Some Tesla engineers "hated" the look of the Cybertruck, design chief Franz von Holzhausen told Walter Isaacson.
Certain engineers secretly worked on a alternate version, Isaacson wrote in his new book on Elon Musk.
The edgy Cybertruck is known for its hard lines and stainless steel body.
"A majority of the people in this studio hated it," von Holzhausen said of the futuristic design, according to the book. "They were like, 'You can't be serious.' They didn't want to have anything to do with it. It was just too weird."
Some Tesla engineers even took to covertly designing another version of the electric pickup after they saw a mock-up of the futuristic truck on display at SpaceX's showroom in Los Angeles during the summer of 2019, Isaacson, who shadowed Musk for three years, wrote.
It's unclear what happened to the alternative version of the vehicle. Musk, von Holzhausen, and a spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.
"Von Holzhausen, who is as gentle as Musk is brusque, spent time listening carefully to their concerns. 'If you don't have buy-in from the people around you, it's hard to get things done,' he says," Isaacson wrote.
But Musk was "less patient," Isaacson reported, and did not want to hear concerns related to the Cybertruck.
"I don't do focus groups," the Tesla CEO said, according to Isaacson.
Rather than focus on adjusting the design, Musk told von Holzhausen that he wanted a driveable version of the vehicle that he could demo at a Tesla event in November, which von Holzhausen said "forced the team to come together, work twenty-four-seven," Isaacson wrote.
Musk first unveiled the concept for the electric pickup truck about four years ago and the project has faced a series of delays over the past two years. Musk has said the carmaker plans to start delivering the Cybertruck within the year, but the company has yet to release pricing for the vehicle.
The vehicle's unusual design — including its stainless steel, smudge-prone exterior and massive windshield wiper —has been a point of debate ahead of its release. Those who have pre-ordered the vehicle with a $100 deposit have been nitpicking the final version of the Cybertruck.
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