucking capabilities and the Porsche 911 in performance, Tesla rightfully credits its car for having “better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car,” and at an impressively low price.
But the performance isn’t the main point of conflict over the car, rather, it’s the otherworldly Blade-Runner-like design that seems to throw people off.
Matt DeLorenzo, senior executive editor at Kelly Blue Book sees the Cybertruck as “a niche product at best [that] poses no threat in the pickup market as we know it today”.
Meanwhile, Dropbox executive Adam Nash describes the truck as “fascinating” and Syd Mead, Blade Runner’s art director, adds that the new Cybertruck is “stylistically breathtaking”.
The Cybertruck opens up a new world of possibilities for cars, where car manufacturers no longer design cars to fit the niche of the market, but rather, create cars that can stylistically represent the driver, similar to the automotive industry of the 60’s.
The best way to put it is with a comparison to modern fashion:
Shirts all have a primary function, to keep the wearer warm. But not all shirts are made the same, with the exact same design and falling into the same niche.
Rather, they are all made and chosen to fit the style of a specific kind of individual, and the Cybertruck encourages the automotive industry to take a risk, and create unique personal designs of their own, so that a car is no longer just a tool used for a certain function, but rather a reflection of one’s individuality.
This creates a massive new industry of car design, which allows current students to study new and innovative design ideas and leave their own mark on the automotive industry in their future careers.
While the Cybertruck itself may not appeal to all audiences, my hope is that car manufacturers take inspiration from Musk’s boldness and begin to diversify themselves from the crowd as well; creating newer, more powerful, innovative, and eco-friendly designs.