Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has spoken bullishly of autonomous driving, but Tesla's official guidelines direct Autopilot users to stay engaged. Frederic J. BROWN/AFP

Masculinity has been the overarching theme in automobile designs for centuries. Recently, however, as more electric car models emerge, macho designs have been at their peak.

Since Elon Musk, the CEO of X and Tesla, came under fire for launching the masculine 'Tesla's Cybertruck', designers have noted that electric cars are clearly being marketed towards men.

While Musk remained unapologetic towards the electric Cybertruck being dubbed as too 'macho', the CEO of Tesla explained that masculine design included a truck bed that was large enough to "mount a missile launcher".

The new Tesla flagship has been met with criticism, for simply representing the current peak of automobiles being designed for and marketed towards men.

Recently, the Shanghai-based electric car brand, HiPhi, was slammed for prioritising masculine designs after it launched its new 'HiPhi A'.

The HiPhi A has been dubbed as a "hypecar" that boasts a "cutting-edge" design and an "advancement of technology".

HiPhi Founder, Chairman and CE, David Ding, said that the new model represents "the pinnacle of innovative technology while still paying tribute to the classics".

The car showcases "the transformative nature as a way to look toward the future," he added.

After debuting its new Hyper Force concept at Japan's Mobility Show in October this year, Nissan has also come under fire for its macho vehicles.

The Nissan Hyper Force boasts harsh edges and LED lights in the interior. According to Nissan, the model has been designed "for racing enthusiasts and gamers who crave the adrenaline rush of the racetrack but are also eco-conscious".

Gender bias has had a detrimental effect on women in the automobile industry.

Nissan noted that the car will fulfil "racing dreams", considering: "When the vehicle is at halt, the driver can use a VR gaming helmet to race online either against the clock or other virtual racers."

Reports note that the macho models being favoured amongst big automobile businesses, represent how the male perspective on car designs is prioritised amongst electric car creators.

While studies have found that women are 73 per cent more likely to be severely injured or die in a frontal collision than men, crash test dummies, which are used to represent drivers, have been built based on the size of an average adult male.

The Hybrid III crash dummy, which has only been used since 2015, is the old model that represents a small female adult driver.

Research into Mercedes-Benz, Bugatti, Porsche, BMW, Volvo, Volkswagen, Ford, Audi, Kia, General Motors and Chrysler, showed that the head of design for each brand was male.

Like how the Nissan Hyper Car has been designed for competitive behaviour traits and a cliché Hot Wheels dream, the Global Head of Design at Volvo, Jeremy Offer, admitted that the appearance of the vehicle enhances sales.

According to Offer, the unique design of a vehicle can provide a driver with a new experience. The Global Head of Design referenced macho-feeling haunches as he noted that the experience is usually focused on extreme speed and performance.

Offer went on to admit: "It was always a mark of engineering excellence."

"It's the Formula 1 model," he added.

Calling on car manufacturers to have women represent the head of design roles, Offer added: "Our cars are becoming more like devices... We need a new way of thinking about the automotive experience."

Looking at the lack of cars that have been designed for women, considering that females make up half of the population, gender bias has had a detrimental effect on women in the automobile industry.

Helen Evenden, a Curator and Lecturer on Architecture and Design at Yale University and the Royal College of London, said: "It is simply crazy... We're supposed to not care what gender people are, yet we still can't find women [leading the design process] in this industry."

"It's not empowering women to be visionary," she added.