From the bizarre looks to the epic window fail, this was the wildest truck unveiling ever.
Nobody expects a Tesla event to be routine, but the unveiling of the new Cybertruck was honestly jaw-dropping. The truck's design, specs and styling were just the beginning; the way the event unfolded was a show in itself.
Here are the Top 5 reasons Tesla's pickup is already unforgettable, years before it even hits the road.
Let's start with the end: Many tech bigwigs try to replicate a Steve Jobsian "One more thing" moment at the end of their press events, but Elon Musk delivered. In his odd, halting way he sort of rambled off the stage, then brought out an electric ATV that rolls up into the back of the truck, which squats unattractively, charging the ATV in its bed.
Few if any details about the ATV were offered, so this may be about as serious as a flamethrower, but it was definitely one more thing.
The proposed specs of the Cybertruck are ludicrous. It promises to tow and carry as much as, or much more than, the Big 3 pickups, while accelerating quicker than almost anything Porsche makes and delivering 500-plus miles of range in its priciest configuration. Now, Tesla still needs to maintain the price range between $40,000 and $70,000, actually hit showrooms in 2021 and have a federal EV tax credit still available by then. Keep some salt handy.
Not since GM's Saturn offerings arrived has a car body laughed off abuse so much. Blows from a sledgehammer seemed to do no more than slightly mar the Cybertruck's finish.
On top of that, the stainless steel exterior body panels comprise much of the Cybertruck's exoskeleton, a huge departure in truck engineering. If all this is real, the Cybertruck just became the No. 1 vehicle you don't want to crash into.
Dear God. Are they kidding? The Cybertruck tops such icons of hideousness as the Lamborghini LM002 and the Pontiac Aztek to become the ugliest thing ever to roll across the Earth. Its Blade Runner design had been bouncing around the rumor mill for a while, but to see that formally offered as its styling was a shock.
Many analysts worry that Tesla doesn't have the bandwidth to develop and style any additional models right now. They might be right.
A sample of the Cybertruck's glass was shown to be virtually unbreakable on a special demonstration jig on stage. Telsa should have quit while it was ahead. Instead, Musk urged Tesla design boss Franz von Holzhausen to throw a heavy steel ball at the driver's window of the actual truck. It shattered.
Assuming that was a fluke, they tried the rear side window and it shattered, too. Now the Cybertruck just looks like an old Blade Runner prop that spent a night parked on a San Francisco street.
I imagine this could have been a stunt to get people like me to do articles like this, but viral stunts are things like falling off the stage or rigging your pants to fall down. Having your CEO and lead designer appear ill at ease as they deface their new model in front of the world just looks like this whole thing has gone seriously off the rails.
The Cybertruck appears to come from another brand -- really, another planet -- than the Model 3 and Model S, creating a brand dissonance that is almost unheard of from major companies. Tesla is No. 1 in electric cars, but also No. 1 in dubious surprises among major carmakers.
The Cybertruck is available for preorder reservation with a paltry $100 deposit. Compared with the $1,000-to-$2,500 reservation cost for the Model 3 preorder, it's clear Tesla isn't using the Cybertruck as a shadow fundraising tool.