The Tesla Cybertruck caused quite a stir when it was launched in 2019, thanks to its… otherworldly styling cues that was perhaps even more divisive than pineapple on pizza. With the design of the Cybertruck already marinating in our minds for more than a year, esteemed automotive designer Frank Stephenson has finally weighed-in on the debate, and let’s just say – he’s not a big fan of it.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Frank Stephenson has been widely regarded as one of the most influential car designers of our time, with an impressive resume that includes the first-ever BMW X5, the reborn Mini, Ferrari F430, Maserati MC12, Fiat 500, McLaren P1, and even a flying car.
First up, the exterior. Frank Stephenson compared the sharp lines and boxy shapes of the Tesla Cybertruck to the graphics fidelity of a Sony PlayStation 1 – which we find it hard to disagree with – and believes that it will look dated very quickly with time.
Stephenson also draws parallels between the styling of the Cybertruck and that of the Citroën Karin concept, and argues that the latter actually feels a lot more futuristic than the electric pick-up truck. But here’s the twist – the Karin was debuted in 1980.
The use of indestructible materials, to Stephenson, also feels like we’re moving towards a future where we’d want to be shielded from the nature, instead of being one with it. It’s not a line of thought that we would embark on ourselves, but it’s not surprising from Stephenson given his own signature “biomimicry” design philosophy, where styling motifs are taken from nature and landscapes.
As for the interior, Stephenson argues that the Cybertruck feels cold, isolated, and “anti-environmentalist” – which for an electric pick-up truck that’s supposed to be the environment-friendly alternative to diesel-burning options, seems extremely counter-intuitive.
Interest in the Tesla Cybertruck has certainly skyrocketed since launch – and if not for its controversial design, it will be due to the fanboyism surrounding Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk himself. The Cybertruck is certainly a step in a different direction in car design, and for us, we still aren’t too sure about the design of the Cybertruck. Frank Stephenson’s video certainly helped articulate a lot of our feelings towards it.
Will it stand up to the test of time, though? Well, as the saying goes: only time will tell. And hey – professionals can make mistakes, too, and perhaps Stephenson will be wrong about this one.