Tesla's Cybertruck was designed to capture people's attention. It worked.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has long been known to have a love for popular culture; whether it's taking part in meme reviews, referencing a popularly used smokable substance as a potential stock buyout price, or talking about his love of videogames.
With the Cybertruck just unveiled, we take a look at some pop culture references and vehicles that may have inspired the cyberpunk-style car.
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1. James Bond
Since Tesla's early days, Elon Musk has talked about the influence Lotus has had on Tesla — he named the Lotus Elise as a direct inspiration for Tesla's Roadster.
Not so long ago the SpaceX, Neuralink, and Tesla man even said the electric vehicle company had built a submarine car inspired by the Lotus Esprit sub in James Bond The Spy Who Loved Me.
While the Cybertruck isn't a submarine — unless it has extra features Musk isn't telling us about — it was also directly inspired by James Bond.
Cybertruck design influenced partly by The Spy Who Loved Me https://t.co/HKBzxFNfzm— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2019
Elon Musk confirmed this himself on Twitter, saying the Cybertruck was influenced "partly by The Spy Who Loved Me."
2. Total Recall
As Twitter user @vander_living pointed out with a simple side-by-side image, the Cybertruck bears a striking resemblance to some of the vehicles in Total Recall.
Elon Musk must really love the movie Total Recall. #cybertruck#Teslapic.twitter.com/8SEPFH8dsJ— EV (@vander_living) November 22, 2019
The truth is that any number of sci-fi films could be added to this list alongside the 90's Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film. Blade Runner, Akira, and Mad Max: Fury Road all come to mind.
3. Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 basically looks like Blade Runner: the Game, so it's no surprise that parallels have been drawn between it and Tesla's new Cybertruck.
The game, which is being released in 2020 after years of speculation and hype building — hmm, reminds us of a certain electric car company's marketing strategy — is set in a future sci-fi world with a cyberpunk aesthetic (unsurprisingly, given its title) and stars Keanu Reeves.
Now, no company has a monopoly on the cyberpunk theme, but Tesla's choice of logo has certainly drawn comparisons.
What do you think? The typeface is certainly similar as is the name and the general aesthetic.
In fact, as per CNBC, Elon Musk has talked openly about his love of videogames, and how the medium got him hooked on programming. So it is very likely that one of next year's biggest triple A game releases would be on the Tesla founder's radar.
4. The Delorean
A list of pop culture inspirations would hardly be complete without a mention of the most famous movie vehicle of all: the Delorean.
The Delorean is so iconic, it's practically the main character of Back to the Future. It is an emblematic symbol of 80's cinema.
And who knows, Elon Musk wants to insert computer chips into our brains, so having him announce a time-traveling car doesn't seem so far-fetched.
5. Jawa Sandcrawler
As one tweeter pointed out, Cybertruck's edges are so jagged that they could be compared to the polygon graphics of the 90s videogames.
Same Energy #CyberTruckpic.twitter.com/jlEjxRBzSZ— King's Letter (@TheKingsletter) November 22, 2019
What other vehicle has jagged edges to rival Lara Croft in her 90s pomp?
The Sandcrawler, belonging to the Jawa's from Star Wars — who recently made an appearance in the new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian.
The vehicle is all edges, it doesn't quite go at the speed of a sport's car though.
6. Meme culture
As the old marketing saying goes, "there's no such thing as bad publicity."
Elon Musk seems to have been using this as a mantra over the last couple of years, and we wouldn't be surprised if he's loving everything that's being said about the Cybertruck.
Man, Elon really nailed the design of the new Tesla #CyberTruckpic.twitter.com/69GD2u2znW— Alex Hughes (@alexjackhughes) November 22, 2019
The car was designed by a company whose founder is a lover of memes, and who is also a master at hyping his products — to the point where many take his announcements with a pinch of salt.
The Cybertruck was very likely designed with memes in mind.
We outsourced the styling to a random 2nd grader, and passed on the savings to you!https://t.co/o16RopXNUN— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 22, 2019
We can't deny that the design makes us think of a rectangular sardine container. But it's also the closest any of us will get to driving a vehicle out of our favorite sci-fi movie.