The instantly polarized reaction to the Tesla Cybertruck revealed Thursday is a good example of history repeating itself.

While automakers typically make conservative vehicle design choices to maximize sales, once in a while they deviate from the industry norms.

That’s clearly the case with the Tesla Cybertruck, whose triangular design, stainless steel body and unconventional truck bed inspired a chorus of laughter, praise and puzzlement. 

But you don’t need to dig too far back to see other examples of where automotive design went wild. Each time, the unusual choices inspired legions of critics but also  devoted followers.

Here are some of the most polarizing vehicle designs of this century:

1. Tesla Cybertruck

Let’s start here.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long said he wanted to make a futuristic pickup and even acknowledged that people might not like it. He succeeded.

Analysts are comparing the vehicle to something out of the “Mad Max” or “Blade Runner” films. That’s fine, but practicality is in doubt. Musk bragged that the vehicle would have a massive towing capacity, payload capability and acceleration. But industry analysts said the vehicle is unlikely to appeal to work-truck buyers.





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