Updated: Jun 6
The brutalist, dystopian, Blade Runner-esque automotive aesthetic that Franz von Holzhausen thrust into the mainstream consciousness in 2019 with the reveal of Tesla's yet-to-be-available Cybertruck is, well, not universally loved. Some people loathe the form factor of the Cybertruck citing its sharp edges and rudimentary geometry, while others - some Tesla-Stans, some not - passionately defend the look, celebrating it as a rebellion against conformity. Whichever camp you fall into, I think it would be impossible to argue that the impression the Cybertruck makes is anything less than bold.
Personally, I think the cyberpunk approach to automotive design is fine. Variety, they say, is the spice of life, and I welcome anything that makes kids and adults alike do a double-take as it drives down the road.
There's something to be said for an inanimate object that can hold someone's gaze as it creeps through a parking lot at a walking pace. I think we've all been there at some point in our lives, when a rare bird catches you completely off guard and you just can't look away. I think the Cybertruck will have that impact on a lot of people when, or if, it ever hits the streets.
While I don't agree with some of the design choices ol' Franz made with the Cybertruck, I think the biggest issue with his use of the cyberpunk aesthetic is that he simply applied to the wrong vehicle. Of course, this was likely at the behest of his billionaire overlord, Elon Musk, but it doesn't matter. The Cybertruck should have been… the CyberVAN.
Sure, TRUCKS get all the lovin' these days. But let me tell you what most truck people simply aren't willing to admit to themselves - and what no automaker is willing to advertise: VANS ARE BETTER... in every conceivable way.
If you feel otherwise, then I'm sorry, but your feelings are wrong. That is unless, of course, your day-to-day duties include going to your local rock quarry and loading up on some freshly crushed rock, towing a fifth-wheel trailer of some variety, or hauling fish guts and seal pups around to all of the absolutely enormous fish tanks you have so that you can feed all of the sharks you keep on display in your aquatic petting zoo for children because you are, in fact, the shark king. If you do fall into one of those categories, then yeah, an actual truck with an open bed would suit you well. But... if all three of those use-cases sound completely unfamiliar to you and your current daily driver is a pick-up truck, then your needs would be better served by - you guessed it - a van, man.
See the guy in that moody picture at the top of this article, expressionless... with his hips thrusted ever so slightly forward? He knows this. He knows the truth - hence the hip thrust. Those hips are hips emboldened by confidence, the kind of confidence a person can only attain when that person's life is immeasurably better than everyone else's due to the simple fact that he or she is better equipped and therefore better able to grab life by the balls and squeeze 'em for everything they're worth.
Now, I'm not going to belittle your intelligence by enumerating all the reasons that vans are categorically superior to pick-up trucks. I think if you dig deep enough within yourself, you'll discover each and every one of those reasons for yourself. That's my hope for you anyway - for you and for the general public at large. I'm just here spittin' facts. How long it takes you to agree with me and what you choose to do with your enlightenment is entirely up to you.
But take one more look at this fella with the CyberVan. Then tell me with a straight face and a clear conscience that you don't aspire to project your pelvis with such vigor one day, while you're just... standing there, right there next your van. If you're honest with yourself, I don't think you can.
That guy doesn't have to aspire to such heights - because he's already there. He's already made it. He's reached the pinnacle. Old dude's at the top, looking down. And he made it that far because his CyberVan enabled him. It empowered him to do all the things anyone could ever want to do with a van, all the things that he could never do before... before he was a Van Man.
But now? Now he can. He can do all of those things - because the CyberVan can.