Tesla's smashing stunt for James Bond-inspired Cybertruck backfires

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter

A stunt designed to show off the “armoured” windows of Tesla’s new James Bond-like Cybertruck vehicle backfired spectacularly on Thursday when two of the windows were smashed on stage.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tried to laugh off the embarrassing moment, which arose during a demonstration that was supposed to show how hard the windows were to break.

Windows in the pickup truck, which was unveiled on Thursday in California, were said to be indestructible. But they were unable to withstand the impact of a metal ball being thrown at them.

The window smashing was just one of a series of outlandish demos, during which Musk instructed Tesla's head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, to do things like hit the door of the vehicle repeatedly with a sledgehammer.

People take pictures of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck with shattered windows after a failed resistance test, at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. Photo: Getty Images

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Immediately after the first window was smashed, Musk was heard shouting an expletive before suggesting that the metal ball had been thrown “a little too hard”.

A second window was then smashed.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in front of a Cybertruck with smashed windows on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Tesla (TSLA) claims the Cybertruck has “more utility than a truck, with more performance than a sports car”.

The truck’s outer body is made from the same steel used in rockets made by Musk’s spaceship firm SpaceX, and can withstand a 9mm bullet, the company said.

Musk had said in advance that the vehicle’s design was a nod to the Lotus Esprit sportscar-submarine used in James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Italian businessman Domenico Morassutti with the 1977 Lotus Espirit S1 Submarine Shell as featured in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. (Photo by Matthew Fearn/PA Images via Getty Images)

The angular, almost jarring design of the vehicle has caught many by surprise, even after Musk had warned in advance that many would not like how the pickup truck looked.

The electric carmaker is trying to take on a market that is currently dominated by the likes of Ford and General Motors, both of whom make bestselling pickup trucks.

Three versions of the pickup truck will go on sale with base prices ranging from $39,900 (£30,000) to $69,000 (£53,000), around $10,000 lower than analysts had expected.