Musk unveiled the new electric pickup truck in Los Angeles, Calif., on Thursday, but the demonstration didn’t quite go according to plan.
The supposedly “bulletproof” vehicle’s body held up to a blow from a sledgehammer, but two of its “armoured” windows erupted into spidery cracks when they were struck with metal balls.
The damage happened while Franz von Holzhausen, Musk’s head of design, was showing off the Cybertruck’s durability. The vehicle’s body held up when von Holzhausen hit it with a sledgehammer, but the metal balls were too much for the windows.
“Oh my f—ing God,” Musk said when he saw the damage on the driver’s side window of the vehicle. “Well … maybe that was a little too hard.”
Looking sheepish, the inventor allowed von Holzhausen to throw another ball at the rear passenger window. That window cracked, too.
“It didn’t go through, so that’s a plus side,” Musk said. “Room for improvement.”
Audience members and social media users cracked up at the embarrassing setback, which happened during an otherwise triumphant unveiling ceremony.
A few of Musk’s defenders suggested he was essentially playing 3D chess, and that the broken glass was a stunt to get more publicity.
Earlier in the ceremony, Musk said he expects his Cybertruck to challenge the Ford F-150, the United States’ top-selling pickup, with its power and durability.
Musk expects to sell the vehicle at a starting price of US$39,900. The more expensive model will go for $69,900 and is expected to have a range of more than 800 kilometres.
It may be a bit of a hard sell, as critics piled on in attacking the design. Some compared its angular, gunmetal grey look to the DeLorean, a failed line of vehicles from the 1980s that only became popular through the film Back to the Future.
Some compared the Cybertruck to Kanye West’s “so ugly they’re cool” Yeezy shoes.
Others compared the design to vehicles from video games such as Halo and Mass Effect, or movies such as Blade Runner 2049.
Perhaps the harshest criticism came from those who compared the Cybertruck to The Homer, an absurd vehicle that Homer Simpson designed for his half-brother’s company in an episode of The Simpsons. The vehicle ultimately bankrupted Homer’s brother’s company.
Jokes aside, Musk hopes the vehicle will be a hit for eco-conscious buyers who still want the power of a pickup truck.
“We need sustainable energy now. If we don’t have a pickup truck, we can’t solve it,” he said on Thursday. “The top three selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck.”
On Twitter, Musk said that a pressurized version of the Cybertruck will be the “official truck of Mars.”
Hopefully, the Martians don’t know how to throw rocks.