"When you step outside the norms, it's almost always seen as a provocation."
The DMC DeLorean, an eye-catching sports car famously featured in the iconic sci-fi romp "Back to the Future" in 1985, drew plenty of attention when it was released in 1981 for its odd angles, iconic gullwing doors, and futuristic tech.
Tesla's long-awaited Cybertruck also raised eyebrows when it was unveiled four years ago — and it was hard not to see parallels between the two vehicles, both of which featured unusual stainless bodies and unorthodox design choices.
Now Giorgetto Giugiaro, the 85-year-old Italian designer behind the DeLorean, has some thoughts on Tesla's brutalist pickup. And his take, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a lot more nuanced than the outpouring of criticism the odd-looking truck has received over the years.
"When you step outside the norms, it's almost always seen as a provocation," Giugiaro told NPR in an 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," he added.
The CEO Who Loved Trucks
Giugiaro also designed the Lotus Esprit in 1976, an unusually polygonal sports car that famously was featured as a tricked-out amphibious submarine in the 1977 James Bond classic "The Spy Who Loved Me."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted in a 2019 tweet that the Cybertruck's design was also "influenced partly" by that peculiar vehicle.
Since the truck was first unveiled, the EV maker has struggled to turn Musk's vision into a reality, foreshadowed by the company's chaotic announcement event in which Tesla's chief designer Franz von Holzhausen threw a metal ball into the vehicle's allegedly "bulletproof" glass — cracking it severely.
Almost four years later, Tesla has finally announced a delivery event of the Cybertruck just over two weeks from now, with Musk admitting to investors last month that "we dug our own grave with the Cybertruck" and that "there will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production."
But whether the Cybertruck will experience the same fate as the DeLorean remains to be seen. The DeLorean Motor Company, founded in 1975, filed for bankruptcy just seven years later, and only roughly 9,000 DeLoreans were made between 1981 and 1983.
Nonetheless, its iconic design has lived on, quickly becoming one of the most instantly recognizable cars ever made.
Which leaves a glaring question: will Tesla's latest offering actually sell, or will it share the DeLorean's fate?
Giugiaro stopped short of making any predictions, but argued that it's all a matter of taste.
"I don't want to judge the Cybertruck as beautiful or ugly," he told NPR. "It certainly has its admirers who want a vehicle to stand out."
More on the Cybertruck: Tesla Vows to Sue Anyone Who Resells Their Cybertruck
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