The Tesla Cybertruck is marketed as one of, if not the most capable four-wheeled machines in the world, durable and rugged enough to go anywhere. Customers can also adorn the all-electric pickup with various Tesla-branded accessories, including a $3,000 rooftop tent that started shipping last week.

But we’ve heard similar things about a different car that came about more than 20 years ago and went down in history as one of General Motors’ biggest fails. We’re talking about the Pontiac Aztek, famous for having looks only a mother could love and playing the role of Walter White’s ride in the hit TV series Breaking Bad.

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The Cybertruck goes after the Aztek, some 20-odd years later

Tesla started shipping its $3,000 Basecam rooftop tent recently, and it looks very similar to the optional camping pack that General Motors offered in the early 2000s for the ill-fated Pontiac Aztek. Unlike the Aztek's tent, however, people sitting inside the Cybertruck tent can't benefit from the car's air conditioning system.

Just like the Cybertruck, the Aztek was marketed as a new chapter in GM’s history, breaking away from the somewhat restrained design philosophy that dictated how the American automaker’s models looked like–think fifth-gen Chevy Malibu.

Also like the Cybertruck, the Aztek was available with an optional camping pack that included a tent and an air mattress. The tent attached to the crossover’s body, much like Tesla’s Basecamp tent attaches to the rear of the Cybertruck, making for a relatively cozy way of camping above the ground.

Unlike the Aztek, however, there is no way of benefiting from the car’s air conditioning system in the Cybertruck because the rear window doesn’t roll down. The tent itself has a zipper opening in the area where it roughly meets the rear window of the truck, but it won’t help since you can’t get cold or warm air from the EV’s interior.

Tesla Cybertruck with Basecam tent (Source: TownBiz / Cybertruck Owners Club forum)

Tesla Cybertruck with Basecamp tent (Source: TownBiz / Cybertruck Owners Club forum)

Pontiac Aztek with optional camping package

Pontiac Aztek with optional camping package

This seems like a major oversight. In the Aztek, which is a crossover and not a pickup, the camping pack practically extended the car’s available space beyond the opened tailgate. This way, the two people camping were effectively sitting inside the car and could theoretically run the engine for short amounts of time to get heat or cold air from the HVAC system.

The Cybertruck, being an EV without tailpipe emissions, would have made the perfect solution for camping in all types of weather without having to use an external heater.

Moreover, Tesla’s Basecamp tent looks nothing like the original rendering that showed a fancy, shiny angular tent with multiple windows and some sort of a camp kitchen. Granted, the artwork was changed after the EV finally went into production, and the website was updated, but we can’t help but feel that the reality is nowhere near what was sold to enthusiasts who were lured in with the original renders.

Tesla Cybertruck

The original Tesla Cybertruck tent render

The so-called Tent Mode that can reportedly automatically level the vehicle on uneven ground is also nowhere to be found in the car’s settings. It’s a similar story to the rest of the car, specs included, but you can read more about this in our review of the Tesla Cybertruck.

You can read more about the ownership experience in a post written by the user TownBiz on the Cybertruck Owners Club forum. In short, it’s pretty easy to install and uninstall, but some issues might pose some problems further down the road.

As for the forward-looking Pontiac Aztek, it was supposed to be sold in about 75,000 units every year in the early 2000s, but that never happened. Instead, it never reached 28,000 units per year and was eventually retired after just seven years on the market and fewer than 100,000 cars sold.

Will the Cybertruck have a similar fate? There are reportedly millions of reservation holders, so the hype machine did its thing, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out in five years.

What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments below.

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