The Pickup No-one Asked For
In a world of congestion and small cars, the Tesla Cybertruck is a radically new way of pissing people off.
Elon musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and many other apparently wonderful companies such as Space-X, spends his free time digging tunnels under Los-Angeles to ease congestion. However the latest automobile he's graced us with is the biggest to date. The electric Cybertruck is trying to break into a market with outstanding brand loyalty, almost completely made up of men who have their cornflakes with crude oil, go to coal-rolling events on Sunday afternoons and are the ones commenting shit on Elon's twitter posts. So is he brave but stupid, or does Tesla's new pickup with a name straight out of Dr Who stand a chance?
Lets get the obvious stuff out the way first. You wouldn't want to be hit by that thing at a zebra crossing. It's front bumper is not the usual plastic found on the small Japanese cars you see pottering around London, but instead it's stainless steel angled in such a way as to cause maximum damage to your hips. And it's not like you'll hear it coming because of course it doesn't have a supercharged V8 like the Velociraptor, or gigantic stacks like those things that come out of Las Vegas bodyshops. But despite the hip destroying front bumper, I actually quite like the way it looks. The headlight looks like what you'd expect to find running down the corridors of a spaceship. Tesla have made no secret of the fact they have a hard time making the bodywork, and the simplest solution to that problem is to let a 5 year old design it and tell them they have to use a ruler. I wouldn't call it pretty by any means, but from certain angles it does remind me of my Grandmother's greenhouse.
The marketing slogan if you go on Tesla's website is 'Better Utility Than a Truck With More Performance than a Sports car'. Now I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time I was driving the B roads and was overcome with the need to be able to carry some illegal immigrants in the back. And it's got an electric cover for the cargo area so don't think there won't be headlines of police stopping these and finding people in the back. One of the design points for this car seems to have been making it as durable as possible, i.e. stainless steel construction and what Tesla call Armour Glass. And again, the last time I was being shot at I was at a paintball event in the middle of the woods up a tree, not in my car. It can't even withstand a large marble being thrown at it.
The theme of durability continues on the inside with a marble dashboard. That's right, the same stuff the Romans made temples out of is now in a car. Marble. Imagine the airbags being deployed in that, it would be like smashing your head into your kitchen worktop.
We all know by now that Tesla make very quick cars, and the Cyborg is no different. The Tri-Motor model claims a 0-60 time of less than 2.9 seconds, which is really handy for getting away from police with the stolen tiles in the back. But seriously, who needs a truck that goes that fast? Cars that can run away so quickly should be low, nimble supercars, not stainless steel trucks. I struggle to imagine a world where the conventional pickup owner will be won over just by impressive performance figures. There are other issues too. The way the sides of the loadbed slope down make it impossible to grab something from it without going around to the back and opening the tailgate.
It's little things like that which make me very skeptical as to what the intention with this truck was. If it was all a marketing ploy to get Tesla fanboys excited and for pissing off F150 owners with pointless comparisons then they've done a fantastic job. But if they are genuinely trying to convert people from V8 trucks, I truly believe the way to do it is to make the design familiar but improve the bloody fuel economy. There is nothing wrong with the design of an F150, there's a reason why they sell in their millions. Ford have spent decades perfecting the design of their Pickups just for some spiky-haired design department in silicon valley to take a shit on it. On the subject of F150's, Tesla released a video where the Cyborg appeared to pull one from a standstill up a hill while it pulled in the opposite direction. Let me assure you, all this shows is that the Tesla is in-fact even heavier than the fat kid. They might as well have been pulling a Lotus for all it proves. Not to mention the F150 was in two wheel drive mode.
So in conclusion, yes its fast, durable and striking to look at. But will it win over the rednecks who buy traditional pickups? I doubt it.