On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company’s latest electric vehicle, the aptly named Cybertruck, in the process snapping every neuron in my brain that has braved the long march of the past few years.
The Cybertruck supposedly has great specs like a 3,500-pound payload, up to 14,000-pound towing, an adaptive air suspension, and three ranges (200, 300, and 500 miles on a single charge). It will start at about $50,000 for the base rear-wheel drive single-motor version and max out at around $70,000 for the all-wheel drive, three-motor version. It is also a hulking monstrosity that throws all the principles of car design out the window and looks like it was designed to shoot laser beams at fleeing civilians. I appear to be one of the few that likes it, and I will fight you if you disagree.
Musk also claims that the final version will be “literally bulletproof.” Its chassis held up to what looked like a sledgehammer (it may have actually been a dead blow hammer, which is used to minimize impact damage) swung by lead designer Franz von Holzhausen during a demo. But Musk stood by as von Holzhausen threw a metal orb at its supposedly impregnable armored glass windows, which cracked, and then as von Holzhausen bafflingly tried again with the same results.
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Despite what appears to be widespread mockery by almost the entire internet—one Gizmodo colleague described it as looking like “a DeLorean had sex with math,” while another said it reminded them of a “smushed version of that silver metal apocalypse car that’s always driving around Brooklyn”—I kind of like the thing. I’m not entirely sure why, but here’s some guesses:
- Incredible Doomer DeLorean energy
- Duke Nukem-era number of polygons
- Fulfills what I am pretty sure is the number one point of vehicle design, which is for everyone to gawk at and take photos of the car you are driving
- Could mount a machine gun in the back and make one hell of a technical
- Is the car Tesla would send back in time to stop Prius
- Roomy enough to fit two 13 year olds on each others’ shoulders in a trenchcoat
- If you’re ever trapped in it, like in a massive fire or on the tracks while a train is chugging at you, you can easily escape by throwing a metal orb at the windows a few times
- Come on, you know that almost all other cars are hideous
You may think I am merely joking, but I assure you I would drive this thing long after the initial novelty wore off.
It is, of course, possible that all of the things that I like about the Cybertruck are in fact bad things that other people do not want in a vehicle. It is also possible that, as someone whose license expired in 2014 and has primarily driven in Grand Theft Auto V since, I am absolutely the last person you want to ask for insights on any kind of vehicle. But none of this will be resolved until one of us is yelling “Yield, I yield” in the dirt.
What do you think of Musk’s new Cybertruck? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to name a time and isolated place to face off if you disagree with me.
Update: Nov. 22, 2019 at 6:10 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to clarify that my take was bad and wrong and should be deleted as soon as I can figure out how.
For one, as noted by University of Iowa College of Law professor Greg Shell, crashes involving SUVs or trucks are four times as likely to kill a child than a car, as the “high, blunt front ends strike children in the head & direct them downward.” The Cybertruck’s angular front angle, combined with its supposedly undentable chassis, suggest that it should actually be named the Tesla Beheader, which is not as good as it sounds. My Gizmodo colleague Brian Kahn also points out at Earther that the marketing pitch for this vehicle appears to position it as an “affordable roving fortress to fend off plebes looking for a handout” in a climate dystopia, which tracks.
Additionally, one commenter called this car “Kanye West on wheels,” which has further diminished my appreciation of the Tesla Beheader aesthetic. I regret the take and, again, am trying to delete it.