We finally know what the real, production-spec Tesla electric pickup looks like. After many renders and much speculation, last night Elon Musk showed the Tesla Cybertruck on-stage to the whole world. And the reactions were…interesting. Not because of the specs, but the looks. The Cybertruck’s design has been polarizing, to say the least. Musk promised the Tesla electric truck would be inspired by Blade Runner. And it certainly looks like no other truck on the market today. But based on the Internet’s general response, Ridley Scott is the last thing on anyone’s mind when looking at the Cybertruck.
Old video game graphics
Video game graphics have come a long way in recent years. I remember playing Halo on the original Xbox—now we’ve got the likes of Warframe. And based on a report from Kotaku, looking at the Tesla Cybertruck got a lot of people on Reddit and Twitter reminiscing about the early days of gaming.
Many responses to the Tesla electric pickup reference the first ‘blocky’ Tomb Raider. Others bring up the PS1 and N64 systems. Others go even further back, to arcade racing games and the original Star Fox. Many simply ask if the truck’s finished rendering, or if this is the “low poly” edition.
It’s not just video games that people are comparing the Tesla Cybertruck to, though. Some people have compared it to something drawn up in MS Paint, or an early CAD demo. And another asked if their son would receive royalties from Tesla for using the drawings he made at the age of 4.
Scenes from other movies and TV shows
However, it wasn’t all jokes about the Tesla truck’s low resolution. Reading through Reddit comments, it does appear that Musk did capture at least some Blade Runner essence. Or at least, he captured some of the aesthetics from its sci-fi contemporaries.
Some claim that it resembles the vehicles seen in Total Recall. Others reference the Terminator films or the tank from Alien 2. Musk did claim the Cybertruck is constructed with the same materials as the SpaceX Starship spacecraft, according to The Drive.
But others have been less kind. One person compared the Cybertruck to Flats the Flounder from SpongeBob. And another saw Dwight’s pyramid-shaped tablet from The Office. Disclaimer: I’ve never seen The Office, only the memes—I’m assuming this isn’t a good thing.
Other real-world vehicles
Criticism and cracking jokes at an automaker’s expense are by no means new. In fact, many vehicles considered iconic today were made fun of, and occasionally still are. And for many, the Tesla Cybertruck bears a resemblance to them.
A common comparison is the DMC Delorean. Angular design, interesting doors, polished metal exterior—it makes sense. And in its day, the Delorean wasn’t particularly popular. Nor built particularly well, which, based on the on-stage ‘bulletproof’ window demonstration, the Telsa truck also shares. It was only with films like Back to the Future and Ready Player One that the Delorean found widespread pop-culture popularity. Who knows? The same might happen with the Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck has also been compared with the Pontiac Aztek. And not only in overall design. Musk revealed that the Cybertruck can be ordered with a camping tent, much like the Aztek’s. Although the Tesla also has a kitchen option.
What’s intriguing is that, before last night’s reveal, we had no idea Tesla would offer such camping features. It is possible, however, that the automaker wanted to compete with the upcoming Rivian R1T. The Drive thinks so, as well. Rivian is currently testing a mobile kitchen prototype, and the company has demonstrated camper versions of its pickup before.
Based on this information, it appears Tesla is eying Rivian as its fiercest competitor. And clearly the Cybertruck’s looks aren’t putting too many people off: InsideEVs does claim Tesla already has 200,000 reservations. However, the R1T does resemble current-day pickups more closely than the Cybertruck. But whether or not that’s a good thing—we’ll just have to wait and see.