Home » I Saw A Production-Spec Tesla Cybertruck And It Looks Good. Here Are A Bunch Of Pics So You Can Judge For Yourself

I Saw A Production-Spec Tesla Cybertruck And It Looks Good. Here Are A Bunch Of Pics So You Can Judge For Yourself

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Lots of car journalists found joy in all the build quality issues found on Tesla Cybertruck prototypes, largely because lots of car journalists secretly get a kick out of Elon Musk failing. It’s just reality — Musk is a controversial figure who says a lot of dumb things in addition to all the smart things he says, he tends to have more conservative values than many journalists, and also Tesla fans can be a bit annoying. Still, rooting against Tesla is a foolish endeavor, which is why I never do it and why I’m not at all surprised to see the production-spec Tesla Cybertruck looking so good at the southern California Tesla showroom I visited on Saturday. Here’s a look at all the up-close photos I took of a completely-finished Tesla Cybertruck.

After hearing about Cybertrucks showing up in Tesla showrooms, I called up my local Tesla store and asked if they had the EV brand’s hottest new machine — they did not. But they did tell me that I could find a Cybertruck in Buena Park, about 40 miles away from my place. Somehow I convinced my girlfriend to sit in traffic with me so we could look at a production-spec version of the Cybertruck we’d already seen on the roads (a pre-production mule) and at the Petersen Automotive Museum (just a design-buck, if I recall correctly). It was worth it (for me at least). Here’s a video of what I saw:

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The showroom wasn’t packed, but parking was challenging, and it was clear there were still a lot more folks in there than would normally be — after all, this was everyone’s first glimpse of a production-spec Cybertruck (a salesperson confirmed it to be production spec). Folks were standing around taking pictures and chatting about electric cars. The vibes were great.

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Let’s get straight to the parts of the Cybertruck that, on the preproduction trucks, drew the most ire from journalists: The tailgate fitment and the A-Pillar-to-cowl/hood fitment. Here’s the tailgate on the black Cybertruck that von Holzhausen drove to that Malibu Cars and Coffee:

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Image: Daniel Golson
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Image: Daniel Golson
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Image: Daniel Golson

And here’s the production-spec truck. Much better!:

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It’s not perfect, as you can see in the image below, but it’s decent:

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Now let’s look at that A-pillar-to-cowl trim, as well as the hood. Here’s how the Cars and Coffee Cybertruck mule looked:

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Image: Daniel Golson
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Image: Daniel Golson

And here’s the production-spec truck.

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It looks mostly OK, though that gap between the fender and that front panel looks a little large and uneven on the passenger’s side:

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The driver’s side appears to look better in the photos I took (note that I didn’t notice the difference in person — only when browsing my photos):

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Here’s a look at the 285/65R20 (that’s about a 35-inch diameter) Goodyear all-terrain tires:

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Here you can see the front steering knuckle; notice how the upper control arm (a bit hard to see, as it’s black) attaches to the knuckle via a ball joint that is located above the tire. This has become relatively common on modern automobiles for a variety of reasons that our suspension engineer Huibert Mees has pointed out here, but the short of it is that mounting the ball joint up high gives that upper control arm a larger moment arm to act against cornering loads (this can provide a number of benefits including reduction of control arm bushing deflection, which can mean less camber change, etc etc):

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Here you can see the rear lower control arms, which appear to be stamped and welded steel. Also, under the rear overhang there appears to be a grille for a speaker, presumably for pedestrian protection/alerting:

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Let’s have a look at that rear bumper:

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Here are a few underbody shots. Things look nice and flat down there:

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Here’s the front cooling opening, along with this slit-like headlights, which I quite like:

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Here’s a closer look at the lights:

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The windshield wiper is unbelievably huge in-person:

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Let’s peek at the interior:

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Here’s a close-up of the charge-port flap on the rear left fender (I don’t love this location; I think charge ports should be front-mounted, but I understand that it may not be worth the compromise):

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Let’s have a close look at a camera on one of the B-pillars:

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Under that camera you’ll see a small rectangular piece of glass with fingerprints all over it; I’m fairly sure that’s the door-open switch. Here’s a look at the rear door’s:

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Check out the folded triangular-shaped mirror:

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What’s the takeaway, here? Well, aside from the gap between the front fender and front fascia panel, the Cybertruck’s fit and finish looks decent from about six feet away (the truck was roped off). What’s more, it looks badass, and not just in the showroom, but on the street; I recently saw one driving towards me in LA, and it looks great! And I’m one of the folks who, upon seeing the truck debut around this time four years ago, nearly vomited. So I’ve fully come around to it, and am certain the Cybertruck will be a massive success.

Do I think it’s going to make for the best work-truck, with its huge sail pillars that make accessing the small bed difficult? No, I don’t. But who cares? Most people buy trucks these days to look cool, and the Cybertruck does that beautifully in my eyes. The first production trucks are to be delivered in just a few days; the floodgates are opening.

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beachbumberry
beachbumberry
3 months ago

Saw one driving south of San Antonio on Thursday. God it was ugly.

Robert Swartz
Robert Swartz
3 months ago

I too saw one of these yesterday at the Meatpacking District showroom in NYC. The fit and finished looked much better, but it was the first time I’d realized how small the bed is. That’s going to be a challenge.

Church
Church
3 months ago

Thanks for the great photos, David. I can now say that my dislike was not of the cybertruck was not due to large panel gaps!

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
3 months ago

Meh. Weird to draw attention and be bad ass fits well in our social media world. But for functionality, I’m skeptical.

Like to see what one looks like after several winters on salted roads in upper midwest. Thinking specifically about frame and under body bits. Might turn into DT’s kind of vehicle.

Church
Church
3 months ago
Reply to  Gary Lynch

I have the opinion that no Tesla was ever intended to live outside California and now maybe Texas. I see a ton around Colorado, but I’m feel like that’s a happy accident for the company.

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
3 months ago

i summarily demand to know more about Miss Tracy

Marteau
Marteau
3 months ago

What about leaving the man alone cause that’s none of our business ?

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
3 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

no

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

a salesperson confirmed it to be production spec

And as we all know, car salespeople never say anything untrue. 😛

As much as the fit and finish problems have been amusing, my problem with the Cybertruck has always been the incredible lack of practicality as an actual truck. The only people buying these will be the ones who want it for the novelty. Are there enough rich Tesla fanboys to make this a viable product (assuming they can actually ramp up production enough to sell these in more than trivial numbers)? I won’t pretend to know, but I can say confidently that I won’t be buying one. Well…maybe if I won the lottery (that I don’t play) and wanted a conversation piece for my living room. 😉

Actually, even in that case I’d probably buy something weird that I actually like, maybe a BTTF-replica Delorean (if I’ve themed my living room around stainless), a Nissan CrossCab, or an Aztek.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago

Great writeup David. I predict this will be a huge hit in North America and other markets where the street/parking situation isn’t too tight.

It looks like nothing else on the road and the design is clearly a ‘love it/hate it’ type of design.

It’s definitely not bland.

I personally love the look, even though I’m not interested in buying a truck for myself.

Russ Evenhuis
Russ Evenhuis
3 months ago

Good lord this thing is just so ugly and not functional at all as a truck. I think a lot of the people who said they hated it initially have had it grow on them like mold.

While I don’t disagree that most people buy at truck to look cool, I also think that most people want to be able to use the truck at least once in a while to haul stuff around in the bed. Personally, I love the look of my 2020 Ram 1500 and I haul my bicycles and gear around all the time in them. Two birds with one stone.

Going to the build quality – decent seems to be the best compliment? It’s one of the first off the line, shouldn’t it be better than decent?

Lastly, how do the headlights work? Does the front lift up when you turn them on? Do the lights shine through it? I know this has probably been answered already but I just can’t be bothered to dig into it further. The thing really gives me a headache trying to look at it for long periods of time.

At least the Rivian looks decent and has some cool innovations. This looks like crap.

Marteau
Marteau
3 months ago
Reply to  Russ Evenhuis

Top part are the DRLs, headlights are in between the bumper and the body.

Strangek
Strangek
3 months ago

I’m always happy to have more weird shit on the roads, and this…thing…certainly qualifies. Don’t want one, but I’ll be happy to see them out there I think.

86-GL
86-GL
3 months ago

Yeah I mean I guess it looks ‘badass’ in the same way a Mercedes 770K or W31 6×6 does, if you’re 10 years old and don’t understand the implications.

If that sort of “bulldoze the socialists/homeless/working-class/gays/blacks/jews” is the image you’re after, I’m not sure fit and finish really matter- the quality will be adequate for your needs. Im less frightened of the panel gaps than I am about what that pointy edge of that fender and hood does to a human skull.

Ultimately, this is a vehicle directly inspired by cyberpunk fantasy- Bladerunner, Cyberpunk 2077 etc. Don’t believe me? Believe the vehicle’s creator. These are works of science fiction in which corporations wage wars, and take individuals lives in the name of profit. These are dystopias. As fascinating as the stories may be, we’re supposed to be rooting for the underdogs, not falling in love with the grim-dank imagery. We’re supposed to be on the side of the rebels who resist and undermine the corporate hegemony, in the name of a more wholesome future.

This is not a vehicle for the rebels. This is a vehicle for those who buy into the power, those who support the most obscene agglomeration of wealth and corporate influence imaginable.

This vehicle is scary. It looks threatening. It is physically dangerous to those around it. When I look at it, I feel fear, and a deep physical revulsion. I am scared as I know what its symbolism represents, and I am scared because I have read about the role in which normalizing this sort of imagery can play in helping the population accept frightening ideologies.

Musk has openly expressed the future he wants for society and our species. Believe him.

Aaron
Aaron
3 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

Well put. The CyberTruck is for the person who wants to live in a hybrid of Silicon Valley and Apartheid South Africa.

D.B. Platypus
D.B. Platypus
3 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

I think you’re right about the symbolism, although I have to admit I kind of like the style of the vehicle.

But also, most other North American pickups are basically designed for Three Percenters now. It’s the same poisonous candy in a different flavor.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
3 months ago

I buy stock in Bartender’s Friend. That’s a lot of stainless steal to clean.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
3 months ago

David, the next bunch of articles can be written in advance: Cybertruck owners gripe about quality. Cybertruck gets in accident, $55,000 for minor damage. Cybertruck total loss available in salvage yard. Cybertruck Vs. TRX/Raptor/(other dumb vehicles) You get the idea. You can save time and write the article template in advance.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
3 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

The type of stories often found on sites that are not as stellar as the Autopian. I actually appreciated your open minded thoughts on such a divisive vehicle and design.

-Tom-
-Tom-
3 months ago

Prediction: Theyre going to put a ton of effort into making these things have very reasonable fit and finish. However, every one that is actually driven will have the corners of their panels bent up and tweaked by people walking by and snagging shirts or whatever on them. The panels dont look fully supported and as such will easily be bent up or shifted around. Also, how about how they may deform when getting hot? Deloreans had normal car panels, just made out of stainless and not painted. These appear to be uniquely constructed panels with free floating edges.

Justin Haas
Justin Haas
3 months ago
Reply to  -Tom-

I believe the panels are something like 3mm thick. I think you’d have a very hard time bending that with your shirt.

-Tom-
-Tom-
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Haas

If theyre that thick, their tooling is going to wear out VERY quickly. Much more quickly than a stainless panel would wear the tooling. Thats crazy thick.

Roofless
Roofless
3 months ago

I’d say I’m wondering how they dealt with pedestrian safety in a collision, but I’m presuming they did it the same way the rest of American truck makers have.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
3 months ago
Reply to  Roofless

My 2022 VW GTI safety ratings (front, side, roll over) are still “not rated”.
Now they sell 2024 VW GTI with “not rated” safety ratings

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

Still looks like it was designed by an 8yo with a box of Legos.

Never. No.

In fact, all further news of this rolling abortion, will be hereafter ignored, dismissed, blocked from my browser, and extirpated from my consciousness.

Please stop.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

Well, I mean, Tesla is convinced it is beautiful, so they are all in on Cybertruck.

To me, it’s like that guy at the gym who shaves off all his body hair, pumps until he’s swole, and then spends too much time roasting in a tanning bed. Some people may groove on that, but in general, the audience is limited.

Pushing it hard isn’t helping.

Last edited 3 months ago by Doctor Nine
MDMK
MDMK
3 months ago

If someone bought a used Cybertruck a few years down the road and tried to make an appointment with their local AAAABLE Appliance guy for maintenance, I’d almost wouldn’t blame them.

GenericWhiteVan
GenericWhiteVan
3 months ago

It doesn’t matter how good the fit and finish is… the hard corners and creases don’t do it for me. Of course, the lack of truck functionality is also a non-starter. That clone thing from the other day looked better.

The cyber truck appears that it was designed before the ‘curve’ was invented (only curve is the front grill area).

I think of all the modern stamping capabilities, and it appears that this thing is fabricated in a small shop that only has access to a press brake (probably driven by the use of stainless, they could have used aluminum instead and made something with some organic form.

Not impressed or interested.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
3 months ago

Despite most of the panel gaps being straight and even, I still get this weird urge to just caulk them all up. I have no idea why, but man, it seems like it would be satisfying.

Now, back to watching those seam-sealer and caulking videos on TikTok…

James Duffy
James Duffy
3 months ago

My wife chanced across a Cybertruck at a grocery store in the north Austin area (Georgetown) yesterday, and snapped a couple of photos. Knowing that I would be interested she hung around for a few moments to see if the driver showed up. He did, and turned out to be a Tesla engineer doing some last-minute testing of production-spec vehicles.

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