I love a good bootleg, and the cheaper and crappier and more half-assed the better. Given the choice between an officially-licensed Superman action figure or a Superb-Man Active Figure with real Warm-Vision, I’m going to be drawn to the crappy knockoff.
And that could be why this amazing, misshapen silvery mass drew me in like a moth to a flame, or maybe a crudely drawn flame on a chunk of drywall. Meet the Aitekx Robotruck, the first Tesla Cybertruck knockoff to be introduced to humanity, and, based on the looks of the thing, it’s an absolute pile.
Now I should be clear that I have not yet spoken to the Aitekx representative and gotten all the details about this vehicle; I’ll be doing that tomorrow, at the show, and I will tell you everything I find out; until then, we have these pictures to look at and Aitekx’ website, which features a lot of improbable photos and some really painfully obvious spelling errors:
I make plenty of spelling errors myself, but I think when I have only two words to deal with, I can usually figure it out. This is also fun, and even more baffling:
3-raw seats? 2-raw seats? Are these uncooked seats? Seat tartare? A typo is one thing, but this is repeated. How?
The truck itself, called the Robotruck 1T in truck version and the Robotruck 1V in SUV form (I can’t actually tell the difference in the two based on the website) and seems pretty clearly modeled after the Tesla Cybertruck, but with enough styling differences to, I suppose, keep everything nice and legal.
In person, the Robotruck appears to have been built with a level of focus and care and attention that can only be described as “chimp-grade.” It’s appalling, in an absolutely gleeful way. I mean, just look at this thing:
Wow. I know we’ve all enjoyed a good, wholesome chuckle at the suspect build quality of the pre-production Cybertruck but this is an entirely different level of shittiness. If the Cybertruck’s build quality is somewhat shoddy, with uneven panel gaps, then the Robotruck is deity-level shoddy, with panel gaps that aren’t just large, but also incredibly uneven and wavy, and appears to have been put together with the sort of precision normally associated with a gravel driveway.
Look at how that door doesn’t exactly close! Absolutely no panel here actually fits; look at those strange metal slats that make up the sloping rear of the thing – they look like metal 2x4s haphazardly nailed to the sides.
What’s going on here? Are those rivet heads? Are there fingerprints in that paint?
Dear God, look at that. It’s like a guy with mittens was injected with several shots of Novacaine in the wrists, and handed a rubber mallet and told to “build the car.”
From what I could see, it looks like an absolute pile. Now, again, I haven’t spoken with Aitekx representatives about anything yet, and it’s possible there’s really good reasons for why the Robotruck looks like it was made by smacking parts together with a salami. It’s possible this all somehow makes sense, even if I can’t really see it.
Aitekx (that name seems to come from combining AI and tech and and X, because why the hell not, I suppose, letters are free) claims that the Robotruck will get “up to” 550 miles of range, and it’s worth noting that when you say something that can get “up to” 550 miles, that means that getting one mile is as valid as 200 miles, and the only thing that wouldn’t be possible with that claim is anything 551 miles or more. They also say it will go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 165 mph.
Do you want to order one of these Wish.com Cybertrucks? The Cybertrucks of we have Cybertruck at home? If so, you can plop down $100 for a reservation, and guarantee that you’ll be in line to get ahold of one of these Robotrucks, which will likely be ready for delivery on the 14th of Never, in the year two thousand and are-you-fucking-kidding-me. Or it’ll be next year! Who knows, the Tesla Cybertruck has been promised since 2019, after all.
Do you feel good about sending money to a company whose address appears to be a PO Box, at least according to their trademark registration? Do you feel good about sending money to a company whose X account looks like this?
Unusual activity. I wonder if that includes the unusual activity of building a Cybertruck knockoff out of crap and dreams?
The Robotruck does seem to offer some advantages over the Cybertruck, including a third row of seats and what looks like a folding mid-gate:
I mean, in those renders, that looks pretty good! Unfortunately, reality is a big old jerk.
There does seem to be some sort of electric drivetrain under there, so that much seems true. Everything else I’m really skeptical about, but I’ll try and find out what I can. I’ll also ask them what it means when they say the Robotruck is a “fun midsize EV pickup with robotics and AI capability,” because I have no idea at all what the hell that means. Is it some euphemism for a semi-automated system?
This thing is absurd, but I adore the chutzpah it takes to blatantly knock off one of the most talked-about designs in recent memory, all while building it with a level of attention that suggests everyone involved was half-watching some YouTube videos or in the throes of a full-on ether high.
This thing is fascinating. The difference between the dreams of the builders, as expressed through these many renders, and the brutal reality of the half-ass-seeming physical truck itself, parked there smack dab in the middle of the LA Auto Show, is sobering.
I’ll check it out up close and get all the details tomorrow, but based on what I’ve seen and read so far, this goofy bootleg Cybertruck isn’t giving me a lot of confidence.
I’m thrilled it’s here, though. Best car of show, hands down.