This Is Why You Let The Car Finish Rendering
November 22, 2019 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Elon Musk surprised the automotive world in a few ways with the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck. Sporting a very angular look, the design immediately set off comments about low polygon counts while Musk hyped up the vehicle's performance with the optional tri-motor configuration and its bullet resistance - which wound up leaving egg on Musk's face when the supposedly "unbreakable" windows failed to live up to that claim.

Production of the base rear wheel drive single engine model is slated for 2021 with a $40k price tag, while the top tier tri-motor AWD variant is slated for 2022 at $70k.
posted by NoxAeternum (337 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
This was pretty epic on ‘Good Morning America’ Mr. Roquette and I had a good laugh.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:25 AM on November 22, 2019


Top comments from reddit:

Seriously what fuck is that? It looks like a DeLorean fucked a triangle.
 
It looks like a Pontiac Aztec went through a knife sharpener
posted by lalochezia at 11:28 AM on November 22, 2019 [90 favorites]


There's a real "SyFy Original Movie starring Adrian Paul" vibe to this thing.
posted by selfnoise at 11:28 AM on November 22, 2019 [49 favorites]


I like the car design and would consider getting it once my existing car eventually dies.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Elon Musk is the world's dumbest genius.
posted by larrybob at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2019 [44 favorites]


hate to break it to you but everyones existing eventually dies.
posted by lalochezia at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Me: 0 - 60 in 1.5 seconds*

*Source: Tesla
posted by NoMich at 11:30 AM on November 22, 2019


Me: can dunk 3 basketballs at the same time.*

*Source: Tesla
posted by NoMich at 11:31 AM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


There's a real "SyFy Original Movie starring Adrian Paul" vibe to this thing.

Funny I was thinking that it looked like something Jan Michael Vincent and George Peppard might have driven to fight mutants in the late 70s.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:33 AM on November 22, 2019 [50 favorites]


Hasn’t Musk gone to Mars yet?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


This is Starship Troopers level idiocy.
posted by odinsdream at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


I would potentially consider this car if it was proven to be radar low-observable.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2019 [21 favorites]


The jokes have been plenty, but I quite like it. Sure, you could say that it looks like something a four year old drew, but to me it looks like a stealth fighter.

If you're designing a truck of the future, why make it look like a truck of the present?
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2019 [29 favorites]


1:36 of video in that CNN link and we get 2 seconds look at the, y'know, actual bed of the truck. That part that actually carries stuff.
posted by jquinby at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2019 [13 favorites]


I mean, the memes have been a lot of fun. Kind of the only part of Tesla I like, the memes.
posted by Fizz at 11:35 AM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I look at this and wonder ... has Elon Musk ever met anyone who owns a truck? Has anyone at Tesla?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:35 AM on November 22, 2019 [37 favorites]


If you're designing a truck of the future, why make it look like a truck of the present?

But why make it look like a 'truck of the future' from a 1983 episode of The A-Team?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:36 AM on November 22, 2019 [66 favorites]


I was thinking Megaforce myself.
posted by octothorpe at 11:37 AM on November 22, 2019 [27 favorites]


It took me a while to figure out that one of the (several) visually disturbing things about this is that there are no side mirrors. What truck doesn't have/need side mirrors?! This will be a lot different looking by the time it hits production.
posted by meinvt at 11:38 AM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]




It took me a while to figure out that one of the (several) visually disturbing things about this is that there are no side mirrors. What truck doesn't have/need side mirrors?! This will be a lot different looking by the time it hits production.

They really want to use cameras for some goddamn reason, but currently mirrors are required by law.
posted by selfnoise at 11:40 AM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


Coverage I read speculated that perhaps something about the metal body material prevented them from doing anything rounded. Which is probably bunk, but it would be funny if the bulletproof cars of the future all had to look like low-poly renders.
posted by axiom at 11:40 AM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


But why make it look like a 'truck of the future' from a 1983 episode of The A-Team?

Hey, Retrofuturism is a Thing. A big-selling thing. That's why so many people go to Tomorrowland.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:41 AM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


It's the automotive equivalent of the movie in Kibo's Bloated Dead Dog. Only in this case, the cinéastes who went into the cinema expecting a worthy sequel to a brilliant indie sci-fi film and getting eight hours of flies buzzing around a carcass, as they squint into the daylight, are acclaiming it as a superlative triumph which changes the rules and obsoletes all that came before it.

I wonder how long until some muskie torches his Tesla and proclaims that cars with curved lines are suitable only for beta soycucks or something.
posted by acb at 11:41 AM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Real 80s heads will remember: Big Trak
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:41 AM on November 22, 2019 [26 favorites]


It took me a while to figure out that one of the (several) visually disturbing things about this is that there are no side mirrors. What truck doesn't have/need side mirrors?! This will be a lot different looking by the time it hits production.

They really want to use cameras for some goddamn reason, but currently mirrors are required by law.


As are pedestrian-friendlyless-lethal bumpers, windshield wipers, turn signals...
posted by Etrigan at 11:42 AM on November 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


Didn't Knight Rider fight this?
posted by tobascodagama at 11:42 AM on November 22, 2019 [31 favorites]


I'm also pretty convinced that Tesla is just someone who is bored and likes to troll. And he has the money to throw at ridiculous things like a Bond villain. So like, none of this is out of the ordinary for him.
posted by Fizz at 11:42 AM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


I hate oversized pickups that serve as masculinity confirmation / "Real American" status symbols.

I don't hate this, though. It looks like it's pandering to my nerdy self at any time between about 1978 and 1992, and I'm okay with this.

It looks like something that would roll down the streets of Seattle in 2050, carrying a middle-tier crime boss and his low-essence troll samurai bodyguard.
posted by Foosnark at 11:42 AM on November 22, 2019 [27 favorites]


I'm just glad to see I'm not the only who thought this came straight from an early-90s videogame. Apparently it clocks in at only 103 polygons.
posted by mstokes650 at 11:45 AM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


I don't hate this, though. It looks like it's pandering to my nerdy self at any time between about 1978 and 1992, and I'm okay with this.

As generative-art pundit Kate Compton pointed out, it's essentially the Cool 'S' in automobile form.
posted by acb at 11:45 AM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


Early 90s? I'm fairly sure I saw it on a Commodore 64.
posted by acb at 11:46 AM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


In other Tesla news, Elon Musk's jury trial for defamation of the guy he accused of pedophilia (and who was actually helping rescue the Thai soccer team), most notably in an email to BuzzFeed where Musk also said he "fucking hopes he sues me" goes to trial December 3rd, Musk's motion to dismiss being denied.

I'm sure Musk has a bulletproof defence, though.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:46 AM on November 22, 2019 [47 favorites]


But why make it look like a 'truck of the future' from a 1983 episode of The A-Team?

More of a Knight Rider vibe, to me. Possibly Airwolf. Maybe the bad guy's vehicle in a Dukes of Hazzard/Greatest America Hero crossover episode?
posted by nubs at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think I would get tired of the inability to take things out of the front of the truck bed from the side of the truck really quickly.
posted by Quonab at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2019 [15 favorites]


I think the unstated issue with the appearance is that hard angles and edges tend to be psychologically uncomfortable (studies supporting this range from art to child psychology to urban design), and that conflicts with how people today tend to think of their own cars as places/devices of relative comfort. It's an interesting problem.
posted by polymodus at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


what I don't get is why he didn't apparently pick up and throw a rock at the window in private first to make sure it worked before the conference rolled

elon musk why are you like this
posted by sciatrix at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2019 [34 favorites]


I bet that when one of these trucks rolls over, it cries like a baby, wheels spinning uselessly in the air.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Be nice, now. Cursor is doing the best it can.
posted by MrBadExample at 11:48 AM on November 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


I'm sure all the sharp angles are precisely designed to minimize damage to pedestrians and cyclists in accidents.
posted by signal at 11:48 AM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


the most insane element is that is "the official truck of MARS", yes, they actually seem to think they're going to build a pressure sealed version to take to Mars and honestly that answers almost every question of why it's designed the way it is. It's a fucking space truck.
posted by GuyZero at 11:49 AM on November 22, 2019 [20 favorites]


I was thinking Megaforce myself.
posted by octothorpe


Deeds not words, Musk. Deeds not words.
posted by COBRA! at 11:49 AM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


I submit that this type of esthetic should be dubbed Le Epic Bacon.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


The bed seems small.

I'm not really bothered by the aesthetics of the thing though.
posted by Zudz at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I bet that when one of these trucks rolls over, it cries like a baby , wheels spinning uselessly in the air.

The truck lies on its back, belly baking in the hot sun, spinning its wheels, trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not without your help. Why aren't you helping it?
posted by nubs at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2019 [65 favorites]


This thread is a new source of geothermal energy though.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


If you're designing a truck of the future, why make it look like a truck of the present?

Why not make it look like an actually good-looking pop-culture reference, like, say, a 1966 Batmobile or something, rather than the result of what you get when someone has the resources to get a napkin sketch turned into a motor vehicle?
posted by acb at 11:54 AM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I want to hate everything about this as it combines the "cyber" prefix with "elon musk" thus including two of my most hated things simultaneously, but I actually kind of like it, in theory. It's kind of like the end result of what it would be like if we decided that we were going to double down on the boxiness of cars instead of going for curves in the 80s. But one of my favorite cars was also a late 70s Volvo DL240, so take that into account.

While in theory it's nice to have a really rigid and indestructible-ish vehicle, I have serious doubts about safety. It seems like what would happen if you decided to externalize all of your crumple zones, which seems absolutely in-line with how Musk would work.
posted by MysticMCJ at 11:56 AM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


I think the unstated issue with the appearance is that hard angles and edges tend to be psychologically uncomfortable (studies supporting this range from art to child psychology to urban design), and that conflicts with how people today tend to think of their own cars as places/devices of relative comfort. It's an interesting problem.

Being disturbing and vaguely threatening might actually be a point in its favor. My friends and I were talking about this yesterday, and one of them jokingly suggested that, since it's from Tesla, it should have truck nuts that generate arcs of electricity like a Tesla coil. I actually think if you can make this truck the most obnoxious thing on the road, people might give up their coal rollers for one.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:56 AM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


I don't like it.

The Whelk has mentioned on here a couple of times that there's something undertheorized and bizarre about the aesthetics promoted by the rich and powerful right now. He's talked about this in connection with, eg, Boris Johnson's hair and the way it looks like Elon Musk has super bad fillers. It's not quite that there's a fascist aesthetic which is about "I look ugly as an aggressive gesture" but that's almost it. There's something really weird being suggested. I'm not sure what it is, but I feel like it's an aggressive worsening of things. Like, this car looks clumsy and weird, and I feel like it's supposed to say, "society is getting worse and more retrograde and unequal, and things are getting uglier, history is going backward" and sort of reveling in the ugliness and implicit violence of the design. Like, we envison a future where not just retrofuturistic but retrofuturistic-ugly-aggressive design is the new normal. A street full of cars like that would be like a street full of Humvees without the optimism, and that's saying something.
posted by Frowner at 11:57 AM on November 22, 2019 [162 favorites]


If I were a Tesla employee right now I’d be pretty upset to learn that my fellow employees were a dozen times more committed to Cyberpunk 2077 LARPing than ending fossil fuel use (also that I hadn’t been invited, I guess, because there’s LARPing with a budget and then there’s this).
posted by Ryvar at 11:57 AM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


It seems easy to chuckle at the simple sheet metal...but what if it's all mounted with easy-to-replace fixtures?
Would we see all kinds of cool customizations and mods for this thing?
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:57 AM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


White South African who's deathly-afraid of carjackers (because butt-head billionaire) orders pick-up that turns out to be the ultimate macho pedestrian-masher.

I mean, this thing doesn't need truck nutz, it is truck nutz.

(Just look at the design language, and boggle.)
posted by cstross at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2019 [37 favorites]


I like the cybertruck for two reasons:

- It looks dumb but it has the potential to influence other manufacturers to make better-looking but equally futuristic designs.

- It vastly increases the odds that Elon will eventually go down in a massive cocaine scandal.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2019 [36 favorites]


I think I would get tired of the inability to take things out of the front of the truck bed from the side of the truck really quickly.

Unless you are unusually tall, the ability to do that went away a decade ago. The new Jeep pickup is notable that you can do it again, but it costs more then $50k.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


a street full of Humvees without the optimism

Wonderful. This should be the new "boot stamping on a human face, forever."
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


It needs more fins to lower wind resistance. And a racing stripe I feel would be pretty sharp.
posted by AndrewInDC at 12:00 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Also comparing it to a Blade Runner car kind of annoys me. A Blade Runner car would be full of buttons and joysticks and buttons on joysticks. And lots of tiny CRTs.
posted by selfnoise at 12:00 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm glad he gave his long lost half-brother Homer a chance to design this car but
posted by mobunited at 12:00 PM on November 22, 2019 [44 favorites]


Look, there's no way the train's going to be able to push this thing to 88 before we fall into Clayton Ravine, Doc.
posted by Etrigan at 12:01 PM on November 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


one of them jokingly suggested that, since it's from Tesla, it should have truck nuts that generate arcs of electricity like a Tesla coil

Well, the Tesla "T" logo does look like a stylised, mechanical cock-and-balls, or like something that could be interpreted as a symbol of masculine-virility-through-futuristic-technology.
posted by acb at 12:01 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Seems like you can just slide this under the F150 that's blocking you from the Supercharger.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I aesthetically like the angularity. The seats-to-cargo ratio looks more like a station wagon than a truck, not that there’s anything wrong with that. There is something wrong with only being able to sell wagons and minivans if you advertise them as trucks, though.
posted by clew at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


1:36 of video in that CNN link and we get 2 seconds look at the, y'know, actual bed of the truck. That part that actually carries stuff.

Pfft. Most of the mega-trucks around here never see more than a bag of dog food in the bed.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


Anyone remember the game Another World? It absolutely screams that games aesthetic.
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


We're destroying Bolivia for this.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [29 favorites]


I've never owned a truck before, but we have a new house that's somewhat remote and we've wished a couple of times that we had one. And if we end up buying a truck, why not a Syd Mead electric space-truck?
posted by The Tensor at 12:03 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


I do think JK Seazer has it. It's ugly and stupid and obnoxious and out-of-place because that is the sort of thing that will appeal to people who think a dually kit, chrome moose grille, 6KW LED light bar, mud flaps with "ROLLING COAL" on them and a dash mounted button activating a pump that sprays pig shit backwards out of the bed (at speed, on the highway) is the barest basic starter package for a "work truck."

I guess if Musk can mine the deeply insecure toxic masculinity of the Deplorables for cash while getting them off carbon, that's a net good thing? I guess?
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:05 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I kinda like it, it looks enough like a moon buggy or a Car Wars car.

In-cultural-context, it's horrible, it reminds me more of a tank than a truck, an armored car for guilty millionaires worried about civil unrest.
posted by fleacircus at 12:06 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


I had a teen phase of trying to get into classic cars, and my favorites were always the really fucking weird ones, like the Isetta and the VW Thing. I also quite liked El Caminos, and I never understood why they didn't still make cars like that - essentially sports cars with pickup beds.

Musk aside, this car reminds me of an El Camino crossed with a Thing crossed with... well, an industrial HVAC system, but even so, I can't hate it. I actually really like it, precisely because it's so damn weird.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


If you're designing a truck of the future, why make it look like a truck of the present?

Mostly because you are trying to sell it to people who buy the trucks of the present.

Trucks are hugely popular in the US and Musk has stated that they want some of that market. Think about the average person who has a truck. Obviously truck ownership spans all ages and demographics, but if you were to imagine the Platonic Ideal of "truck owner", do you think that person would buy this truck?

Silicon Valley types who have Opinions about the latest Star Wars movies will probably love this truck. I'm not sure about the rest of America.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Boy, I sure am glad that this billionaire has so much hoarded cash that he can suck the power of self-determination out of enormous masses of people and direct its flow into designing and manufacturing the stupidest fucking truck I've ever seen.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2019 [19 favorites]


> Be nice, now. Cursor is doing the best it can.

Oh good, I’m not the only one who thought of Automan.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I think this is awesome. People shit on car companies all the time for not being brave enough to make something different or to actually build one of their concept vehicles. Moar crazy weird vehicles please!
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:11 PM on November 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


Paint it matte black, put led light strips on more of the edges, and one can pretend the car is from TRON.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Online scuttlebutt I can neither confirm nor deny but will share here anyway.

1) the all-metal design happens to conveniently come just as their paint factory is being investigated by the EPA

2) you know no one who uses a pickup truck had any say in the design when the bed can't fit a sheet of plywood
posted by thecjm at 12:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [40 favorites]


Oh good gods, I’m not the only one who thought of Automan.

There, ftfm.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I also find the name Cybertruck hilarious. I love it.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:15 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


CYBERTRUCK
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:16 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'm for CYBER everything.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:16 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, I'm totally ready for Y2K.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


Origami El Camino.
posted by jamjam at 12:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


PT Boomer
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [34 favorites]


Musk has implied that he doesn't really care if anyone buys this truck which is an interesting marketing concept. I suspect I will see quite a few of them in the Bay Area/LA and none outside of it.
"You know, I actually don't know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don't care," he said at the time. "If there's only a small number of people that like that truck, I guess we'll make a more conventional truck in the future."
I will admit this was my reaction to the reveal last night. I think the stainless steel body is going to look like shit after a while - sure it is dent and rust resistant, but not fingerprint-resistant. There's a reason we paint cars with highly-reflective paint.
posted by muddgirl at 12:18 PM on November 22, 2019


Its called cyber because he thinks he can sell it to this administration for patrolling the information highways against the illegal border crossing bots
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


All i have to say is... "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit."
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Geez everyone it's disruptive get over it.
posted by carter at 12:22 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


This is the kind of press you get when you are widely regarded as a dick. I think the glass is proof against a 9mm bullet. Bullet proof glass breaks when you shoot it but it is not penetrated. So the glass isn't unbreakable but, to some degree, bulletproof. Which could come in handy. Butt ugly though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:23 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Elon Musk is the world's dumbest genius.

Top Gear host Chris Harris has a theory that Musk will soon be overtaken in the electric car market by the large manufacturers, but since he has invested big in battery factories he will be in an ideal positon to profit as a high volume supplier. All of his early antics are just priming the pump for his endgame.
posted by fairmettle at 12:25 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


Which could come in handy.

When? I've been driving for 20 years, in some not nice neighborhoods and I've never needed bulletproof windows.

It looks to me like it's shatterproof, meaning when someone tries to break into my car there's no risk they'll cut up their hand when they smash in my window with a bat.
posted by muddgirl at 12:25 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Remember when Simone Giertz made Truckla? Well, she was at this event and apparently you can even see the CYBRTRK driving by the wee Truckla.
posted by foxfirefey at 12:26 PM on November 22, 2019 [20 favorites]


Bulletproof glass. Miniscule hauling capacity. Who is this even for? Not Bob the Builder, that's for sure.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:26 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


It is interesting that every car Tesla has put out has been uglier than the previous one.
I'm beginning to think they just got really lucky with the Model S.
posted by madajb at 12:26 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


"...if you were to imagine the Platonic Ideal of "truck owner", do you think that person would buy this truck?"

I think there's a market for environmentally friendly (or friendlier) trucks out there, sure. I also think there's a market full of people who want to be recognized as being environmentally friendly, people who want to be recognized as a Tesla driver. In making an even more distinctive Tesla, they may be concentrating on that. But yes, I definitely think those markets exist beyond the conventional truck market.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:27 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


If you're designing a truck of the future, why make it look like a truck of the present?

I could be Mr. Literal-Minded and say that, by definition, all that a designer has to do to make a truck of the future look like a truck of the future is--wait for it--have it come out in the future. What you mean, of course, is that the design should have some big signifiers that say, "Look at me, I'm from the future!", and even that is fraught with assumptions and various sorts of baggage--are you really thinking hard about what trucks should be, or become, or is it a sort of retro-futurism for people who thought that Battlezone would be real some day? And, as has already been bandied about, is this an actual practical design, or just what some billionaire who doesn't actually need a utility vehicle thinks would be a cool-looking thing?

My favorite comment, seen on Twitter:

Tesla truck looks like a Cub Scout’s deadbeat dad didn’t help him with the Pinewood Derby car.


Also digging the tweet below it.

If I were a Tesla employee right now I’d be pretty upset to learn that my fellow employees were a dozen times more committed to Cyberpunk 2077 LARPing than ending fossil fuel use (also that I hadn’t been invited, I guess, because there’s LARPing with a budget and then there’s this).

CP2007 has way better design than that. (Although apparently Projekt Red has been teasing putting the Cybertruck in there; that would be justified only if it could be blowed up real good.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:27 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Bulletproof glass. Miniscule hauling capacity. Who is this even for? Not Bob the Builder, that's for sure.

There's a big market segment of people who like pickup trucks as a sort of lifestyle statement, as opposed to people who routinely need to haul things or tow things or whatever cars don't do well.
posted by thelonius at 12:28 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


Watching Tesla systematically discover everything the actual car industry has learned over the last 100 years is almost worth putting up with Elon.
posted by madajb at 12:29 PM on November 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


Hell Camino
posted by bondcliff at 12:31 PM on November 22, 2019 [24 favorites]


I'd like to talk about the so-called "Blade Runner" ethos surrounding this release.
  • In a 2018 interview Musk literally said "it’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, “Blade Runner” pickup truck".
  • The fact that Nov 20/21 2019 has been established as the date when Decker went "back on the job" in the original Blade Runner was no coincidence for the world launch of the Cybertruck.
  • There were props from the original Blade Runner movie at this launch, including a full-size flying car, a noodle bar and apparently attendees were told to come dressed like cyberpunks (shudder).
Funnily enough Syd Mead, the illustrator who did all the concept art for Blade Runner including the vehicle design, started out back in the 1950s working for Ford and then US Steel.

It's quite an amazing turn of events that Mead, who was rooted in the classic Detroit automotive world, created this aesthetic that got picked up all these years later by someone who is using it to directly draw attention to how his truck is different than the current Detroit models.

The vehicles on the ground (in the movie) were designed to offer protection to the driver in a dangerous world of environmental disaster virtually abandoned by humanity. You gotta wonder, does Musk see the irony or is he incapable of seeing past the surface of "Dude, cyberpunk is kewl"?
posted by jeremias at 12:32 PM on November 22, 2019 [15 favorites]


Also, too, from Twitter.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Atom Eyes:

Real 80s heads will remember: Big Trak

Holy. Shit. There's something I haven't thought about since the 80s.

Also, someone tell Musk that Jan-Michael Vincent (RIP) would like his ride back.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:33 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


When? I've been driving for 20 years, in some not nice neighborhoods and I've never needed bulletproof windows.

I've been driving 40 years and I've never needed it either. Long may that record continue. But there is a market for this sort of thing.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2019


It sorta reminds me of the 1985 Saab EV concept car.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is the kind of press you get when you are widely regarded as a dick. I think the glass is proof against a 9mm bullet. Bullet proof glass breaks when you shoot it but it is not penetrated. So the glass isn't unbreakable but, to some degree, bulletproof. Which could come in handy. Butt ugly though.

But it's his truck. He paid the people who designed the truck. He's marketing and selling the truck. Why did he not talk to his fucking engineers and say "hey I think it'd be cool to throw a rock at the truck windows during the conference, just to show off how tough it is" before the press release?

I mean I know the answer is incompetence but I'm just saying, this ain't exactly making me think that he's thought this whole truck thing through any
posted by sciatrix at 12:40 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I do think JK Seazer has it. It's ugly and stupid and obnoxious and out-of-place because that is the sort of thing that will appeal to people who think a dually kit, chrome moose grille, 6KW LED light bar, mud flaps with "ROLLING COAL" on them and a dash mounted button activating a pump that sprays pig shit backwards out of the bed (at speed, on the highway) is the barest basic starter package for a "work truck."

Huh. I would have gone the other way, that coal-rolling douchebros will hate this because it doesn't look at all like grandpa's old f150, and that makes me like it. That and I am a child of the 70s and 80s who never really outgrew wedge supercars.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:41 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


> "This thread is a new source of geothermal energy though."

Can't be solar with this much shade.
posted by kyrademon at 12:41 PM on November 22, 2019 [37 favorites]


Musk is his own worst enemy for sure. But Tesla is the fourth most valuable car company in the world, and the most valuable American company. Recently it has been turning a profit. Already other companies have built high end EVs because of the success of Tesla’s top end cars.

Those who only laugh at the aesthetics of this vehicle without seeing the potential for the technology and the shift it portends for transportation are going unpleasantly (pleasantly?) surprised.
posted by haiku warrior at 12:42 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


I give Elon lots of credit for doing these demos live. He's upfront about the challenges, and even the bad press gets him attention. I had the chance to drive the model S and its a whole different driving experience. I took it for a 15 minute drive through a residential neighborhood, with a brief run on the expressway. I don't think I hit the brakes once. It decelerates rapidly once you take your foot off the gas (voltage?) pedal, which is a whole different driving rhythm.
posted by eisenkrote at 12:42 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also, someone tell Musk that Jan-Michael Vincent (RIP) would like his ride back.

Thanks, mandolin conspiracy! I had a weird set of memories about a film where the earth was off its axis,
with giant scorpions, weird tank like vehicles, and a jarring, miraculous ending, but couldn't remember the title or who was in it. Now I know - and knowing is half the battle!

posted by nubs at 12:42 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


"If John DeLorean did even MORE cocaine"
posted by SoberHighland at 12:44 PM on November 22, 2019 [18 favorites]


I could be wrong, but this truck looks like it's a fuck-you to aerodynamic efficiency.

Maybe that's why it's a Mars truck? The closest planet with an atmosphere thin enough to make driving it efficient?
posted by clawsoon at 12:45 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


DePlorean
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


This is hella nouveau riche. Show-offy, but with superficial extra security details that are not as useful as existing versions. And somehow less useful for hauling than your basic Subaru.

And I actually like the design!
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:47 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Didn't Knight Rider fight this?

I'm pretty sure it's the Death Probe that Steve Austin fought and it cost at least SIX MILLION DOLLARS to develop it.
posted by straight at 12:48 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think it looks damn cool.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:48 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


god it's as aggro looking and dumb as his most shrilly devoted fanboys on twitter. i thought the first images i saw of it were all from a hilarrible manip.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:49 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I know Elon Musk is not a favorite around MeFi, but I was not expecting quite this level of hate for a sci-fi looking electric truck.
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:51 PM on November 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


I could be wrong, but this truck looks like it's a fuck-you to aerodynamic efficiency.

Yeah, I would think that rounding the edges just a bit ought to make it much more aerodynamic. That being said if CYBERTRUCK will get between 250-500 miles on a charge depending on model then I guess it is aerodynamic enough.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:53 PM on November 22, 2019


Although, how the hell do you see out the back window?
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:53 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think this is awesome. People shit on car companies all the time for not being brave enough to make something different or to actually build one of their concept vehicles. Moar crazy weird vehicles please!

I love the design, but it is almost too good a design. If I owned one, I'd be terrified of getting it scratched, which kind of takes away from the point of a truck, and all the scuffs and scrapes that usage entails.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:54 PM on November 22, 2019


I know people who already own both a real farm and a Tesla and they would probably buy this no matter how goofy it looks as long as it can hold a full sheet of plywood and otherwise act like a pick up truck and pick up bales of hay or bags of chicken feed and haul compost. As it is now they seem to use the Tesla for anything that doesn't require their traditional truck because they have some solar and so they basically charge the Tesla for free.

And to be honest this thing looks fucking goofy.

It's like every kid who ever doodled some kind of hyper-agressive wedge-shaped supertruck - which is a whole lot of us - had their design come to life and but rendered by a Super Nintendo and we all collectively said "Oh, no, not that. This was a really bad idea."

Also having a really hard time seeing this thing haul compost. Or garbage to the dump. Or a bed full of gravel. Or using a dozer/grader/plow tool mount on the front.

I mean all he really had to do was put a Tesla S drivetrain in something nice and boxy like a 1980 Ford F-150 truck with a king cab and make the body out like stamped and welded marine grade aluminum or something you can beat on with a stick and you're basically done.
posted by loquacious at 12:54 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


I can't say I hate it. But first: it looks really impractical for a truck, which is a vehicle meant to carry a lot of stuff.

As for the Syd Mead comments: It looks like a high school student's version of a Syd Mead car. Yeah, the influence is there, but that doesn't make it cool.
posted by SoberHighland at 12:55 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I keep forgetting that Musk is South African. Being reminded of that made the aesthetic click. It's not a PS1 game or cyberpunk movie aesthetic. It's the Bush War aesthetic.

These things pop up on Forgotten Weapons all the time because, due to UN sanctions, South Africa and Rhodesia couldn't import firearms. South Africa had a license to produce Galils, so they continued to do so, and Rhodesia had a bunch of FALs, but there were also a ton of new firearms companies that sprung up and produced these weird sheet metal abominations to sell to Rhodesian "farmers" (read: white landowners) for "self-defence" or whatever.

Basically, this is the car version of a Striker 12 or Cobra SMG. And it's actually not that far off from some actual South African APCs. Like, scale down the Buffel or Mamba and make it look "futuristic", you know? Like if you dropped this thing into a District 9 sequel, I wouldn't blink.

The bulletproof windows as a selling point does not help with that. I predict the next version will have a v-hull for extra landmine resistance.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:56 PM on November 22, 2019 [51 favorites]


Musk missed a trick by not offering this monstrosity in VantablackTM.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


it looks like something meant to drive a guy who's just privatized a country's water supply through a crowd of starving protesters.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [102 favorites]


I keep forgetting that Musk is South African. Being reminded of that made the aesthetic click. It's not a PS1 game or cyberpunk movie aesthetic. It's the Bush War aesthetic.

That might tie in with him selling flamethrowers as a promotional gimmick for his tunnel-boring side project. In South Africa, they sell kits to install flamethrowers under the doors of cars for use in the event of carjacking.
posted by acb at 1:00 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Huh. I would have gone the other way, that coal-rolling douchebros will hate this because it doesn't look at all like grandpa's old f150, and that makes me like it.

Ummm...Today’s F150s already look nothing like grandpa’s old F150. I think the douchebros will hate it because it’s electric, and that runs counter to their “pwn the libtards” ethos.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Musk will soon be overtaken in the electric car market by the large manufacturers, but since he has invested big in battery factories he will be in an ideal positon to profit as a high volume supplier. All of his early antics are just priming the pump for his endgame.

So rather than letting his doomed car company go out with a whimper, run out of money and go bankrupt or be picked up and folded into a legacy manufacturer, Musk is giving it a Viking-funeral send-off, like a Burning Man of nerd fan service?
posted by acb at 1:04 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to bold this and re-state it cause it's too perfect:
it looks like something meant to drive a guy who's just privatized a country's water supply through a crowd of starving protesters.
posted by odinsdream at 1:04 PM on November 22, 2019 [36 favorites]


I think the douchebros will hate it because it’s electric, and that runs counter to their “pwn the libtards” ethos.

Sooner or later there'll be a generational shift among douchebags to electric cars as there was to electronic music. (Anything made with synthesisers was seen as effete and un-manly compared to hard, honestly sweaty guitar rock, until Skrillex or someone realised that you could make more aggressively dominant sounds with a synth than with the biggest guitar stack, and now all the douchebros are into EDM.)
posted by acb at 1:07 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


it looks like something meant to drive a guy who's just privatized a country's water supply through a crowd of starving protesters.

That would definitely leave some scratches.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:08 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


1,000 years ago this would've been carried by litter-bearer slaves who were chained to the posts and rather than waste time unchaining them when they die from exhaustion, their limbs are chopped off. this is the car you drive back to your fortified compound after committing war crimes. this car is collective punishment.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


The current crop of pickups are complete crap and a major disservice to the guys and gals who will be buying them second-hand down the road for actual work. Having to lift over your nipples in order to load, short beds with no places for tool boxes so greasy tools get stashed on the second row upholstery, available in only huge and gigantic sizes... So yeah the market needs refreshing but whatever this Tesla thing is it is not a truck. I am looking forward to the Bollinger with actual novel features like the mid-cab pass-through channel and built in tool storage.
posted by St. Oops at 1:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Oh shit, I just placed it
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


the Tesla "T" logo does look like a stylised, mechanical cock-and-balls

Really? All I can see is an IUD.
posted by Flannery Culp at 1:10 PM on November 22, 2019 [18 favorites]


I'll give it this--this truck finally got me to unsubscribe from the last of the default subreddits, and that's not nothing. At least there's only going to be the one thread on metafilter.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 1:11 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Still, it could possibly make a pretty sweet technical if you mounted a machine gun in the back.
posted by acb at 1:11 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


it looks like something meant to drive a guy who's just privatized a country's water supply through a crowd of starving protesters.

And because this point deserves all the belabouring we can give it, this Vice article.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


This generation of duchecanoes is already lost to history, as their preferences are set by they time they hit puberty. It's not in a DB to ever change as an adult.

Elon would be best served making this into a loud RC toy and selling ka-millions of them at the next few holiday times as the official Mars! Truck! Also, he needs to look into a crappy Canadian-made cartoon for YouTwitch, a cool PvP game and possibly an action figure line.
posted by bonehead at 1:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I would take these over all the GIANT WALL OF GRILL that makes up 100% of modern truck designs.

Most pickups are never used for hauling gravel of garbage or lumber, so this thing would probably meet a lot of pickup owners needs.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [13 favorites]


Why does this need a front trunk or anything? Bring the cabin forward, build a thinner crumple zone around it, extend the bed so it can fit longer things, and shorten the vehicle length so that it doesn't hang out the end of parking spots.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:15 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


The complete lack of rearview mirrors makes sense if you think of it as designed to have nothing for hundreds of desperate, vengeful hands to grab and hold on to
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


As much as I like the crazy design, all the emphasis on bullet-proofness really shows that their target market is Russian oligarchs, middle-eastern oil barons, and wealthy tech-bros.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


How will this affect the Trader Joe's parking lot situation?
posted by clawsoon at 1:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [18 favorites]


Yeah, the trucks-R-beautiful guys aren't going to go for this. I still have online disagreements with them and their ilk every time anything to do with electrical generation comes up. They've mostly given up on using coal, but are still convinced that nuclear and / or natural gas are the way to go. Never mind the future, they've been left behind by the present.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


There's presumably an implicit “after The Event” in the marketing.
posted by acb at 1:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


if you're driving one of these you can have your child soldiers go on ahead to save you a parking spot
posted by poffin boffin at 1:19 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


It's like every kid who ever doodled some kind of hyper-agressive wedge-shaped supertruck

I always imagined my post-apocalyptic supetrucks being a lot bigger: maybe the equivalent of four road lanes wide, with the cab being more like the bridge of a ship, a nuclear reactor providing power, and heavy armour all over to protect against rocket attacks by bands of mutant marauders that dwell in the desert between the heavily fortified cities the trucks connect.
posted by acb at 1:22 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


When form follows function, we call that "good design." When we get this, we call that a "design wank."

Bed access will be bad (although the tailgate ramp and concealed taillights are clever). Outward visibility is awful. Not such a problem when you're running over proles, but embarrassing when you high-center on a mall boulder. The envelope around the cabin is a terrible use of space—either the roof is too high at the peak or the back seat will be for children only. Not clear which.

If Musk wanted to do something innovative, he'd have given it more of a forward control design, since the frunk is unnecessary anyhow. Would have solved the A-pillar problem too.
posted by adamrice at 1:26 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I guess they couldn't go with a regular design because they were beaten to it by the Tesla pickup truck that this woman built with her friends.
posted by clawsoon at 1:29 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Hopefully the design of this thing give Rivian and Bollinger Motors space to establish their own EV trucks. Because we have to electrify all segments of the automotive industry to have a chance at fighting climate change. Maybe an electric F-150 will do it, but most traditional automotive makers are dragging their feet. Tesla can't replace all ICE vehicles with EVs on its own.

I do want Cybertruck to be successful just because it looks so weird.
posted by Mister Cheese at 1:30 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Oh, and the commercial for the aforementioned Truckla.
posted by clawsoon at 1:30 PM on November 22, 2019


That's not just some woman, that's Simone “Shitty Robots” Giertz.
posted by acb at 1:31 PM on November 22, 2019 [21 favorites]


Like, scale down the Buffel or Mamba and make it look "futuristic", you know?

It's about 2 feet lower than the Mamba and 8 inches narrower, but 16 inches longer. So not especially scaled down. It really is huge.
posted by ambrosen at 1:31 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


How will this affect the Trader Joe's parking lot situation?

Well, when they release the next OTA system upgrade you'll be able to focus those headlights into laser pulses powerful enough to slice and dice an entire car into rubble small enough to sweep up with a broom and dustpan and/or simply park on top of in about 15 seconds.

But for now there's the "sumo battlebot" mode which can be unlocked via a secret submenu. This will lower the front suspension and accelerate the prow of the truck so rapidly into nearly any targeted parked car that it will simply fling it into the sky and flip it over and out of the way.

Alternatively if this is too technical or you simply wish to save time you can simply floor it and smash through the doors or walls of any grocery store and shop from the convenience of the driver's seat and do some totally sick donuts in the produce section. There is a built in NFC payment and amplified relay chipset included by default in the vehicle for contactless payment options when you're done shopping.
posted by loquacious at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


And on top of everything else, it doesn't even have any of the individualized charm or bells & whistles that the War Boys' cars had in Fury Road. Why do fascists want the postwar hellscapes of universal failed states to be so tacky.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:33 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Jalopnik:
While I’m hardly a fan of modern pickup truck design, I can’t say that I think the Tesla Cybertruck is solving any design problems. It looks crude, rushed, and rudimentary, and I can’t see any way that the design actually improves anything about the actual operation and use of a truck.
They also point out that the steel is 3mm thick, which is 3 times thicker than standard automotive steel. Presumably this is for bulletproofness, although I checked the penetration numbers for 5.56 NATO ammunition, which can penetrate slightly thicker steel out to 500 years. So you're looking at handgun protection at best unless they sell up-armouring kits. (They'll probably sell up-armouring kits, or if they can't do that because of export restrictions they've probably made it easy for purchasers to up-armour these by inserting stuff into the door bodies.)
posted by tobascodagama at 1:34 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I drive an S-10, which is the platonic ideal of a truck, even though I'm not a "truck person". If Musk wanted a piece of the truck market, he should build an electric S-10. That would actually be like, inexpensive and useful. Not this.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:36 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


So as not to leave something un-snarked: the Bollinger vehicle aesthetic is also fucking awful. A bunch of post-Iraq-endless-war paramilitarist tacticool runoff. I assume the Punisher skull flag decal is a factory option. Though, yes, probably more useful as a truck than this chiseled rhombus of Tesla.
posted by wordless reply at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Musk fell in love with stainless steel this year, when deciding on a skin for his new launcher design. This is just Tesla buffing the bosses shiny new metal buttocks.
posted by bonehead at 1:40 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, you're all standing too far away. At this distance, you all look like low-poly Mario to it.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:42 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I checked the penetration numbers for 5.56 NATO ammunition, which can penetrate slightly thicker steel out to 500 years.

Fuck I didn't realize it could kill me from the FUTURE.
posted by The Tensor at 1:46 PM on November 22, 2019 [21 favorites]


I like it!
posted by BeeDo at 1:47 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Fuck I didn't realize it could kill me from the FUTURE.

No, what that actually means is that if you shoot it straight up it'll still be able to kill somebody when it comes back down in 500 years.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2019


It’s kind of like in Looper, only in addition to gold and silver, they also send back some copper-jacketed lead.
posted by notoriety public at 1:52 PM on November 22, 2019


200,000 already on pre-order?

also btw...
The first Shanghai-made Teslas are now rolling out across China - "The Shanghai factory was built in just 10 months and only began trial production last month... Last week, Musk announced Tesla would build another gigafactory in Berlin, a move that would take the great electric car race to the manufacturing heart of Europe."

> There's something really weird being suggested. I'm not sure what it is...

maybe?
The City in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - "Looking to boost economic growth, China builds vast new metropolises from the ground up."
posted by kliuless at 1:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Billy Squier's entire career was ruined by something less embarrassing than this.
posted by Naberius at 2:05 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


You know, I actually don't know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don't care," he said at the time.

I'm sure this will make Tesla investors happy.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:08 PM on November 22, 2019


I'm a big wedge fan; Stratos, W8, Esprit, and especially concepts like the Alfa Romeo Carabo, Stratos HF Zero, Lamborghini Bravo, *drool*. I liked the Aztek (and the Delorean but that was a view shared by my entire cohort) but the roof line of this ruins it. Why the hell didn't they put the crease behind the rear doors? Or at the A pillar? Or both and make the roof flat. Thing looks like a conehead. Even Citreon managed to get that part right.

They really want to use cameras for some goddamn reason, but currently mirrors are required by law.

Mirrors (especially ones sized for towing) are a significant source of aerodynamic drag on a modern car; by significant I mean they account for several percentage points of the total aerodynamic drag despite being a very small fractional percentage of frontal area. And they are hard to make look not awkward on a concept.

Finally despite the "truck" name this is obviously a jacked up station-wagon ala the Studebaker Wagonaire.

I also quite liked El Caminos, and I never understood why they didn't still make cars like that - essentially sports cars with pickup beds.

They do, just not for sale in the USA. A lot of them are gorgeous.

I still have online disagreements with them and their ilk every time anything to do with electrical generation comes up. They've mostly given up on using coal, but are still convinced that nuclear and / or natural gas are the way to go.

Hah, I've got an unce like this and he's convinced that a modern windmill uses more electricity to manufacture than it'll ever produce and windmills are a big ponzi scheme.
posted by Mitheral at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Billy Squier's entire career was ruined by something less embarrassing than this.

False. His musical career is equally as embarrassing as this.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:10 PM on November 22, 2019


I always imagined my post-apocalyptic supetrucks being a lot bigger

Likewise, cyberpunk promised me that I would be able to go down to the DMV and get license plates to put on my surplus Russian military hovercraft.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I do kind of think its funny how we're going on about the dystopian looks of this thing when our ordinary internal combustion engine cars are fed by oil wars in multiple countries or local environmental degradation. And create planet-wide global warming.

This design is Musk at his most pessimistic. There's a survivalist bent to Tesla's designs, like the Model S bioweapon HEPA filters. He's hedging... maybe an EV revolution will help prevent the worst of global warming, but if not Cybertruck is there to dominate. The Boring Company can help build transportation links within cities or shelters on Mars, but could serve as bunker builders in the case Earth's surface is in a bad way. Space X can foster science and better telecommunications, or it it's a backup escape from Earth plan. Musk's projects are aimed at his anxiety about climate change... they're mine too, and I'm not sure if I'd do different if I had a load of money.

I mean, hopefully I'd just spend it all on planting more trees or recovering marshlands in the Central Valley, and building community resiliance, but money screws you up, yeah?

The best solution is to just stop relying on individual car ownership, but you can't really sell that...
posted by Mister Cheese at 2:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I think the steel needs to be so thick because it's flat. Flat surfaces are weak and easy to dent, which is why corrugated steel is a thing. This thing must use several '59 Cadillacs worth of chrome for all that stainless steel.
posted by netowl at 2:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Since Simone Giertz has already called her exceedingly cute version "TRUCKLA" on the license plate, Musk will have to settle for "TRUCKULA" — and that would certainly fit!
posted by jamjam at 2:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Isn't marketing this thing as "literally bulletproof" just daring people to shoot at it?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


I drive an S-10, which is the platonic ideal of a truck

I've never had a truck, and even I know that an S-10 is only 80% as trucky as a Hilux.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:20 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Elon Musk does things. Some of those things are cool and some are dumb and some are ridiculous. This is definitely one of the latter two. But I like that there’s a comic book-style eccentric billionaire out there periodically throwing weird curveballs, seemingly for his own amusement, because it’s fun to laugh at and talk about.

The world in many ways has gone stagnant. Good on Musky for mixing things up a little.

It’s a hideous car though.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


there’s a comic book-style eccentric billionaire out there periodically throwing weird curveballs

"Supervillain" is more concise.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:24 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


(I guess I'm in a bit of a bubble, but it's a little strange to see so many pro-Elon Musk people weighing in here. In my neck of the social media woods, the consensus has long been that he's an amoral grifter and wannabe tycoon despot. The incident with his baseless pedophile accusations against the British cave diver awhile back pretty much sealed the deal on that.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:31 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


There's also the fact that NO billionaire is NOT reprehensible, because with that amount of money you could end homelessness in multiple countries or do any number of other incredible things. If you use your fortune to continue being a billionaire then oops, you're a monster.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:35 PM on November 22, 2019 [38 favorites]


The world in many ways has gone stagnant. Good on Musky for mixing things up a little.

He only does so in the safest of ways, though, which I think actually has the effect of bolstering the status quo. You won't ever see him throwing a curveball like advocating a collective company ownership model (or, shit, even just holding to basic workplace safety standards), or prioritizing the expansion of public transit over personal automobiles, or anything that would be truly novel from someone in his position. What that does along with his nominal eccentricity is reinforce that the structures of wealth inequality, car culture, and plutocracy are unassailable. Praising him for shaking things up feels like it's of a piece with "at least it's an ethos."
posted by invitapriore at 2:36 PM on November 22, 2019 [17 favorites]


It's the Volkswagen Thing's lounge-lizard cousin.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:39 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I’m not praising the existence of billionaires. My point is that, if we’re going to have billionaires, I’d rather have some interesting ones out there doing weird things instead of starting a new hedge fund or whatever.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I look at this and wonder ... has Elon Musk ever met anyone who owns a truck?

Yes.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:45 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Other than the bed size a bunch of criticisms have been missed. What's the slow speed (lowest gear) torque? Can it be loaded up with a bunch of bags of sand to give it traction and very slowly pull a tractor out of the mud? Serious users will not care how silly it looks or the short range if it's actually functional for extreme situations.

A reminder that will all the silliness the Tesla seems to have finally kicked the electric car into reality. What I want is a cheap as possible, easy to repair electric-volkswagen-ish no frills but gets you there car.
posted by sammyo at 2:49 PM on November 22, 2019


It's the truck version of a Met Gala dress that didn't quite get it.
posted by clawsoon at 2:53 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


What's the slow speed (lowest gear) torque?

It's an electric car. The lowest gear torque is "ALL THE TORQUE".
posted by The Tensor at 2:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


Like "chihuahua or muffin", but it's "cybertruck or nes console"
posted by oulipian at 2:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I’d rather have some interesting ones out there doing weird things instead of starting a new hedge fund or whatever.

Well, sure, if the choice is Elon Musk or Mitt Romney, it's an easy choice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:05 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Pics of Musk standing in front of the Cybertruck almost seem like stills from a deleted scene in Aliens where Elon Musk managed to convince Paul Reiser that marines should be transported around in a M577 Armored Personnel Carrier.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:08 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also having a really hard time seeing this thing haul compost. Or garbage to the dump. Or a bed full of gravel. Or using a dozer/grader/plow tool mount on the front.


It's not for that. It's for pretending to be a Bubblegum Crisis character while buying shelves from Ikea.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:08 PM on November 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


Unfortunately for all of us, they both actually exist along with a few thousand other rich fucks ruining the Earth.
posted by odinsdream at 3:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


But it's his truck. He paid the people who designed the truck. He's marketing and selling the truck. Why did he not talk to his fucking engineers and say "hey I think it'd be cool to throw a rock at the truck windows during the conference, just to show off how tough it is" before the press release?

Heheheh.

I used to work for the same sort of person Musk is, but on a smaller scale. The wealth, the ego, the self-deception, the lack of respect for workers, etc.

He went to a trade show with our game engine, a new computer with a just-released-that-week video card which had never been set up until they arrived on the show floor, and a monitor with 4x the resolution of anything we had ever tested on.

And SURPRISE, the frame rate was low! It's an emergency! Call in the developers to work through the weekend to pull a sudden 400% frame rate increase out of their asses on hardware they don't even have, because that's totally how this works!

Yes, I am still bitter 14 years later.
posted by Foosnark at 3:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [13 favorites]


I hate the toxic-masculinity truck marketing vibe that all my redneck neighbours buy into. But a few of them really do use them for work, and I use mine for field work. So a truck can be gross and marketed to idiots and be useful simultaneously.

I've been thinking for a while now that I'd like to switch to something electric or hybrid, but there isn't currently anything that's small (I have one of the old, compact Tacomas, may they rest in peace), durable and cargo ready.

But this... this is not relevant to my interests. This is the truck equivalent of All Hat and No Cattle. In fact, it looks like a Potemkin truck with cardboard hastily taped over a Tesla sedan with the body work ripped off and big wheels attached.
posted by klanawa at 3:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


it looks like a Potemkin truck with cardboard hastily taped over a Tesla sedan with the body work ripped off and big wheels attached

And when you remove the cardboard...
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Since Simone Giertz has already called her exceedingly cute version "TRUCKLA" on the license plate, Musk will have to settle for "TRUCKULA" — and that would certainly fit!

When Giertz debuted her amazing truck, I lobbied hard for Teslamino, but I don't think that fits on a California vanity plate.
posted by muddgirl at 3:22 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Yes, I am still bitter 14 years later.

Well, don't leave us hanging...how much did you manage to speed it up?
posted by The Tensor at 3:22 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


There's a survivalist bent to Tesla's designs, like the Model S bioweapon HEPA filters. He's hedging... maybe an EV revolution will help prevent the worst of global warming, but if not Cybertruck is there to dominate.

Except that the cellular phone network will be down, and you won't be able to unlock and start your silly truck before some peasant brains you with a softball bat.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:25 PM on November 22, 2019 [15 favorites]


Citroën did it better.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:52 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Alongside the recent news Homeboy Trouble points out regarding the defamation case against Musk, the other thing that dropped yesterday from Tesla land was the police report from the time Tesla tried to SWAT a whistleblower.

Also remember that Musk is also a union buster (aren't they all!), and Tesla has 3 times as many OSHA violations as the 10 largest US plants combined.
posted by foxfirefey at 3:58 PM on November 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


I was thinking Megaforce myself.

I feel like there's a soupçon of Damnation Alley too.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:00 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Except that the cellular phone network will be down, and you won't be able to unlock and start your silly truck

StarLink will prevent that scenario.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


It's a buff James Bond 007 - The Spy Who Loved Me - Lotus Esprit Car Chase mixed with a hatchback El Camino hybrid. You'll need that periscope to back up a trailer that blocks your fancy cameras.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:25 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


“Aight, so this is really shite and I'm going to explain why, as someone who drives a pickup truck and actually uses the bed instead of covering it with a hardshell cover with Kid Rock on it or whatever useless suburban dudes do…”
A Twitter thread by Josh Ellis.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:43 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


If it doesn't sell to consumers looks like it would make a good fleet vehicle for Mafia pizza delivery.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:44 PM on November 22, 2019 [15 favorites]


Elon Musk is the world's dumbest genius.

I vote that every time his name is mentioned, "World's Dumbest Genius" is always mentioned after it. Seriously, that line alone is the best description of this ridiculous turd I have ever seen in my LIFE. How are you supposed to be so smart so smart so smart and yet act dumber than a box of hair?!?! Literally every time he opens his mouth?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:58 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


hahahaha. Gotta love the BBQ add on. Or is that standard? Is it an electric BBQ? If yes, then no!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:02 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Man, I can't believe we're 200+ comments in and I'm the first one to link Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'"

MetaFilter I am disappoint.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:05 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


What I want is a cheap as possible, easy to repair electric-volkswagen-ish no frills but gets you there car.

Seriously, give me like the dirt cheap 2CV of electric cars with a top speed of 55 and a range of 50 miles or so, and it will handle 99% of my needs.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:15 PM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


Why do people think he's a genius? Because he got rich in tech? Come on.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:18 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


StarLink will prevent that scenario.

starlink is problematic, too!

also re: the blade runner comparison :P
Blade Runner November 2019: "a special feature on the Prometheus Blu-ray release makes the film even more interesting by tying it into the Blade Runner universe. Included as an entry in the journal of Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), who in the film was obsessed with creating artificial life, is the following gem..."
A mentor [Eldon Tyrell] and long-departed competitor once told me that it was time to put away childish things and abandon my “toys.” He encouraged me to come work for him and together we would take over the world and become the new Gods. That’s how he ran his corporation, like a God on top of a pyramid overlooking a city of angels. Of course, he chose to replicate the power of creation in an unoriginal way, by simply copying God. And look how that turned out for the poor bastard. Literally blew up in the old man’s face. I always suggested he stick with simple robotics instead of those genetic abominations he enslaved and sold off-world, although his idea to implant them with false memories was, well… “amusing,” is how I would put it politely.
posted by kliuless at 5:23 PM on November 22, 2019


Hey, guys! Give Musk a break! He built this thing out of spare parts in Afghanistan!
posted by SPrintF at 5:29 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Why do people think he's a genius? Because he got rich in tech? Come on.

I've a coworker who pretty much gives this reason
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:42 PM on November 22, 2019


I feel like this is what happens when the people at the top know that the system is so rigged in their favor they don't even have to try anymore. It's the same thing with Apple - it used to at least try to innovate and move forward, now they are just changing the type of plugs and charging more.

Tesla already has enough silicon valley fanboys that will never admit that Elon Musk made a mistake, so he can put whatever Homer Simpson drawing of an SUV out on the market and all his acolytes will praise it.

I'm wondering if the worst thing about this decade is the cult of personality - people get so obsessed with the billionaire in charge of whatever brand they commit to, they can never admit they are wrong.

Can we create a children's show that values admitting you're wrong, listening to other people, and not hoarding wealth? I think the current adults are past saving, but maybe we can persuade the kids.
posted by elvissa at 5:43 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Said coworker also sees no connection to Musk's success and the fact that his family was rich.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:44 PM on November 22, 2019


Quoting a Josh Ellis tweet: "would have dearly loved to see Tesla just do an electric version of a K truck for the American market. Just that - a small, configurable 4WD truck with enough torque to kill a kraken" Yes! As an urban dweller who wants an electric truck, this is what I want!
posted by muddgirl at 5:48 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


(the best thing about the James Bond underwater car chase is how he fakes out pursuers with a deceptive underwater car turn signal)
posted by ovvl at 6:01 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Looks like someone is trying to cash in on nostalgia for Spectre VR.
posted by drezdn at 6:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


This is what you learn after you launch a car on a rocket ....
posted by mbo at 6:45 PM on November 22, 2019


I’d rather have some interesting ones out there doing weird things

oh like union busting and overthrowing democracies right
posted by poffin boffin at 6:46 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


"if we have to have billionaires" we DON'T have to. stop letting them convince you of this. no one here will ever, ever be one. move on.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:49 PM on November 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


Why do people think he's a genius?

Dunno about genius, but I think he's pretty great at hiring talented people. He's not so great at keeping those talented people around (except Gwynne Shotwell I guess), but many people who've worked for Tesla or SpaceX, and did the actually cool stuff both companies have done, also left to do interesting things.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:04 PM on November 22, 2019


Can we create a children's show that values admitting you're wrong, listening to other people, and not hoarding wealth? I think the current adults are past saving, but maybe we can persuade the kids.


persuade the kids
posted by Gorgik at 7:16 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Still, it could possibly make a pretty sweet technical if you mounted a machine gun in the back.


It's never gonna outlast a Hilux. Even with the electric motor.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:32 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


"if we have to have billionaires" we DON'T have to. stop letting them convince you of this. no one here will ever, ever be one. move on.

Oh, I'd still like to take a crack at it. At worst it would be entertaining and some cool art would probably happen. At best I'd spend all of it feeding people and forgiving a lot medical or student debt.

And I'd probably have enough spare change for a really nice music studio while also finally achieving my lifetime goal of owning my body weight in cannabis products.

I promise I won't launch any cars into space.

Politicians, maybe.
posted by loquacious at 7:38 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]




oh like union busting and overthrowing democracies right

Do we have to do the least-charitable, most outrage-fueled hot take thing in every thread? Like every single one?

A rich guy built a goofy-looking car instead of a boring-looking one and we’ve all enjoyed laughing about it. All other things being equal, I would prefer that more rich people choose to build goofy weird things instead of normal things because stuff like that makes the world slightly more interesting than it otherwise would be.

Could the money be put to better use building low-income housing or food banks or free health clinics? Yeah, obviously. But I don’t share your optimism that billionaire entrepreneurs are going to go away anytime soon, so for the time being I’m going to be glad that some good things, like electric vehicles and reusable rockets, are being created by one, as well as some amusingly weird things, like flamethrowers and cyberpunk cars. It’s genuinely interesting! You can find things to be interesting and funny while also recognizing the flaws in the system that enable them. And you can find admirable qualities in a deeply flawed person who benefits from and perpetuates an oppressive system, provided you do not view the world in exactly two dimensions.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:50 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]



Still, it could possibly make a pretty sweet technical if you mounted a machine gun in the back.

You mean like this?
posted by mbo at 7:56 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


And you can find admirable qualities in a deeply flawed person who benefits from and perpetuates an oppressive system, provided you do not view the world in exactly two dimensions.

you know he's not gonna give you any money right
posted by poffin boffin at 8:01 PM on November 22, 2019 [15 favorites]


I can be happy that Tesla the automaker exists while also being down on them and their owner because they are a bad corporate citizen even in an industry not particularly noted for being good corporate citizens. The stroking Musk gets from people exemplified by the launch a car into orbit lovefest is irritating as fuck. I refuse to give any Billionaire slack on this because it's a failure of society that any of them got so wealthy in the first place. None of them earned it because it is physically impossible to do so and a properly function system would have enriched the people who did all the work rather than the pointy head at the top of the pyramid.

I can't really fault Tesla for not coming out with an Electric K truck. They'll probably make more profit on this thing (especially the 3 motor extended range model) than they'd be able to sell a K truck for. It's why every small manufacturer sells super or high end luxury cars and none of them are cranking out stripper commuters. The fixed costs per unit are too high.

They also don't want to down market their brand. Tesla is considered to be fairly high end. Bring out something that looked like a classic K isn't going to be good for that.

Though I also believe that the big manufacturers are leaving a lot of money on the table by not selling a coupe utility in the USA. Ford and GM both make them in other markets; they'd just have to federalize rather than making it from scratch and the relatively high fuel economy would help them make CAFE targets.

though with some googling around I see both Ford and GM are speculated to be bringing an actual small truck back to the US market. About time.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's somewhat difficult for me to hate companies that have singlehandedly created a mass market for electric vehicles that people actually buy rather than intentionally bad compliance cars and have reduced the cost of space flight by at least 50%, directly saving us literally billions of dollars in money that would otherwise have been spent propping up ULA. I suspect SpaceX has already saved NASA more money than Musk himself has in liquid assets.

It doesn't make Elon Musk's antics any less ridiculous or make him any less an asshole, but he isn't Tesla or SpaceX. Burying the very real good they are doing in a world where so many are doing their level best to impede necessary reforms seems very short sighted to me. Complain about the things that deserve complaint, sure, but maybe also take some time out to recognize the good, also. Not only does it help keep us from sounding like purity-obsessed cult members, but it's also good for our mental health to occasionally recognize that not literally everything is terrible.
posted by wierdo at 8:11 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


Do we have to do the least-charitable, most outrage-fueled hot take thing in every thread?

I think that's a foregone conclusion, yeah.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:19 PM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I've been a Leaf S driver since 2015, trading in that leaser for a 2018 Leaf purchase last year.

I *love* BEVs but didn't think the Model 3 offered value vs the screaming deal I got on my 2018.

Now that I've got my in-town daily-driver commuter & grocery-getter car covered I've been edging into the market for a 2nd vehicle suitable for holiday travel (starting next decade I will be getting 9-10 weeks off a year and I'd like to get out and see the US West while I can!)

Rivian and upcoming unannounced BEV trucks had my interest but seemed pretty pricey vs another idea I've been toying with, some sort of CNG-fueled Ford SuperDuty or Transit camper conversion, using these guys' F-550 as a template.

I'd also like a competent BEV sport coupe, if such a thing were possible, like a BEV F-D RX-7 (wouldn't that be nice?). So much so I might even import a 25 yo F-D from Japan and BEV it myself (the Tesla Roadster's $200,00 price is a non-starter of course).

So, long story short, last night's reveal was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY, something workable into an offroadable campmobile (just add expedition trailer and go!) PLUS the 0-60 time of a supercar.

Putting down my refundable $100 on the $78,000 model was a reflexive decision.

I'm hoping by "late 2022" Tesla's driving software will be good enough to drive me overnight to some random national park or state beach within 400 miles while I sleep in the back.

"I wonder where the Cybertruck is taking me this week??"
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:34 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Oh geez, now I figured it out: climate change is a side effect of the increased load on the simulation due to atmospheric carbon floating all over the place requiring more computation than carbon sitting underground. The use of a low-poly model makes graphics rendering and physics calculations simpler, so the truck fights climate change in two ways.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:39 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


> This is what you learn after you launch a car on a rocket ....

Musk, watching #Starman trend on Twitter, rubs his chin and muses thoughtfully to a handy nearby Henchman:

"Make our next car 10X more rocket-y looking to improve visuals for future car-in-space launches."

"Check, boss. What do you mean by 'rocket-y looking'?"

"Oh, hell, I don't know. Maybe go watch some cheap sci-fi movies or something to get some ideas."

"Check, I'm on it."
posted by flug at 8:42 PM on November 22, 2019


I had no idea they were called K trucks but whenever I'm in Japan I see them and think they make so much sense and wonder why we don't have them here in Canada.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:52 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


> I'm hoping by "late 2022" Tesla's driving software will be good enough to drive me overnight to some random national park or state beach within 400 miles while I sleep in the back.

Don't hold your breath on that one. Musk has consistently over-sold the possible future self-driving capabilities of Teslas by a few orders of magnitude.

Teslas don't even have the necessary sensors for full self-driving, so the idea that some future software upgrade is magically going to make it happen is pure fantasy.

To put it another way, the easy part of self-driving vehicles is moving from Level 0 automation to Level 3. An order of magnitude harder than that is moving to Level 4. Another order of magnitude or two harder is Level 5.

So today, after years of work and development, Teslas barely, sometimes work competently at Level 3.

There is no way they are just going to move up to Level 4 and then Level 5 just like that.

They can't even get the easy part right, and there are two far more demanding levels of difficulty to go.
posted by flug at 8:55 PM on November 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Self driving is easy if you don't consider pedestrians. Just ask Uber.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:56 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Looks very much like a dead-blow mallet (typically manufactured with a red or non-black head) was used on the door panel hit. Did any of the press get a chance to examine it?

Tesla is a financial house of cards at this point. Will be interesting to see what happens to it and Musk when the recession hits.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:10 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


" K trucks"

K or kei from the 軽 kei meaning "light"

and yeah, I'd be much happier with a boring electric https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Acty

vs this F-117A exercise in overdesign
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:14 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Musk is still gonna have all the money his family got stealing emeralds from South Africa so I am unable to feel any worry whatsoever.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


I am blown away by the GMC sierra truck bed door that turns into stairs. That's some next level design genius.

I'll hold off on judging Elon's truck until it is actually available. Will it be before or after his invisible solar roofing tiles I wonder?
posted by srboisvert at 9:39 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


Regarding the broken windows, I'm puzzled by two things:

#1. Why did the glass break on the truck when the same glass didn't break on the test drops

#2. Why did they do the live window breakage thing without testing it first? You know, test why you fly and fly what you test, and all.

You can see the full window breakage part of the demo here, including Musk's clearly surprised profanity blurt, which really makes me think this definitely was not some kind of a planned stunt. He seems genuinely surprised.

Here is the demo: First they drop a small steel ball onto a sample sheet regular automobile glass; it breaks. Then they do the same to a sample sheet of 'Tesla glass' and nothing happens. Then they try it from higher distance, then larger steel ball AND yet higher, and still nothing breaks.

Then they lob the same steel ball at the same glass installed on the truck, and it breaks, twice.

So, why? This physics guy on Wired goes through the calculations and has some thoughts.

In short: The thrown ball shouldn't have been going faster or had any more force than the dropped ball. So the difference isn't something about thrown vs dropped balls. It must have been some difference in the glass.

Given that both are the same type of glass, the difference must be in the details of how the difference pieces of glass are mounted and framed.

In the dropped ball situation, the sample glass is held in a frame by some clamps.

Allain's idea is, that frame and the clamps must have some give to them, whereas the windows mounted in the vehicle are held in place more rigidly and have less give. Even just a little more or less give of that sort makes a huge difference in the collision physics. You can see the sample sheet of glass bending and jostling around quite significantly when the ball hits it (watch the reflections), so there's got to be a fair amount of give in that setup somewhere.

By contrast, on the truck the glass seems to be mounted quite rigidly all around its perimeter. Small speculation: Perhaps it's mounted quite directly to the "strong steel" they have been bragging about, so it's held quite rigidly, and without much give. The difference between, say, 2mm and 10mm give around the circumference is more than enough to account for broken vs non-broken glass.

I'll add my own speculation to that, which is that the side windows of the Tesla are much smaller than the sample glass. So the rigid points of attachment all the way around the edges of this much smaller piece of glass mean that the sheet of glass itself doesn't have as much scope to bend and give as a larger sheet of glass would. A sheet of glass say 10x10 has a lot more give to it just internally than 1x1 piece. Again, the difference between say 10mm and 1-2mm of give here could be the difference between harmless bounce-off and break.

Re: #2, I have no answers. Why would you do something in a live demo you haven't REHEARSED first?

Just dumb, I suppose.
posted by flug at 9:50 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I had no idea they were called K trucks but whenever I'm in Japan I see them and think they make so much sense and wonder why we don't have them here in Canada.

There are actually quite a few imports of these (and larger 4wd variants) floating around in BC. I think we are the last province that allows for easy importation of RHD vehicles and they are perfect maintenance department vehicles. Still sucks we can't trot down to Toyota/Honda and lease a new one.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


BREAKING: Tesla announces new CyberBus
posted by fairmettle at 10:03 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


The police officers at our podunk station who all make 2x the local librarian and drive to work in immaculate F-150s with Batman and Punisher stickers are going to love it.
posted by chortly at 10:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts
posted by el_presidente at 10:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Isn't marketing this thing as "literally bulletproof" just daring people to shoot at it?

See also Margaret Thatcher's Armored Bus.
posted by bendy at 10:22 PM on November 22, 2019


Why would you do something in a live demo you haven't REHEARSED first?

I watched some random live videos by guys taking the ride that night and in one of them they said they casually spoke to a Tesla employee and he said they had been throwing the ball at the window all day. Maybe it weakened from the previous impacts.
posted by patrick54 at 10:52 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


>he said they had been throwing the ball at the window all day. Maybe it weakened from the previous impacts.

Aha, well that makes sense at least (see video of previous test). And it explains why they tried it a second time, because they thought the first one was just a fluke.

Of course, when we saw two breaks in a row, we assumed that was the norm. Looking at the successful video, it is possible the final mount is a bit different. But it's true that most glass will take a bunch of hits and then another one that seems about the same will shatter it for no apparent reason (super slow-mo youtube example).
posted by flug at 11:22 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Re: #2, I have no answers. Why would you do something in a live demo you haven't REHEARSED first?

Move fast and break things!
posted by srboisvert at 4:55 AM on November 23, 2019 [8 favorites]


Lots of powerful people would like to see Musk fail. Those people are not your friends.
posted by tommyD at 5:00 AM on November 23, 2019 [3 favorites]


I have been wondering when they were going to update their look. The previous Teslas all look like an early 2000's Buick, stretched into slightly different shapes. This does look very different. I like the idea of the simplicity of the design but in execution it looks chunky and inelegant. If the key to good design is to remove all that is unnecessary, this may have gone to far.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:01 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Lots of powerful people would like to see Musk fail. Those people are not your friends.

So those of us who are opposed to the concept of billionaires are actually stooges of... slightly less goofy billionaires? Galaxy Brain take here.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:28 AM on November 23, 2019 [12 favorites]


None of [the Earth's billionaires] earned it because it is physically impossible to do so

Rowling?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:40 AM on November 23, 2019 [3 favorites]


From a half remember minor classical education, I see he just released something called a “Steery Truck”. Really.

There are a few kei trucks that putter about Toronto, but RHD isn't going to be fun here. I know it's likely a fume-spewing deathtrap, but there has never been a vehicle as cute as the first-gen kei van Subaru Sambar.
posted by scruss at 6:44 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Oh, I love that the glass broke in that demonstration. It just proves that their arrogance is still going to be our best weapon in the rev.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:45 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


None of [the Earth's billionaires] earned it because it is physically impossible to do so

Rowling?


Isn't a billionaire anymore.
posted by Etrigan at 6:48 AM on November 23, 2019


Even the sound of vocalizing "truck" doesn't fit that thing. Calling that a truck feels weird.
posted by filtergik at 7:44 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


The triangle shape is probably related to the body also functioning as an exoskeleton, removing the internal frame that allows more flexibility in a body design, and also making the shell much heavier and naturally bulletproof. It is a risk unless they explain it and make people want it as an idea but I'm sure they are going for military contracts too, silent operation being a key advantage.
posted by Brian B. at 8:32 AM on November 23, 2019


breaking news: Tesla has been acquired by Detroit-based Omni Consumer Products corp., and will be moving production to a high security facility in River Rouge.
posted by Chrischris at 9:02 AM on November 23, 2019 [5 favorites]


DePlorean
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 on November 22 [15 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Further comment clearly superfluous.
posted by flabdablet at 9:32 AM on November 23, 2019


That glass still looks strong enough to stop most car thieves, which would be likely than bullets--even in the US. I suppose "bulletproof" and "unbreakable" are better marketing terms than "just like the glass cashiers stand behind in inner city stores".
posted by riruro at 9:35 AM on November 23, 2019


You know who also wrote a couple of books? My (ex) partner. But she didn't make a billion dollars, which leads me to believe that the labour of writing a book isn't sufficient to earn a billion dollars. There's some other force at place (what could it be? Hmm...)

In other news I made a throw away snarky comment about the "truck" on Twitter. I don't have any followers except for a few porn bots. I'm a literal nobody, but hoooo boy, Elon's not hurting for flying monkeys. They zeroed right in.
posted by klanawa at 9:47 AM on November 23, 2019 [11 favorites]


this is getting way off the topic of the thread but my drive by was that billionaires despite what they tend to think aren't able to "make" their money in a vacuum. Even someone like Rowling. How much would Rowling have made if millions of teachers hadn't taught kids to read? If thousands of clerks hadn't sold her books? If craft services wasn't there to feed people working on the films? If a massive international legal system didn't exist to enforce copyright? If the British social system hadn't been there to treat her medical condition and keep her from starving while she wrote her book? All billionaires owe their money to a society that lets them concentrate wealth and support their enterprises. Rowling seems to realize this and through charitable giving and paying taxes has significantly reduced her net worth well below billionaire status.
posted by Mitheral at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2019 [13 favorites]


“ This is stunning stuff. TESLA tried to have a whistleblower SWATTED, arrested & placed on a mental health hold in retaliation for him going to journalists with safety violations. Bravo to this police officer for documenting the entire interaction in writing.”

Huh.
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on November 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


TESLA tried to have a whistleblower SWATTED, arrested & placed on a mental health hold in retaliation

Move fast and break laws.
posted by clawsoon at 11:01 AM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think the glass is proof against a 9mm bullet. Bullet proof glass breaks when you shoot it but it is not penetrated. So the glass isn't unbreakable but, to some degree, bulletproof.

Why do people repeat Musk's marketing hype that they can see is bullshit with their own two eyes? You can clearly see in the video that simply tossing a ball at the front window leaves a clean hole you could stick your thumb through. Musk's reality distortion field rivals Steve Jobs.
posted by JackFlash at 11:02 AM on November 23, 2019 [6 favorites]


Lets hope in this wasteland of the future, roving bands of scavengers are too impatient to hit a car window more than once.
posted by muddgirl at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


"Bullet resistant" glass works by having multiple layers, including a layer that will absorb energy and a layer that has plastic qualities to physically stop the projectile. I think this truck is horrible for a number of reasons, but that window behaved as it should: a layer diffused the energy of the projectile (by shattering) and another layer deformed to prevent it's penetration. It's not clear that the "hole" is a hole and not simply a layer of laminate. At any rate the steel ball did not penetrate.

It *is* instructive that apparently Elon Musk does not know anything about projectile resistant laminates and how they work.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


"At any rate the steel ball did not penetrate."

Ah, yes. Parroting Musk's self-serving excuses right out of his mouth.

Plain old laminated windshield glass would behave exactly the same. In fact that has been mandated by FMVSS 219 since the 1970s, penetration of a steel ball through the windshield in a collision. No, it is not "bulletproof." And neither is Musk's glass no matter what lies he tells.

As I said, the Musk reality distortion field is powerful.
posted by JackFlash at 11:44 AM on November 23, 2019


Is there a reason for the side windows to be "bulletproof" anyway? My understanding was that the windshield should be laminated as per JackFlash, but that the side windows essentially turn to dust on impact is actually a feature. If you need actual bullet-proof glass all around, you're either a head of state or there are maybe bigger problems in your society than bullet-proof glass can address.

But then this is a guy who thinks there are serial killers on buses so...
posted by klanawa at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Parroting Musk's self-serving excuses right out of his mouth.

Step back. I despise Musk and this vehicle. It's completely idiotic that I can point out something regarding materials and Musk's apparent unfamiliarity with their physical properties and you see it as an endorsement of him. I shouldn't have to write a paragraph on the fucked up design intent of this vehicle to appeal to man-children who feel they are under siege; its inherent anti-pedestrianism; its ridiculous features useless to any working person who actually needs a truck's capabilities; the stupidity of "bullet proof" (a term I did not use in my comment) features in a vehicle meant to appeal to Silicon Valley tech bros- in order for my comment to be properly understood.

Reality distortion indeed.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:20 PM on November 23, 2019 [14 favorites]


Musk's reality distortion field rivals Steve Jobs.

At least Jobs co-founded Apple. Musk bought Tesla from its original founders, including buying the title of “founder” and binding them contractually to never claim to have founded Tesla. It's the business equivalent of spending a few hundred dollars on a videogame character that has been grinded on enough to give it a few million gold coins, thousands of XP and some rare armour.

Musk is not a technologist; he's just a rich dude who likes gadgets and has the money (from South African emerald mines) to buy the ability to cosplay Tony Stark. And it's worked for him; vape-fedoras across Reddit hero-worship him as the embodiment of a certain sort of techno-rationalist dudeliness.
posted by acb at 12:20 PM on November 23, 2019 [18 favorites]


grimes what are you thinking why are you still
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:08 PM on November 23, 2019 [6 favorites]


Personally, I reserve the spittle flecked rage for the people who have rigged and continue to rig the system to benefit the extremely wealthy, disenfranchise the majority, and create an actual cult that is committing slow-motion genocide as we speak, but maybe that's just me.

I find that when I waste that kind of hate on the koopas, I'm all petered out by the time I get to Bowser.
posted by wierdo at 4:10 PM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


grimes what are you thinking why are you still

Every era gets the Katie Holmes it deserves.

In all seriousness, I expect to see Elon and Claire Musk's presence listed at a Republican fundraiser within a decade.
posted by acb at 6:48 PM on November 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


She’s put on the fake British accent, it’s too late.
posted by Selena777 at 7:07 PM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


According to ART AND LABOR’s deep dive, it’s cause Grimes has gone full bore into blackpill eco-fascism
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 PM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: According to ART AND LABOR’s deep dive, it’s cause Grimes has gone full bore into blackpill eco-fascism

I skipped through the episode and only found about 30 seconds about Grimes, and all they said was that Grimes had removed "anti-imperialist" from her Twitter profile after she started dating Musk. The talk about fascism that I found was all about the fandoms of Prince, David Bowie, Beyonce, and Josh Groban. Could you point me to the deep dive part about Grimes that I missed?
posted by clawsoon at 4:44 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


the stupidity of "bullet proof" (a term I did not use in my comment) features in a vehicle meant to appeal to Silicon Valley tech bros

When you put it that way, at least that part makes sense
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:45 AM on November 24, 2019


Could you point me to the deep dive part about Grimes that I missed?

i remember she had a brief tweet thread about the evils of unionizing that she deleted later but it was honestly kind of hilarious, though obvsly quite cringeworthy, how stupid it sounded just straight up repeating conservative talking points.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:41 AM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


He's aiming for mechs isn't he? The endgame is giant mech wars beside the viridian Martian canals.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 12:53 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I actually do sort of like the way it looks.

It's going to be fun breaking a hydraulic rescue tool on one of these after yet another idiot buys into the "self-driving" hype and manages to roll it on the interstate.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:50 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is a concept design. The truck they end up selling two or more years from now won't look anything like this. I suspect the "Cybertruck" name will be gone as well.
posted by nnethercote at 9:48 PM on November 24, 2019


Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon: her family is ungodly rich

I'm trying to confirm this, and so far I'm not having much luck. Wikipedia seems to list this writer for the National Observer (with headlines like "Jason Kenney and the global assault on environmentalism") as her mother, and no mention of her father or family wealth.
posted by clawsoon at 9:43 AM on November 25, 2019


“Mars” is Musk's euphemism for Earth after The Event? Surely “Venus” would have been more apposite.
posted by acb at 10:07 AM on November 25, 2019


#1. Why did the glass break on the truck when the same glass didn't break on the test drops

#2. Why did they do the live window breakage thing without testing it first? You know, test why you fly and fly what you test, and all.


Glass accumulates stress fractures over time. They did test in advance; there's pre-show test videos floating around out there today. The problem was that none of these bright light engineers knew their materials science very well: glass just gets worse over time. The elastic stress-strain region for glass, where an impact will simply be absorbed to heat with no damage effectively doesn't exist for noncrystalline glass, especially if it's tempered.

They hit it a few times prior to the show and assumed that glass was an elastic material like steel. In fact, what they did was cause microfractures to accumulate, weakening the glass. When they hit it again (including hitting the door which pushed on the glass too), it broke.

This should have been understood by testing. This should have been understood by the cheif engineer---the guy who threw the ball. They apparently had spare windows on site, but decided not to use them. All of these contributed to the public failure. This absolutely was preventable and predictable to even someone with an undergraduate engineering degree (I used to teach a class which covered this topic a few decades ago to second-year engineering students).
posted by bonehead at 10:17 AM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


this is why i desperately want to hear more about grimes herself having gone blackpill ecofascist. she's new to the game of being a total fucking monster, and so she might not have internalized the idea that she shouldn't say certain things out loud where the proles might hear.

A bit more on it in this interview from April and this Twitter back-and-forth. TLDR: she is or will be deliberately saying these things out loud, for performative rather than sincere purposes and / or to focus attention on the climate crisis and those responsible.

If I’m stuck being a villain, I want to pursue villainy artistically,” so her next album will be “an evil album about how great climate change is [...] The way I figure it is that climate change sucks and no one wants to read about it because the only time you hear about it is when you’re getting guilted [...] I wanted to make climate change fun. Miss Anthropocene [Grimes' alter ego for the eponymous album] has got a Voldemort kind of vibe. She’s naked all the time and she’s made out of ivory and oil. It’s going to be super tight.

Re being hated / treated as a villain: “That’s why I’m making this pro-climate change album [...] I’ll just be a villain now, and that’s cool. I’ll find a way to make that useful to society.

YMMV on whether this sounds like good art (maybe) or effective activism (lol), but she refers to eco-fascism as a "toxic" movement, so it sounds like the 'blackpill ecofascist' accusations aren't entirely accurate. She was also accused of being "the voice of silicon fascist privilege" last week, on the basis that she thinks technology will make live music obsolete, which kiiind of gives the impression that 'Grimes doing a thing I don't like' = 'fascism' because she's associated with Musk.
posted by inire at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


They hit it a few times prior to the show

Both windows? In exactly the same place? Why keep inventing scenarios to back up Musk?

The simple answer is that there is nothing special about Musk's windows. Laminated glass has been standard in cars for half a century. Almost half of cars made today also have laminated glass in their side windows just like Musk's. It's not explicitly required in side windows but there is a requirement for keeping a body inside the car. This can be done with a combination of airbags and laminated side windows, so some cars use it.

The best you can say is that Musk may have used thicker than standard laminated glass, but that isn't any new miracle technology. True bulletproof glass, as in the president's limousine, is a couple of inches thick and weighs a couple hundred pounds. You wouldn't put it in a standard passenger car because it is optically poor and ridiculously heavy.
posted by JackFlash at 10:36 AM on November 25, 2019


Both windows? In exactly the same place?

Neither of those things are necessary to explain what happened. They were insulting the glass both by direct impacts and by stressing the edges by hitting nearby steel panels.

Why keep inventing scenarios to back up Musk?

I'm saying he's an idiot who clearly didn't understand what he was doing, or what "bullet proof" actually means. I'm also saying his chief advisor was similarly naive about what was happening.
posted by bonehead at 10:41 AM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


inire: A bit more on it in this interview from April and this Twitter back-and-forth. TLDR: she is or will be deliberately saying these things out loud, for performative rather than sincere purposes and / or to focus attention on the climate crisis and those responsible.

On the other hand, she does say this in that interview:
Boucher argues that in truth her politics could never be easily defined. “I didn’t realise everyone thought I was such a by-the-books socialist,” she says. “My politics are literally insane. I’ll probably go down for it in the end.”

She elaborates: “My Instagram bio was: ‘I pledge allegiance to the robot overlords’ for, like, two years. I thought people understood that I ultimately probably believe in an AI dictatorship. I mean, I don’t think humanity is going to survive anyway. We’re fucked. I think AI is the natural evolution. It’s just like we killed the fucking Neanderthals, and now they’re going to kill us. I don’t think democracy really works. These are the kinds of things I think. I actually, for the short term, am a bit of a socialist, but not economically. I’m into free markets. What can I say? I think capitalism can solve some things.”
...which gets me a little closer to seeing why people might call her a fascist, as inaccurate as that might be in historical terms. Sounds like she's maybe been dosing on some mixture of Yudkowsky and Moldbug.
posted by clawsoon at 11:31 AM on November 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


Just found this and had to share (direct link to image).
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:38 AM on November 25, 2019


Also, with a tesla why would you want unbreakable windows? Take a look at what you need to do to open the doors if the power/computer goes out.
Now imagine the power is out because the batteries have set themselves on fire.
posted by Iax at 11:39 AM on November 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


The twist: Tony Stark is Immortan Joe.
posted by acb at 12:02 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


...which gets me a little closer to seeing why people might call her a fascist, as inaccurate as that might be in historical terms. Sounds like she's maybe been dosing on some mixture of Yudkowsky and Moldbug.

Inaccurate in both historical and contemporary terms, I think. She shares her pessimist / nihilist / techno-doomy beliefs and areas of interest with both fash and non-fash, who are differentiated by their reasons for arriving at those beliefs / interests and what they do with them (like, I'm pretty sure you could pick any one of the statements she makes there and find a Mefite who's said the same thing, with the possible exception of 'my politics are literally insane', which Mefites tend to merely imply rather than state outright).

The assumption that she has those beliefs and interests because she's fascist (or fash-ish, or a Moldbuggian, etc.) seems to stem from a combination of general distaste for those beliefs and interests - for a variety of reasons, including the presence of fashy adherents - and an assumption that she must be a wrong un because she's Musk's partner (I don't think it's quite right to say Musk is a fascist, but it's certainly Less Wrong and yes that was an Eliezer joke). Plus finding a way to call someone a fascist is a totally sick rhetorical move. So while I'm all for criticising her political beliefs, artistic practice and choice of partner, labelling her a fascist seems kind of dumb and / or disingenuous.
posted by inire at 12:20 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


how could anybody hear these lyrics:


Neanderthal to human being
Evolution, kill the gene
Biology is superficial
Intelligence is artificial
Submit
Submit
Submit
Submit
Submit
Submit
Submit
Submit


And still expect her to be a 'socialist'?

Also: submit.
posted by signal at 12:33 PM on November 25, 2019


Case in point.
posted by inire at 12:56 PM on November 25, 2019


I actually, for the short term, am a bit of a socialist, but not economically. I’m into free markets. What can I say? I think capitalism can solve some things.

I think it's spelled “socialite”.
posted by acb at 1:25 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't judge her based on song lyrics, since she performs in series of personas, some of them purposefully evil.

There was a big twitter exchange today after she said that live music is becoming obsolete. Zola Jesus and Devon Walsh both explained why they thought that belief represented techno-fascism. Warning: it's A LOT of tweets.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:18 PM on November 25, 2019




Just for the record, we're all aware that "Grimes' Boyfriend" is a joke and not an accurate description of the relative power and influence of the two people involved in that relationship, yeah?
posted by tobascodagama at 3:43 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Zack and Jessie from Tesla Time News discuss the Cybertruck in depth. They are both big fans as you might expect - and amongst the 200K and rising who have put in a pre-order. I learned that Bladerunner's Art Director, Syd Mead (to whom vehicles should look like this) had gone on record to say "[The Cybertruck] has completely changed the vocabulary of the personal truck market design".

They talk about creations like "Its a Wonderful Life", the Eiffel Tower and the VW Beatle, which were slated on their first appearance but went on to become iconic. In many ways, the Cybertruck is a new class of vehicle: like the Hummer, the minivan, the Jeep - it has a set of looks and functions which are not quite like anything else. It is built with stainless steel which is too hard to stamp and which therefore needs to be scored and bent - giving a new look.

Tesla have a mountain to climb in terms of getting their hastily assembled demonstrator turned into thousands of production vehicles at their target price and to their target deadline. But they have very much laid down the gauntlet by announcing a vehicle which beats their competitors so much in terms of price, towing capacity, probably longevity, operating costs and design boldness. There are quite a few design elements which could be major selling points but which have not really been talked about: a ramp that allows a quad bike or wheelbarrow to be pushed up onto the bed of the truck, or solar panels fitted to the vehicle which could generate about 15 miles of charge per day

If Tesla were able to fulfil just the orders for this vehicle that they have taken since the unveiling - that would take them straight form nothing to the number 5 or 6 producers of trucks. . Their market could include fans of unusual looking designs and of EVs - but why not also a business that wants a rugged vehicle that will not rust of dent, a police force which wants something bullet proof, a farmer who wants large towing capacity and so on. These are core truck buyers rather than niche EV fans. Tweak the design a little and the we could have a Cyber Van - capable of taking on another huge market. When Tesla's competitors have stopped laughing, they should be a little concerned.
posted by rongorongo at 10:05 PM on November 25, 2019


The ramp is a nightmare (it's just begging to get jammed with dirt; have the slides get ground up by sand; get frozen in position by ice (hopefully in the closed position but at least occasionally in the open position) and I bet the version that retracts to within the tailgate does not make it to production. Also tailgates take a lot of abuse and tend to get bent/tweaked/dented over time, any bets on how that is going to interact with a retractable ramp? It's one of those things that looks really cool but anyone who has ever used a truck as a truck is going to see is a bad idea.

The damage that happens to trucks is one of the reasons the tail gate extending to the extreme corners of the body is a bad idea. Damage the corner of regular truck and you have a small dent, maybe take out a tail light. Minor corner damage to the cybertruck means your tail gate doesn't function.

The bumper does not extend past the body work much to enable the ramp. It's hard to tell but it appears the rear lip of the body actually extends past the plane of the bumper so yay really expensive damage in what would be otherwise be a minor scratch if you back into a pole or something.

I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be anything restraining the tailgate from openning 90 degrees. If that "feature" makes it to the production truck you won't be able to drive with the tailgate down if your load doesn't fit within the box.
posted by Mitheral at 10:35 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Is Elon Musk Prepping for State Failure?

> would have dearly loved to see Tesla just do an electric version of a K truck

Car Talk - "A profound change in the future of cars began to unfold in China last year."
If you have a 28 million unit market, and a new technology enters and takes a 2.7% share (2017), then a 4.5% share (2018), and is on course to take a 6.5% share (2019) you should begin to have confidence there’s no regression coming, no imminent reversion to the old technology. And in the case of China, we can legitimately assert the substitution effect is in full swing, because China’s EV industry has largely produced mini, and super-mini EV that are quite affordable, and have been adopted quickly in China’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities.

(The Pickman EV pick-up truck, from China’s Kaiyun Motors)
posted by kliuless at 11:00 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


The truck they end up selling two or more years from now won't look anything like this.

No, when they sell out to Ford it'll look like an F-150 with angular plastic flares, tinted windows and an "Elon Musk Edition" badge on it for an extra $10k.
posted by klanawa at 12:16 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Is Elon Musk Prepping for State Failure?

Musk has the tendency to view the world as a 12 year old boy. Very much both a blessing an a curse - but it is an unmistakable trait to those of us who were boys in the same era he was. See "fart mode" - and look in any Tesla showroom for the giggling kids (and grown ups) testing it out on a Model 3. I grew up on a farm and travelled around in the generation of Land Rovers that were all about bare metal seats and fully manual everything. If you had asked me what an equivalent vehicle would have looked like in 2020, I would have drawn - with help of a ruler - something that looked like a Cyber Truck. It would be like one of the vehicles in Atari Battlezone in fact (that game even had the shattering glass!).

Being ready for state failure is part of this mentality because that is an adventure of your imagination you want to go on when you are 12. You envisage a colony on Mars, or hiding in a network of tunnels or living in an off-grid refuge in the mountains. Your rockets will be recoverable because how silly it would be if they were just single use. Your vehicles will have accessories for camping trips and powering pneumatic drills. Of course they will be bullet-proof - and how cool if they could by identified by letters which spelt out SEX - 3x3pt in a cod3 th3 grown ups would n3ver gu3ss!

Twelve year olds dream big. They have a pure vision on how to change the world so as to keep everybody safe and to fix things. They don't worry much about boring adult frippery like wing mirrors and crumple zones. Which is why they often fail to deliver. Even the prodigies. Worth a $100 deposit though, maybe. Way back in 2006 I made a post about such a company that was dreaming big.
posted by rongorongo at 2:23 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


and the VW Beatle

The Sixth Beatle?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:53 AM on November 26, 2019


we could have a Cyber Van

Go for the full electric Syd Mead shaggin' wagon.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:53 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


It has a 6 1/2 foot bed, apparently. But maybe no sheetrock in the post apocalypse.
posted by carter at 4:10 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


when they sell out to Ford it'll look like an F-150

ford (and amazon) have invested more than a billion in rivian.
posted by kliuless at 6:24 AM on November 26, 2019


rivian f-150 :P
posted by kliuless at 6:27 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


The ground clearance on those looks pretty sucky. I'm not sure what Tesla is promising but concept trucks always way over promise in that department. Getting lodged in a water bar 100km from cell reception isn't my idea of a good time.
posted by klanawa at 10:32 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


All the bars on Mars sell whiskey.
posted by flabdablet at 11:34 AM on November 26, 2019


Here’s my take on the value proposition here:

Basic BEV platform: $35,000
2-ton payload: $5,000
AWD/off-road capability: $5,000
250kW+ charging: $5,000
An extra 250 miles of range: $10,000
0 to 60 in ~3 seconds: $10,000
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 12:16 PM on November 26, 2019


Elon Musk: stop sending me this shit
posted by loquacious at 7:39 PM on November 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


Simone has an update on her homemade Tesla pickup.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:33 AM on November 27, 2019 [3 favorites]


Tesla Cybertruck design questioned by major [Australian] safety body (Sean Szymkowski, CNET)
The sharp creases and edges make for a futuristic look -- but perhaps one not friendly to pedestrians, according to Australia's car safety chief.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:42 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Australia, where non-motorists know their place, questioning whether your car is safe for pedestrians is one sick burn, almost in the same league as Russia copying your space shuttle and adding safety features to it.
posted by acb at 1:29 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


loquacious: "Elon Musk: stop sending me this shit"

Cuts both ways, Elon.
posted by adamrice at 1:52 PM on November 27, 2019 [4 favorites]


The sharp creases and edges make for a futuristic look -- but perhaps one not friendly to pedestrians, according to Australia's car safety chief.

I'd proffer that the humungeous blind spots in front of, behind, to the left, and to the right of the driver would probably be more dangerous to pedestrians, than any sharp angles on the hood.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:34 PM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Even Lego is getting in on ragging on Musk.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:26 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


A few more Cybertruck reaction videos now we are 1 week (and a quarter million pre-orders) in:
Jason Fenske of "Engineering Explained" explains why the Cybertruck --- F150 tug of war demonstration was pointless. He has a whiteboard and formulae.

Two Bit da Vinci finds the design is growing on him and talks about the F-117 Nighthawk and the DMC DeLorean.

"Design and Test" - current Toyota pickup truck owner, who has placed a Cybertruck order, explains why - his CAD mockup comparisons are particularly interesting.

Tailosive Tech is more sceptical and has some serious questions - how would you supercharge with a trailer, for example?

Robert Llewellyn, of Fully Charged, is non professionally non-committal
(although no-doubt Kryten would be a fan)
posted by rongorongo at 12:23 AM on November 28, 2019


humungeous blind spots in front of, behind, to the left, and to the right

should be enough to mandate installation of a set of these at every Supercharger.
posted by flabdablet at 3:16 AM on November 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also, thanks to rongorongo I think I've just seen what I hope will be my next vehicle after I stop being able to find engine rebuild parts for the Daihatsu Mira I drive right now. And it's from VW, not from Tesla.
posted by flabdablet at 3:57 AM on November 28, 2019


My understanding is that contemporary VWs tend to start falling apart as soon as the warranty ends (if not sooner) but maybe their EVs will buck the trend.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:51 AM on November 28, 2019


Here is a prepper's review of the Cybertruck. If you were holding out for a sober discussion of how resistant the vehicle would be to EMP then this is the review you were waiting for. Should a person need something armour plated to out-race a fleet of Porsche 911s, driven by zombies, to get to a mountain hideout - then there really is no other choice.
posted by rongorongo at 2:49 AM on November 29, 2019


Last one for now, I promise
Mike Gastin talks about the branding genius of the Cybertruck: For decades, the auto industry has dangled revolutionary looking concept cars in front of the public to signal they are thinking far ahead - but if you went down to their showroom you would always see the same old quotidian designs -improving only at a glacial incremental rate. This was never more true than with electric vehicles - which started with a promising lead over their ICE competitors (the first to reach 60 miles an hour way back in 1898) but which then suffered more than a century of being relegated to an (often pug ugly) "car of the future"). With the Cybertruck, Tesla appear to have taken the notion of "Delivering the future today" - something that looks like a concept car but which is actually available to buy, competes well with existing vehicles and which can be afforded by the masses. To succeed they don't have to make all that many - and the ones they do make don't have to be flawless in practice. As with a Ferrari, they will be noticed wherever they go - but there will be a lot more of them then there are Ferraris.
posted by rongorongo at 3:41 AM on November 29, 2019


rongorongo: "something that looks like a concept car but which is actually available to buy"

Funny he should say that, considering it's not due out until 2021.
posted by adamrice at 8:15 AM on November 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


Indeed. Relatedly, it's also obnoxious to hear people trumpeting "200k pre-orders!!!" when that pre-order only costs $100. There's no guarantee that any of those people will actually shell out the full $40k when this thing is really available. (Tesla's pre-orders are 100% refundable.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:17 AM on November 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


And the memes continue...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:05 AM on November 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Something Changed At Tesla - "So if the promise of the Model X was the future we've always wanted, and if the Model X as we have it is reflective of our present, I worry for what the Cybertruck foretells may be coming in our reality... Cars are a reflection of ourselves, whether we choose to festoon them in explicit messages or not."

@wintonARK: "Cybertruck pre-order interest (relative to Model 3) strongly indicative of opening up new customer populations in the Rockies/Plains"

Why Tesla's weird new Cybertruck could be a hit - "The Cybertruck will give Tesla an opportunity to establish a toehold in the segment and build credibility. But it might not be the long-term design direction for Tesla's pickup offering... If the Cybertruck establishes a beachhead, but doesn't gain mass market acceptance, Tesla can bring in a more conventional design to appease the traditional buyer."
posted by kliuless at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Indeed. Relatedly, it's also obnoxious to hear people trumpeting "200k pre-orders!!!" when that pre-order only costs $100. There's no guarantee that any of those people will actually shell out the full $40k when this thing is really available. (Tesla's pre-orders are 100% refundable.)

This kind of prognostication would be far more interesting if it didn't perfectly mirror the complaints about how Model 3 preorders didn't matter, it was guaranteed to bomb because reasons. It's too ugly. There's no binnacle. It looks too cheap. It's taking too long to go on sale. Those pre-orders just have to be astroturf. Nobody will actually convert their preorder into a sale since it's fully refundable.

And yet..
posted by wierdo at 8:03 PM on November 29, 2019


Funny he should say that, considering it's not due out until 2021.
The experience of buying any vehicle, sits somewhere on a scale between concrete and nebulous. At the former end, we have the traditional scenario of visiting a dealer, handing over a pile of money in exchange for some keys and then driving your new set of wheels, your precise choice, off the lot. Most sales of new cars are a lot less concrete: you specify exactly what you want, maybe put down a deposit, the car gets delivered from factory to dealer and you collect it with the final payment. Buying a Tesla, any Tesla, sits at the extreme end of nebulousness: finding a dealer in the first place can be hard: they don’t employ much in the way of a sales force because they haven’t needed one. The dealers that do exist won’t let you drive away a new car from their premises (hah!); in fact they won’t even sell you a car! They are there to make you more confident in the online ordering system. And the online ordering system for a Cybertruck is not really any different from a Model 3: you choose the variant you want, receive a very rough timescale for delivery, pay your deposit in return for a picture of a cartoon animal and an order number - and then you wait. Neither you, nor Tesla, are tightly bound by this arrangement.
posted by rongorongo at 1:17 AM on November 30, 2019 [3 favorites]


Funny he should say that, considering it's not due out until 2021.

First they need to make the thing street-legal, which would mean things like mirrors which break up its futuristic silhouette. And then are the differences between a striking-looking concept car and a working truck that can take a beating in the actual use-cases for a truck. As people have pointed out, the C Y B E R T R U C K looks like it'd be a pain to hose down and the dinky-looking futuristic tailgate mechanism could be the automotive equivalent of that Samsung folding phone with the working life of a mayfly.

If this vehicle comes to market as something you can drive on the roads, it'll look a lot more like a boring old truck. A lot of the fanboys who forked out $100 will feel like it's a bait-and-switch, that they stumped up for the radik00l zarjazz future truck their 12-year-old self had drawn and got a slightly more angular Toyota, but it's only $100 and they can get a refund if the Toyota looks like a better deal, and the ignominy of becoming a contemptible normie who wouldn't follow Elon Musk to Mars is not a barrier.
posted by acb at 2:48 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


There is actually a street legal car without wing mirrors already, though I don't believe it had to meet the entire FMVSS due to very low production numbers. Thanks VW! Too bad your emissions fuckery doomed your diesel hybrid spaceship looking thing.
posted by wierdo at 5:26 AM on December 2, 2019


It's too ugly. There's no binnacle. It looks too cheap. It's taking too long to go on sale.

"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:49 PM on December 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


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