There’s been a number of pictures of pre-production Tesla Cybertrucks spotted testing out in the wild, and the reactions have varied as wildly as you’d expect, with some eye-rollingly reverential and somewhere you can almost hear the near-vomiting of the commenter. It’s polarizing, and, honestly, I think that’s a good thing. The automotive landscape can use more of that sort of thing. As far as whether or not I’m on the it’s great or it’s hideous ends of the pole, well, I’m going to reserve full judgment until I see one in person, but so far I don’t think I’m going to be hacking out my middle kidney to make a down payment on one just yet. One exciting development, though, is that for the first time an actual, genuine Autopian Reader has spotted one in the wild, and sent us that picture up there! So let’s celebrate that.
The particular Cybertruck spotted is one that wears no camouflage or a wrap-costume of another truck, but instead bears decals that read “RC” which stands for “release candidate,” terminology that comes from the software development world and used to refer to a software build that is being tested for actual commercial release. So, based on this, I suppose we can assume this one is a late pre-production model, and what we’re seeing should be close to the actual, final product?
The reader, by the way, was named Alex, and gave us a bit of background what he was driving when he caught this San Jose-area Cybertruck spotting:
“It’s a ’94 2 door 5 speed that I have done so much work on that multiple people (the most recent one being last week) have called the ‘Jeep of Theseus. My goal has been to keep it looking as stock as possible while functioning as well as possible, and to accomplish that I have replaced a list of parts far longer than my arm. It has served me incredibly well for the last 6 years and is still going strong at 245000 miles and easily transports me, my wife, and our 110 lb poodle/mastiff/great pyrenees mix from CA to WA every winter to go skiing with my family.”“I have recently been prepping it for a 2000 mile round trip from San Jose CA up to Spokane WA and back so I can pick up a VW Beetle frame and other parts needed to build my (electric) Meyers Manx SR dune buggy (one of the original 200ish kits that I bought from the widow of the original owner). We were out on a final test run of the steering box I just swapped in when I saw a giant steel polygon going down the road and asked my wife to get her phone out to take a picture of it.”
One thing Alex should be happy about is that they didn’t have an experience like these other Cybertruck-spotters who had a near-miss with a Cyberhubcap that was flung ninja-star-style off the truck:
One particularly noticeable thing about Alex’ shot of the Cybertruck that I suspect will become an issue for future owners is something anyone with human hands and a stainless steel refrigerator can tell you all about:
Fingerprints! Stainless steel loves to show fingerprints! It’s possible these post-DeLorean stainless steeds are going to be absolutely Georges Seurat-ed with fingerprints. Based on my own stereotypes of the fussy sort of clean-handed core buyers of these things, I bet this will be a source of lots of owner irritation.
Also, the scale and shape and sharpness of the thing still leave me feeling like this thing will not be exactly ideal for, you know, truck shit. Can you imagine loading anything over that side? Or passing something heavy into the bed while leaning on one of those razor-edged sides? It doesn’t feel like any real truck-hauling-shit use has been thought through. Other recent pictures of the inside of the Cybertruck’s bed seem to bear this out, too:
— Greggertruck (@greggertruck) September 24, 2023
Okay, sure, nice ambient lighting, but that bed’s inward-sloping sides make that bed deceptively small. The prototype’s bed was quite different, much larger seeming. This isn’t so great, and it’s not just me being a jerkhole and saying this.
One thing I do like, though, is the way that the Cybertruck is handling its brake lights:
— Dirty Tesla (@DirtyTesLa) October 2, 2023
What I like about this brake lamp approach is that there is a clear shift both in lamp brightness, as is traditional, but also in the visual graphic of the lamps themselves, switching from one long unbroken bar into three bright elements, and I think that does a lot to capture the driver’s attention. It’s also interesting how pretty much all of the main taillights are at the high level of the center-high-mount stop lamp (CHMSL), so they’re all on the same linear plane. It seems to work well.
There! I said something nice!