The Design Of Tesla’s Cybertruck

The Cybertruck is striking, no question. It doesn’t look like other trucks on the road. But is it well-designed, aesthetically or practically, as a usable truck?

The lack of curves anywhere, even the angular wheel arches, feels less like a deliberate design decision and more like a severe constraint that weighed heavily on the designer. It seems like the sort of thing that would be built in a country without the means to stamp complex shapes from steel, like the Citroën FAF or the Volkswagen Hormiga.

These simple, crude, but highly usable vehicles managed to have a certain simple charm about them though. A charm that the Cybertruck lacks, and I think that’s because vehicles like the Hormiga were designed with utility and a sense of humility in mind, while the allegedly and needlessly bulletproof Cybertruck is designed around what feels like a very peculiar and specific sort of insecurity and arrogance. But there may be other reasons for the look at play.

Also, earlier utility vehicles with simple, flat panels that required no complex pressings almost always had something in common to make those flat panels stronger: corrugations.

Look at a Citroën HY Van, for example. It’s effectively covered in ribs to give thin metal strength. The Cybertruck has no corrugations at all but is made of entirely flat panels. Flat, thin steel panels with no corrugations are weak, unless the metal is thick and, as a result, heavy.

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