It's been four years but I don't think anyone can forget how the Tesla Cybertruck had its windows smashed during its concept reveal. Twice. It was a glorious moment for the Meme-ternet. Complete with the perfect quote, "Oh my f—ing God, well. Maybe that was a little too hard."
Fast forward to last Thursday; where the same man, Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, repeats the throw, albeit with visibly less gusto and a much softer weapon of choice. Surprise, surprise. Unlike in 2019, the window prevailed.
So why does the vehicle, produced two years behind schedule and at almost double the initial projected price, have its performance as the main source of scrutiny? Why, with a body like that, a face like that, would how it maneuvers the road become the fixation of its creation?
One could argue it's precisely because of the price point. The top-shelf of the three announced models (Cyberbeast) goes at est. USD 99,990. The lowest rear-wheel drive variant is only available in 2025, which could only mean prices are liable to inflate. So it's fair to want to know if function matches form.
We won't get into the full specs of the plug-powered wagon when all that information can easily be found on its main site. One highlighted aspect—miles per charge (since we're talking about an American vehicle currently only available in the US)—is not exactly outdoing the market competition at 250 for the base model.
Though it supposedly excelled at well, being a truck. Being pelted by bullets. It was also cool to see the (strategically shot) premium model beating a Porsche 911 while towing another Porsche 911.
Early reviewers have also praised its smooth drive, thanks to the variable steering ratio. Basically, with features like the same turning radius as a Model S at low speed while being comparably much larger; virtually allowing big turns in one hand movement, the truck handles more like a sedan.
But c'mon. With fancy interface graphics, minimalistic touch-screen operations, toggles like "cheetah mode", can we all admit acquiring the Tesla Cybertruck or anything in its vein is obviously like scoring the latest hype collaboration—more about how it looks on you.
When a vehicle looks like the dream car of a man child if he had the money and resources to construct it (oh wait), it's safe to say buyers are not making the purchase because they need it for practical reasons. One tagline even says "Built for ANY PLANET", as opposed to "terrain". Very on-brand for the Mars-obsessed SpaceX founder, who has mentioned Blade Runner when discussing the truck's distinct appearance.
Equipped with clean aesthetics and sleek user experience, it's akin to what Apple did with phones and computers: Change the game when you show that good design is not a pipe dream. That it is possible to fashion a truck in the image of a Bond car (the submarine-esque Lotus Esprit), an iconic luxury automobile (Lamborghini Countach), and—dare we believe—a stealth aircraft (Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk).
If the engineering team had to live through the massive headache that is to mold notoriously difficult stainless steel into a viable exoskeleton amongst many other challenges, should consumers' biggest concern really be how it moves?
We're talking about a company that turned a public embarrassment into a means for profit. Yes, Tesla sold decals of its broken-glass window, specially designed to fit the truck's odd window dimensions (major plus points if the stickers were accurate to 2019's greatest hits, pun intended).
Perhaps it's because we're not the ones forking out all that cash. We can afford to be a bit more blasé about the capabilities as a spectator. But let's be real on what a vehicle like this—and should any ever come to own one—really exists for: Being a damn statement.