So we've all had the weekend to calm down from the excitement of the Tesla Cybertruck launch. After the windows shattered from the metal balls lobbed at them (thrown both hard and softly, just FYI), the Tesla Armour glass has now been swept up and opinions about the eccentric design are rolling in. What do people really think of the design that's straight out of a retro-futuristic piece of artwork (like the ones in our pixel art (opens in new tab) post)?
Well, it's a divisive issue. There has been accusations of copycat design and an avalanche of mocking, but more importantly, there have been over 200,000 preorders (according to Elon Musk on Twitter). At $100 per deposit, that's a tidy $20 million in the bank already for Tesla. Clearly there are a lot of people not overly worried about being shot at with giant metal balls.
We went all out in describing the Tesla's branding as '90s retro (opens in new tab), but now that the car itself has been unveiled, it's been pointed out that it actually belongs in the almost-'80s. In 1979, Aston Martin released the car above: The Bulldog. Only one concept vehicle was ever made, although 25 were planned. It was obviously too out there for anyone to take seriously. Until now.
Reddit user FriesWithThat made the comparison (opens in new tab) and people are all over it. FriesWithThat launched their post by pondering, "What are the odds Aston Martin predicted exactly what the future would look like?"
Some responses are critical of Tesla. "They should sue Tesla" asserted JohnnTheBackFist (opens in new tab), and others have come out in support of Tesla like onduty (opens in new tab). "It seems like so many critics are placing this onus on Tesla, as if the cars they release have to be completely new and never before seen designs", onduty said. "What is wrong with a car that looks cool and people like? This is a production model of a cyberpunk car that people only dreamed about thirty years ago."
"The future looks the way it does because some creative people created designs that looked out of their time", pointed out nish_c (opens in new tab), making this profound point about design in general. "Then other ambitious/creative people who grew up thinking that that's what future held, built that future. Like a self fulfilling prophecy."
The mocking has been pretty relentless, though. Elon Musk as Homer Simpson is one of the most creative angles we've seen. And the window-smashing launch was like something straight out of The Simpsons. And Reddit user Grizzleyt (opens in new tab) thinks that Homer even had a little more design/business-nous than Musk. "I mean they’re opposite design processes. Homer was the user designing the car and it was a failure because the team took his ideas at face value rather than interpreting them into needs-to-be-solved.
"Whereas the Cybertruck appears to be Musk making whatever the f*** he wants without concern for what others think."
Over on Twitter there have been some equally as creative takes on the design, some of which look like a dystopian future like those predicted in Black Mirror.
I think the cybertruck should be the new police vehicle. pic.twitter.com/Kp8c56YLN6November 25, 2019
And there have been more popular culture references. It seems similar designs have shown up in a number of futuristic films from the last few decades, for example in Total Recall:
The Tesla #Cybertruck really pays tribute to how cars were meant to look in the future according to movies like Total Recall pic.twitter.com/VxAdltO93aNovember 22, 2019
Users of popular car enthusiast website, Gear Junkie (opens in new tab), have also come up with some pretty hilarious alternative names for the Cybertruck, too. Offers include 'Starship Pooper', 'The Millennial Falcon' and – our favourite – 'Musk Ox'.
But will we really be watching the electric truck speed past us on the M4 though? Some are wondering if the design is even for real. With questions being asked over the truck's fitness for roads, it's possible there will have to be alterations before the thing is actually sold.
The Cybertruck has split opinion right down the middle, much like these controversial moments in branding (opens in new tab). We look forward to finding out what the future has in store for the Cybertruck, and we'll certainly be checking our rearview mirrors hoping to catch a glimpse of it on the motorway.