Tesla patent reveals the vehicles it may have copied to design the Cybertruck


The Tesla Cybertruck looks like it was “made by aliens from the future,” according to Elon Musk, but it’s angular design is very much steeped in the past.

Musk had previously said that the electric pickup took inspiration from the amphibious 1976 Lotus Esprit from the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” that he purchased for $865,000 at an auction in 2013, but a new patent reveals that several other classic designs that may have contributed to its style.

The design patent granted to Tesla on July 27 references several prior patents for proposed vehicles that bear a striking resemblance to Tesla’s truck. They were either noted by Tesla or the examiners, according to Electrek and are meant to illustrate how the Cybertruck is an evolution of previous ideas.

One from 1979 is for a sports car designed by Vito Carabetta that in turn references the Esprit, Lamborghini Countach and DeTomasso Pantera.

Two other wedge-shaped sports car designs are also listed, along with several pickup bed caps drawn by a Juan Javier Gaytan with the same triangular shape as the Cybertruck’s rear profile, which accommodates a retractable tonneau-style bed cover.

(Juan Javier Gaytan/USTPO)

Another striking inclusion is an off-road SUV with a flat windshield that rises from the front of the vehicle designed by Alain Clenet, who is better known for his retro robber baron era-style coach builds.

One thing the Cybertruck has in common with its forebears is that its not in production … yet. While Tesla had been promising the first deliveries would begin by the end of this year, Elon Musk said during the Tesla’s second-quarter earnings call that it won’t go on sale until Model Y production is up and running at the Texas factory that will build both models and there is a steady supply of the company’s next generation batteries, which are still in development.


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