Everyone’s initial reaction to the unveiling of the Cybertruck was probably the same around the world. It included shock, humour and bewilderment. Tesla having created such an odd-looking vehicle surprised all of the automotive designers. Raphael Zammit, head of the MFA Transportation Design program at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, describes the car as ‘extreme’. The car breaks every rule taught to students, it’s what designers say not to do.
The roof is of particular interest to automobile creators. Due to triangles involved in the construction, the roof is undoubtedly strong and secure. Yet because it looks so thin, there will always be a seed of doubt in the customer’s mind. Car manufacturers usually add a bit of zest to the car, to make it look strong. Tesla has taken the no-compromise approach and not cared about the aesthetic one bit.
The Cybertruck has a unibody design, meaning the vehicle is built around a metal scaffolding. This significantly cuts down on a vehicle’s overall bulk while also providing a place to stash batteries. Unibody trucks need extra reinforcing pillars to prevent the car from buckling under pressure, hence the reason for some of the sharp edges the Cybertruck has. The truck boasts a maximum towing capacity of 6350 kilograms and a payload of 1580 kilograms. The reduced weight caused by the stainless-steel frame, allows the all-wheel model to accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in just 2.9 seconds.
The steel frame is the same as that used in SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and is resistant to dents and corrosion. The truck’s armoured glass is supposedly shatter-proof, but the recent set of events at the unveiling event prove that it still has some way to go.
One of the reasons the car looks strange is due to the fact that it has no visible ‘crumple zone’ in the front. This is usually built to collapse and absorb the brunt of the force in a forward collision. It’ll be interesting to know how the Cybertruck performs in crash tests. The lack of side mirrors and the headlights being a strip of illumination make it road-illegal in the US. Tesla didn’t mention whether the Cybertruck’s design would change before going into production in 2021. For these reasons, this truck feels more like a concept car rather than a full-fledged, ready to be deployed vehicle. The ‘buy now’ button on the company’s page allowing you to reserve your Cybertruck, suggests otherwise.
Here’s what Raphael Zammit added-
“By being philosophically so pure and so functional, Tesla has completely eliminated a very large part of what is the traditional automotive assembly. The company might cut down on expensive tool and die costs by keeping all elements of the car flat, straight, and, frankly, a little weird looking. Musk might be pulling off one of the most brilliant moves in automotive history”
Even so, purchases decide whether the Cybertruck will be successful or not. Whether this car will appeal more to the environmentally-friendly or the video-game-adrenaline-junkie, will only be revealed with the passage of time.