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Unveiling the Inspiration Behind Tesla's Cybertruck: A Journey through Alternative Designs

Discover the creative journey behind Tesla's Cybertruck design, as captured in a photograph shared by Elon Musk's biographer, Walter Isaacson.
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Elon Musk's biographer, Walter Isaacson, has unveiled an intriguing photograph that sheds light on the genesis of Tesla's iconic Cybertruck design. The image captures an early meeting featuring a collection of alternative designs for the electric pickup truck on the left, while on the right, a captivating mood board reveals the pop culture influences that ultimately shaped the Cybertruck's striking appearance. In the foreground, Elon Musk engages in discussion with Tesla's design chief, Franz von Holzhausen.

Tesla's Cybertruck design journey was rife with experimentation, as evident from the array of concept images showcased in the photograph. Among the designs were less-angular bodies, hinting at different aesthetics than what eventually materialized on the assembly line.

A mood board showing images from movies and video games.
Images from Robocop, Cyberpunk 2077, and James Bond can be seen on one board.
 Image: Walter Isaacson
A mood board showing more pop culture inspiration.
More inspiration, including Tron.
 Image: Walter Isaacson
A third mood board with more pop culture inspiration.
An image from Blade Runner 2049 can be seen in the top left.
 Image: Walter Isaacson

Pop Culture Inspirations: The Driving Force Behind Cybertruck

On the right side of the photograph, a mood board portrays an amalgamation of cinematic and gaming inspirations that guided the Cybertruck's futuristic aesthetics. Elon Musk's admiration for the movie "Blade Runner 2049" is evident, as he previously likened the yet-to-be-announced Cybertruck to Tesla's very own "Blade Runner pickup truck." Also, present are early concept images from the video game "Cyberpunk 2077," showcased later on the Model S Plaid's infotainment system.

Other iconic pop culture references surfaced on the display boards, such as the Lotus Esprit 1 Series submarine car from James Bond's "The Spy Who Loved Me," the DMC Delorean, and visuals from "RoboCop" and "Tron." Notably, the video game "Halo" also made its appearance among the inspirations.

Musk's Vision: Embracing the Future

Walter Isaacson's forthcoming biography on Musk offers insights into the visionary CEO's decision-making process. Musk personally championed the idea of constructing the Cybertruck from stainless steel instead of conventional carbon fiber. This bold move allowed the design team to explore futuristic and edgy concepts, favoring straight planes and sharp angles.

Unyielding in his pursuit of innovation, Musk firmly stood behind his vision for the Cybertruck. He was determined to create something extraordinary, even if it meant potentially alienating some customers. While he had been persuaded to adopt a more conventional design for the Model Y, Musk insisted on breaking away from tradition when it came to Tesla's first pickup truck. "I want the future to look like the future," he declared. "We're not doing a traditional boring truck. We can always do that later. I want to build something that's cool. Like, don't resist me."

The Result: Tesla's Groundbreaking Cybertruck

In 2019, Tesla finally unveiled the groundbreaking Cybertruck, with production scheduled for late 2021. After some delays, the Tesla Texas plant recently commenced production of the first Cybertruck, with delivery events planned for later this year and mass production slated for 2024.

Walter Isaacson's highly anticipated biography on Elon Musk, scheduled for release in September 2023, promises to offer an in-depth exploration of the maverick entrepreneur's creative journey, leaving an indelible mark on the future of transportation.

Embrace the boldness of Tesla's Cybertruck, a fusion of imagination and innovation, set to redefine the roads of tomorrow. 

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