I’ve been observing a surge in Tesla Cybertruck prototype sightings as a pre-cursor to Elon Musk’s Nov. 30 first deliveries event. In fact, Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen was recently seen cruising in Southern California in a first-of-its-kind matte-black Cybertruck. Even as there’s been some assurances of top-notch quality, close inspection of some of the images that have come up so far leave me in worry. A prototype at an event in Malibu had some glaring fit and finish issues. At least so do the images show.
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Fit-and-Finish Concerns on Final-Stage Tesla Cybertruck Prototypes
Having seen many prototypes of various cars from many carmakers in my career, I’m pretty surprised to see how fit-and-finish issues have been consistent throughout the Cybertruck’s testing phase. From first prototypes to the near-production model, the issues have persisted. What’s even more surprising is to see Tesla’s lead designer driving around in a vehicle in such a condition. Furthermore, to see such a prototype making a public appearance adds to the entire bewilderment.
Examining late-stage prototypes usually provides a glimpse into the forthcoming production models. While there’s a possibility of improved fit-and-finish in later production Cybertrucks, Tesla’s historical quality concerns make me skeptical. The matte black vinyl wrap, potentially offered as an accessory, raises concerns as its application on the prototype appears subpar, with visible air bubbles and peeling. Elon Musk’s promise of deliveries by month-end heightens the anticipation, but the current state of the Cybertruck raises questions about the quality consumers can expect.
I’m familiar with panel gap issues on Tesla models, and the Cybertruck prototype doesn’t escape them. The A-pillar and nose seam display a lack of precision, and some edges seem uncomfortably sharp. Moreover, I’ve even come across concerns about the durability of plastic components like fender flares and bumpers, which is particularly worrying for a vehicle promoted for work and off-road use. While Tesla’s innovation is undeniable, these concerns suggest a need for refinement in certain aspects.
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Price and Specs Still Under Wraps
While the final price remains uncertain, the initial $40,000 base cost is no longer applicable. And Tesla’s website lacks updated Cybertruck information and no concrete data on the specs. With the projected annual production at 125,000 units and Elon Musk’s acknowledgment of production challenges until 2025, there’s a sense of uncertainty. The absence of clear details and the discrepancy between claims, like bulletproof body panels without bulletproof glass, raises concerns. Seeing this prototype so close to expected customer deliveries doesn’t instill confidence; it’s almost like feeling second-hand embarrassment. If Tesla showcases this version, it might not bode well for early customers.
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