Tesla Pickup Truck: Elon Musk gives biggest hint yet about bold design

What will Tesla's truck look like?

Elon Musk

The Tesla Pickup Truck is going to launch with an unexpected design, Elon Musk declared Monday. The Tesla CEO, who has suggested the upcoming electric vehicle is something of a passion project for him, stated via social media that existing concept art is far removed from the final truck’s design.

“Cybertruck doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen bouncing around the Internet,” Musk declared via Twitter. “It’s closer to an armored personnel carrier from the future.”

The statement gives both the clearest indication yet of the car’s potential shape, while also pouring cold water on fan-made attempts to produce concept art. The car is set to form the third and final phase of Tesla’s strategy to reach a broader audience, which started with the Model 3 sedan that launched in July 2017 and continued with the Model Y compact SUV unveiled in March.

In contrast to the simple entry-level designs of the Model 3 and Model Y, Musk has described the truck’s design as “cyberpunk,” “Blade Runner” and “heart-stopping.” Tesla has released one teaser image of the truck, during the Model Y reveal, an image that was so subtle Musk had to highlight it after the event.

The first teasers for the Tesla pickup truck have not given us a lot to go on.


Musk suggested as recently as September that the Pickup Truck could be unveiled in November. With the launch potentially coming as early as next month, Musk may have just given his clearest indication of how the car may look.

Tesla Pickup Truck: what it might look like

Musk suggested on Monday that the car will look like “an armored personnel carrier from the future.” These are vehicles that have played an important role in military combat since the First World War. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe notes that, unlike tanks and other infantry fighting vehicles, the APC is primarily designed to carry a large number of people rather than acting as an offensive vehicle.

This British Mark IX, used in 1918, shows the early designs for these APCs.

British Mark IX APC.

Wikimedia Commons

The Boxer, a modern APC primarily operated by the German Army, can transport 11 people. Army Technology described it as “one of the best armored personnel carriers in the world.”

Boxer APC.

Wikimedia Commons

Compare the front’s design to the teaser image, and you can perhaps faintly see how Tesla’s Pickup Truck may resemble a modern APC.

Pickup Truck: a modern APC?


Tesla Pickup Truck: how it compares to previous guesses

Concept artists have tried to guess at what the vehicle may look like. One popular design came from Emre Husmen, an Istanbul-based designer who has worked with clients like Ford and Fiat and even produced designs for a Tesla Model S. Husmen produced this concept for a truck that received a large amount of attention among Tesla fans.

Unfortunately, as Musk suggested on Monday, the vehicle probably doesn’t look anything like this Joe Rogan, who previously hosted Musk on his podcast, sent Musk a picture of Husmen’s design only to be told it was inaccurate.

“He’s like, ‘that’s not really our truck,’” Rogan said during an episode last week. “He said…what was his words? It’s ‘more Blade Runner-esque’.”

Other fans have produced their own attempts at the design, leading to numerous results popping up on Google Images:

When one searches on Google for "Tesla pickup truck," there is no shortage of imagined renderings.

Google Images

Beyond design, Musk has ratcheted up the anticipation for the truck’s features. In June he teased that the truck needs to cost $49,000 or less, needs to offer better truck-like performance than the Ford F-150, and needs to outperform the Porsche 911 in terms of sports car performance.

Truck fans have expressed concern to Inverse that the company could be on a collision course with an established culture. One Reddit user went as far as to state that “every comment he’s made about the truck has made me nervous.”

Ahead of the big reveal in November, the design could turn out to be a make-or-break feature of the truck.

Related Tags