Why the Cybertruck is a breakthrough for Tesla and designer Franz von Holzhausen (TSLA)

Franz von Holzhausen

Prior to the reveal of Tesla’s outrageous Cybertruck, the
company’s head designer was known for elegance and restraint.

Franz von Holzhausen’s calling card was that at
Tesla he hadn’t created wild, futuristic vehicles
that evoked
spaceships or impossible constructions of curves and contorted
lines. The Model S in particular was a subdued masterpiece that’s
held up fantastically well since its introduction in 2012. It was a
perfectly normal-looking all-electric sedan that nonetheless made
you want to keep looking at at. It should have been boring, but it
wasn’t. It was captivating.

Very few car designers have achieved this: Alec Issigonis with
the original Mini, Malcolm Sayer and the Jaguar E-Type, Henrik
Fisker and the Aston Martin DB9. 

When Tesla rolled out its new Roadster a few years ago, you
could see von Holzhausen’ extending himself but not going
crazy. 

Likewise the Model Y crossover, which very clearly represented
von Holzhausen sticking to the core visual vocabulary that he had
made into his own language.

But the Cybertruck — wow! No one expected anything even
remotely like it from the dignified Franz. Although the design is
controversial, I think it’s a wonderful move for Tesla and for von
Holzhausen. The brand was running the risk of falling into a rut.
In the car business, there’s a simple dictum that says it all:
“Show them the car.”

What that means is that the physical fact and impression of the
vehicle is the fundamental. If people don’t respond to your design,
positively or negatively, then you’ve failed.

So the Cybertruck is a breakthrough for von Holzhausen. Here’s
why:

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The Model S is the opposite of futuristic. Beyond that, von
Holzhausen took advantage of the inherent engineering of electric
cars — no gas engine, no drivetrain, no gas tank — to create a
sleek sedan that has a very roomy cabin and SUV-like storage.

The Model 3 offers more of the same.

The Model Y crossover represents an evolution …

… of von Holzhausen’s vocabulary from the Model X.

Even the new Roadster makes use of von Holzhausen’s familiar
styling cues.

These designs have been influential in ways that more out-there
styles aren’t. Von Holzhausen’s genius is for beauty that’s tied to
reality.

No one would accuse the Cybertruck of being tied to the reality of
pickups.

The RAM 1500, Business Insider’s 2019 Car of the Year, is tied to
reality.

But this is where von Holzhausen has moved the story forward.
Nobody thinks about reinventing the pickup because even tentative
efforts in that direction, such as …

… The first-generation Honda Ridgeline have been rejected by the
incredibly conservative truck market.

Everything about the Cybertruck flies in the face of received
pickup-truck wisdom. And that’s an innovative move, because for von
Holzhausen to design a Tesla-fied pickup, using his familiar
language, would have been a dud.

Von Holzhausen instead decided to do what he hadn’t previously
done, and what Tesla had avoided, which was to blow minds rather
than hew to middlebrow sensibilities.

And why not? We ask for artists to grow, so when they do, we
shouldn’t be freaked out by how far they go. They are, after all,
THE ARTIST. Trying to control them is foolhardy.

In this sense, the Cybertruck is bold and brave. It is the design
that everybody is talking about, inside and outside the car
business. So for von Holzhausen, it’s a personal and professional
triumph.
Source: FS – All – Economy – News
Why the Cybertruck is a breakthrough for Tesla and designer Franz von Holzhausen (TSLA)