LOS ANGELES–In one of the most bizarre automotive unveilings of all time, Elon Musk himself showed his new Cybertruck to the world late Thursday evening. The event, which we’re pretty certain at this point was not a dream, consisted of Musk and his chief designer beating the vehicle with a sledgehammer, and then shattering its windows.
Musk began the event by touting the truck’s small size relative to the popular F-150, an achievement he claimed is possible thanks to the truck’s “exoskeleton.”
“It doesn’t look like anything else,” he said. The audience, who were at a loss for words, seemed to agree, though not in the way Musk hoped they would.
The Tesla CEO then explained the Cybertruck is constructed more like an airplane than like a traditional body-on-frame pickup. This made it exceptionally strong.
To showcase this strength, Franz von Holfhausen, Tesla’s design chief, repeatedly struck an F150’s door with a sledgehammer, which sustained surprisingly little damage. Then, he did the same to the Cybertruck, which did not appear to sustain any damage.
Later scrutiny revealed the hammer was designed not to damage objects it struck.
A few members of the audience half-heartedly cheered, apparently unsure why this capability was at all relevant.
“So if you think about a truck, you want a truck that’s tough,” Musk said. “You want a truck you can take a sledgehammer to.”
We were unable to confirm the existence of any research-backed support for this claim.
“What if we shoot it? Let’s shoot it.”
“Shoot it!” A member of the audience shouted.
“We’re in California, unfortunately,” Musk clarified, apparently under the impression he would have been able to shoot a ricocheting bullet in a building full of people had the reveal taken place in another state.
Musk’s eyes bounced between the audience and stage in split-second twitches.
Musk then included they would be using the same alloy in the Cybertruck on SpaceX’s Starship rocket, proud that his upcoming spacecraft would be a safe haven from the small caliber gunfights that frequently occur in the vast emptiness of space.
The audience did not react.
Musk then shifted the focus from the doors to the windows.
“Yeah, transparent metal glass,” he said, controlling his urge to laugh and break character with all of the self-control of a child sitting abreast a cookie jar.
Von Holfhausen then came back into action, showing the audience what happens when a heavy, fast-moving object — in this instance, a metal sphere as big as a softball — strikes a sheet of this amazing glass. Viewers were speechless as it sustained no damage.
Gesturing toward the Cybertruck’s windows, Musk then instructed Franz to “try to break this glass.”
Von Holfhausen obliged, and gave a lacrosse ball sized metal sphere a feeble pitch at the glass.
To the surprise of no one but those on stage, the window shattered, and the ball formed a crater around the point of impact.
“Oh my fucking God.”
The audience laughed, unsure at this point whether Musk was playing an elaborate practical joke.
“It didn’t go through, as a plus side” said Musk.
Musk allowed Franz to have another go on the next window. This time, the window shattered, and the ball formed a crater around the point of impact.
“Not bad. Room for improvement.”
The audience laughed again, increasingly convinced Musk has been yanking their chains. However, this suspicion quickly dwindled as the reveal continued.
Tripping over his words, Musk was eventually able to explain the Cybertruck will include adaptive air suspension, which will adjust the damping and ride height to optimal levels depending on the load being carried, and sort of terrain being negotiated.
“The car has an adaptive air suspension. It’s literally built…yeah, with adaptive air suspension.”
Musk then rattled off some of the truck’s performance figures, a statement supplemented by the screen at the back of the stage, which indicated the truck “tows 14,000 lbs” and “pulls infinitely.”
The screen played a video clip depicting a truck “tug of war” between a Ford F-150 and a Cybertruck. It was unclear what specification the F-150 was, but it was clear that it was only rear-wheel-drive.
The Cybertruck easily prevailed.
“I mean, yeah. It was uphill.”
The audience laughed again, but this time uneasily. They seemed to be realizing this life-sized Etch-A-Sketch drawing was the actual Cybertruck.
The screen then played another video clip, this one showing a drag race between the Cybertruck and a Porsche 911.
“This is the current edition Porsche,” Musk said to an audience of professional auto journalists who he suspected would not notice it was actually a previous generation Porsche.
“This is not CGI,” he clarified, still maintaining what seemed like an overly drawn-out ruse.
Musk then awkwardly attempted to compare the cost of ownership between a Cybertruck and a conventional, gasoline-powered pickup, making several dubious claims.
“All right. Yeah,” he said, seemingly concluding the event. “Thank you guys for coming.”
The audience froze, anticipating Musk would bring out the actual Cybertruck. Perhaps it was hidden within the triangular prism with shattered windows on the stage. Or maybe it would appear from behind the curtain. Either way, they sensed the ruse was over. It was time to see the real Cybertruck.
“We also made an ATV.”
The ATV, driving into the truck’s bed, compressed the vehicle’s rear suspension, which… did not self level. Musk then left the stage.
Later researched showed the ATV to be a hastily modified Yamaha Raptor.