Close Look at the Cybertruck: Horrible Design.

Issues Revealed on Matte Black Cybertruck at Malibu’s Cars and Coffee

As the date for Elon Musk’s planned November 30th event nears, sightings of the Tesla Cybertruck prototype are reported to be on the rise. On a weekend spent driving around Southern California, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s lead designer, was seen behind the wheel of a matte-black finish model – something we haven’t previously caught a glimpse of. Taking a very detailed peak at it when Von Holzhausen stopped at a car meet in Malibu for coffee, the vehicle exhibited a rather regrettable appearance in the dazzling sunlight.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to encounter many sample autos ranging from pre-production models to close-to-the-real-thing prototypes and never have I seen an auto manufacturer boast about something of such low quality, especially this far into development. It is beyond me why Tesla’s chief designer would show off a car in this condition, just moments away from delivering production cars as promised, and even more baffling that he’d park it at a public place where automobile fans gather.

This doesn’t appear to be a prototype in its early stages either. The details and embellishments mirror what have been viewing from other “Release Candidate” Cybertrucks Tesla has unveiled over the past few months, implying that everything on this version is intended for production. The commencement of the first trial-run phase at the Gigafactory in Texas commenced earlier this year and all aspects of this sample – from headlights, window glass, cameras, fender liners, to underbody trims – look completed.

Late-stage prototypes can have minimal modification from the vehicles that buyers will ultimately purchase; and in some cases they could simply be the primary batch to come off of the factory line in order to advance the process, utilized by engineers as well as personnel to eliminate any dilemmas. A great number of the cars that writers get for testing are “pre-production” variants too. Will the end production Cybertrucks possess a superior fit-and-finish than this? Possibly in due course. But contemplating Tesla’s customary excellence, I anticipate the majority of early Cybertrucks will be look comparable to this.

It’s not paint you’re looking at, but a wrap of matte black vinyl sitting on the steel panels of the Cybertruck. Tesla recently unveiled an array of wraps going to be offered as factory accessoires for the Models 3 and Y, so there is a potential this could become accessible with the Cybertruck too, however, nothing has yet been confirmed. Apparently von Holzhausen considered a matte black finish when designing the car and decided upon applying the wrap instead. One can only hope that the workmanship seen here isn’t representative of what will be expected from customers, since it was carelessly completed, with air bubbles and portions of the vinyl visible lifting and getting removed.

While it reduces the stainless steel’s shine and fingerprints, wrapping the Cybertruck in matte black makes any manufacturing defects even more visible. In fact, the gaps between panels were large enough to fit a finger through – no seals or trims pieces for the front trunk either. In particular, the lower sections of each door had considerable slits width wise and depth wise. All four protruding fender flares appear uneven and ill-fitting, yet in different ways or magnitudes; an unparalleled accomplishment. The tailgate appeared to have the worst quality of them all – shoddily constructed and unsymmetrical; this becomes more evident when the rear lights are lit. To note, Musk previously instructed staff that all parts of the tech truck should be built to “10 micron accuracy” as mentioned in an internal email leak earlier on this year. Even though I am not a human ruler, it is quite obvious that this vehicle fails to meet that standard.

Tesla panel openings are nothing out of the ordinary— I have come across productions models of Tesla which might have worse fits than what is seen with the Cybertruck — and are far removed from being one of the worst defects in this automobile. The spot where A-pillar and the front end meet seems to be especially poor with the overlapping of panels being very visible. This portends danger with several of these edges having an uncomfortable feel when bumped into them, if not actually being more dangerous. Synthetic parts such as the fenders and bumpers too give a feeling of being unreliable which is not so good for a vehicle portrayed more or less as a utility truck, with off-roading functions. Then there comes the funny-looking windshield wiper, covering quite a lot of surface area but set up vertically against the A-pillar without any protection like shrouding covers or anything similar.

Maybe the most worrisome trait is the thick A-pillars from inside the vehicle. In comparison with other Cybertrucks I have watched pictures of, this model’s headliner was notably sounder and less bulky. But it still has, in all likelihood, the greatest blind spot in any new car. That triangular window before the principal pillar backing does aid however, yet at the same time, it appears rather hazardous to be driving like that. The Cybertruck has a short nose and shorter front overhang, unfortunately there’s so much space in front of the driver crammed up by a long, flat bonnet that it’s difficult to keep an eye out, particularly due to the extremely lean windscreen, alongside the mirrored reflections it produces.

Visibility when looking out the back of the Cybertruck is remarkably poor, likely due to the considerable length of its rear fairings and restricted side windows. Tesla has yet to reveal if a reverse camera will be available for use when the tonneau cover is closed, obstructing the small rear window. I noticed a single camera placed at the top of the tailgate but couldn’t ascertain if the rear-view mirror was digital or not. Other vehicles such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Lucid Air, plus Teslas, have cameras mounted in the front fender area to help detect blind spots.

I believe it is great that the all-terrain tire choice is a tailored Goodyear with grooves in the sidewall meant to attach the plastic aero covers, which appear as though they should be featured on an idea vehicle and have wheel spokes stretching above certain parts of the wheel itself. However if even slightly misaligned it will not look correct. The latest pictures of the more logical all-season offering arrived recently and while the tire pattern is more practical, it does seem quite absurd.

The Tesla Cybertruck boasts an exciting new feature of Rear-Axle Steering System, which I had the chance to observe as it manoeuvred its way into and out of its parking spot. Based off my estimation, the rear wheels appear to be able to turn around 5 degrees, at least. Personally, I adore the rear wheel steering addition on cars so it’s amazing to see Tesla adopt the trend; however, the angle potential of the Cybertruck does not happen to match that of competitors such as the GMC Hummer EV and Mercedes-Benz EQS, whose abilities reach roughly 10 degrees.

Regardless of any production quality quandaries I have, the Cybertruck’s styling leaves me unimpressed. As time goes on, and I observe more of them in real life, my feelings just become less enthusiastic. Recognizing that this vehicle resonates with the low-poly, ‘Cyberpunk’ guise is something I acknowledge, yet in my view it’s banal and severely mistreated. Moreover, the truck may represent a jeopardy to safety for pedestrians alongside other road users. The fact is, the presence of the Cybertruck causes a huge stir as nothing else can be seen on the road – but unfortunately, when the concept version was developed back in 2019, it seems that the production model downgraded in scale and lost the striking proportions. In addition, elements like the rear diffusor are now most unwelcome.

In the run-up to the delivery of the Cybertruck, we still have not seen any official specs or information concerning pricing. The original $40,000 sticker price for the base has gone out the window. Even Tesla’s homepage does not make much mention of the Cybertruck, and all the pictures show only the concept from last year. According to Tesla Q3 earnings report, the proposed production rate each annum could be 125,000 vehicles, with Musk declaring that slow-growth will remain until 2025, with an option to increase that to 250,000 units in the future. Additionally, he alerted that it might be quite tough to generate profits from the manufacturing of the Cybertruck. And don’t even get me started on those silly purported bulletproof body panels, while they didn’t even fit the truck with bulletproof windows.

Yes, it remains just a prototype at the present moment. Nevertheless, understanding that the customer deliveries are beginning to roll out, gazing at this product brought with it an uncomfortable sentiment of shame. If Tesla must display the Cybertruck having such little development, I worry about the first owners’ experience.

Tesla has created some good-looking cars in the past–I’m a huge fan of the original Model S, and I even piece together the design of the Model X–but the Cybertruck seems to be on its way to becoming an absolute nightmare. Luckily, many other car companies are developing wonderful electric vehicles that both look and appear futuristic, which really became evident after coming across two Hummer EVs and witnessing multiple Rivians on the road later that same day.


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