The Cybertruck is a vehicle that is so polarizing, CEO Elon Musk stated that Tesla would be coming out with a more conventional pickup if it were to fail. Over a year since its release, the Cybertruck continues to polarize, with those who were critical of it still being skeptical, and those who appreciated it being even more optimistic about its upcoming release.
Automotive designer Frank Stephenson, who has done stellar work with companies like Ferrari, BMW, Maserati, Fiat, Lancia, and McLaren, recently shared his thoughts on Tesla’s hulking pickup truck. Stephenson is a prolific car designer, being named by MotorTrend as one of the most influential designers today. And having a reputation for designing vehicles with “biomimicry,” his creations typically feature the kind of lines that one can see in natural environments.
Needless to say, Stephenson is not a big fan of Tesla’s angular, almost brutalist pickup. According to the auto designer, the Cybertruck has numerous issues in its design, both in terms of its exterior and interior. For its exterior, Stephenson remarked that the Cybertruck’s extremely angular look will likely age just as well as PlayStation 1 graphics—revolutionary upon its release but extremely dated years down the road.
The legendary designer compared the Cybertruck’s futuristic, triangular look unfavorably to the Citroën Karin concept, which debuted in the 1980s, especially when it comes to the interior. Stephenson noted that the Karin’s interior is designed to be warm and welcoming, while the Cybertruck’s interior is unearthly and cold. And coupled with its dent-proof panels and Armor Glass windows, the Cybertruck looks every bit like a vehicle designed to shield its occupants from the outside world.
Stephenson, for his part, preferred vehicles that make their occupants part of nature, not shielded from it. A good example of such a vehicle, according to the prolific designer, is the Buick Electra EV concept, which invokes an optimistic, sustainable future. “Compared to the brutality of the Cybertruck, the Buick Electra looks like a beacon of hope,” he said.
While Stephenson’s take on the Tesla’s truck definitely has merit, it should be noted that the Cybertruck is a pickup, a vehicle whose segment is topped by machines that are optimized for utility while looking as domineering and aggressive as possible. The Cybertruck is an experiment of sorts for Tesla, and considering its estimated pre-order numbers, there seems to be a good chance that Elon Musk’s experiment may be headed towards success. Inasmuch as the Cybertruck is polarizing, after all, the vehicle was created by a great automotive designer too–one that redefined electric cars with the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y.
Frank Stephenson’s thoughts on the Cybertruck’s design issues could be viewed below.