The Tesla Cybertruck has been a polarizing machine for several years, despite customer deliveries still not expected to take place until the end of November. Delays aside, the stainless steel rendering of Elon’s design vision has drawn a significant amount of debate from Tesla fans and haters alike. Seeking a more informed opinion of the matter, NPR reached out to the master of stainless steel himself: Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Giugiaro is unquestionably one of the most influential automotive designers of all time. His company was responsible for hundreds of different vehicles over the decades, ranging from the obscure to the iconic. He’s best known for his “folded paper” approach to design that was honed during the 1970s, birthing a number of enthusiast heartthrobs in the process. The Mk1 VW Golf, Maserati Bora, BMW M1, Lotus Esprit S1, and the DMC DeLorean all came from the pen of Giugiaro. The latter is particularly interesting in relation to the Cybertruck, as the two have drawn obvious comparisons and criticism. In that period, the press wasn’t all that kind to the stainless steel body found on the DeLorean, noting it often smudged and was difficult to line up properly during production. Sound familiar?
While not enough of a commercial success to keep the company afloat, the DeLorean has certainly found its own group of dedicated fans in the current era. Of course the car also benefited from starring in “Back to the Future'', becoming the most recognizable movie car to ever grace the silver screen. The Cybertruck isn’t that culturally relevant, but it's miserable debut event has gone down in automotive lore. Giugiaro believes the general outrageousness surrounding the truck’s design will help it capture a dedicated fan base of its own.
"When you step outside the norms, it's almost always seen as a provocation," Giugiaro told NPR via email. "It happens in all fields, from furniture to cooking, etc. Everyone wants to distinguish themselves; it's a market necessity, and the Cybertruck will surely be successful, I'm sure of it. I'm convinced it will find its admirers."
The 85-year old designer wasn’t as forthcoming with his opinions on the truck’s overall design aesthetic, however.
"I don't want to judge the Cybertruck as beautiful or ugly. It certainly has its admirers who want a vehicle to stand out," Giugiaro told NPR.
I think that’s mighty praise from a designer who reshaped our view on shapes and surfaces. As Giugiaro pointed out, there are already scores of people excited by the opportunity to own this alien looking machine. I still think it is pretty ugly, however.
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