Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours or so, you probably saw a photo or video of the new Tesla Cybertruck floating around the internet today. The new battery-electric pickup has generated a massive amount of publicity for the American company, though not all of it has been about the truck’s admittedly impressive performance and range. Many have been critical of the truck’s triangular shape and brutalist design approach and it’s easy to see why. Simply put (and without being too crass), the industry never seen anything quite like the Cybertruck.
— MotorTrend (@MotorTrend) November 22, 2019
While the Cybertruck is unlike any other pickup truck on sale today (or any vehicle period, for that matter), it appears that Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, still looked over at the competition when putting his pen to paper for the truck. Motor Trend sent out a tweet today with an attached photo showing Editor-in-chief Ed Loh and other Motor Trend employees posing with the Cybertruck and von Holzhausen in Tesla’s design studio. Hiding in the right-hand side of the photo appears to be the front end of a 2019 or 2020 Chevrolet Silverado. We believe this is a Trail Boss model, as the truck in question has knobby off-road tires and black-painted front fascia.
It’s hard to say why Tesla has a Silverado in its design studio. Clearly it wasn’t intent on copying the design of the truck or any truck current in production, as the Cybertruck has more in common with the Great Pyramids of Giza than it does with a Silverado or F-150. If we had to guess, we’d say Tesla was using the Silverado to help guide it when designing more practical parts of the truck, such as bed tie-down points and the size and location of interior storage compartments. But again, we’re only guessing, and there a number of reasons why Tesla may want to have a close eye on the competition when designing new products.
General Motors will also have a close eye on the Cybertruck as it develops its new electric pickup truck, which GM CEO Mary Barra said will go on sale by the fall of 2021. It’s not clear which GM brand the new electric pickup will fall under (rumors allege it will be a GMC), but the truck will be built at the automaker’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Metro Detroit. Meanwhile, the Cybertruck will go on sale toward the end of 2021 as well, with the high-performance tri-motor version set to arrive a year later in late 2022.