Tesla Cybertruck Prototype Appears In The Wild, Sparks Mixed Reaction

It's been more than three years since Tesla's Cybertruck was dramatically unveiled to the public in a flurry of hype and broken window glass. Continued production delays have led many fans of the brand to question if the futuristic electric truck would ever move beyond the concept phase. This week, Tesla seems to have quelled those concerns when a refined version of the Cybertruck was spotted testing on public roads near the automaker's Fremont, California factory.

Sharp-eyed enthusiasts will notice the prominent side-view mirrors on the test mule, belying previous statements from Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the Cybertruck would rely on digital cameras instead of traditional side-view mirrors. Another version of the side view mirror saga has Cybertrucks shipping with easy-to-remove side mirrors to satisfy federal guidelines, but enabling owners to later nix them. 

Besides side mirrors, the test Cybertruck can also be seen sporting what looks like a different, more rounded front end than prior iterations. While the design has always been cab forward, the area above the bumper on the test vehicle does seem particularly stubby and less angular. Tesla engineers are well known to be focused on aerodynamics as it relates to increasing the range, so softening some of the truck's sharp edges is certainly a possibility, although it could also be a trick played by photography angle.

Tesla has taken 1.6 million deposits

The Cybertruck's dystopian stainless steel architecture has always been polarizing, but this latest glimpse has the internet more divided than ever. On the popular discussion site Reddit, commenters seem to fall into three classes: those who have always considered the Cybertruck unattractive, those who previously liked the truck but now don't like the snub-nose front end on the test mule, and those who love the disruptive design no matter what. A personal favorite observation is that a "1981 DeLorean DMC and 1986 El Camino finally birthed illegitimate offspring."

Spotted in Fremont
u/ajaysns in

Still, as of November 2022, more than 1.6 million potential buyers have placed a deposit for the Cybertruck. Since the deposit amount is only $100, some of those buyers may be taking a wait-and-see approach based on how the production version shapes up, while others may be exploiting the opportunity to flip the truck for a quick profit post-delivery as we've witnessed with fellow electric truck maker Rivian. In a recent earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented that Cybertruck production would begin in earnest over the summer months, with a delivery event occurring sometime in the third quarter of 2023.