Cybertruck Showboating Calls Model's Visibility Into Question

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
cybertruck showboating calls models visibility into question

Coming into work under false pretenses is what December’s all about. Everyone’s productivity is whittled down to a bare minimum in order to spend additional time browsing the internet for gift ideas, travel arrangements, and polishing off their list of must-watch holiday films. As a result, the news cycle gets slow and silly.

Over the weekend, the big automotive story was Elon Musk showboating the Tesla Cybertruck around Malibu while on his way to pick up some Japanese food — smacking into a traffic pylon and breezing through a red light after leaving the eatery. While a quick satellite view of the area absolves the CEO of any illegal maneuvers (Nobu’s parking lot is before the intersection), the fate of that poor barricade left us wondering about Musk’s driving ability and/or the visibility available from inside the Cybertruck.

Presumably the test platform we’ve seen before, the truck showcased quite a bit of body roll upon exiting the restaurant. It also had the same manufacturer plates we’ve seen before. Whether or not it’s the same truck we saw at the model’s bizarre debut, it’s clearly not a production-ready vehicle.

Frankly, we’ve wondered how Tesla could ever get the model to pass regulations as-is. It’s missing several essential components (wipers, mirrors, etc.) and has a shape that looks to be unfriendly to pedestrians and those peering out from the driver’s seat. Smacking into a two-foot-tall pylon seems to further hint that this may be a problem. A bummer for Musk, as this was turning out to be some decent free advertising for the brand.

On Saturday, the gossip kings at TMZ reported that Musk drove Cybertruck to dinner at Nobu in Malibu, California. The CEO was quickly met with fans eager to snap a picture, paparazzi, and even a few alleged celebrity encounters. Unfortunately, the point of the evening that stood out most was Elon hitting the pylon before slipping off into the night (video below). Everyone noticed and it became the soup du jour.

In truth, this was a supremely minor issue. Blind spots aren’t unknown on other vehicle models and this simply could have been the result of Musk having a momentary lapse in judgement. Your author once folded the edge of a no parking sign with a large box truck while pulling out of a warehouse garage. Nobody’s perfect. But, unlike Tesla, I wasn’t trying to frame that truck as automotive perfection and did not have the world’s eyes upon me ⁠— just one very amused co-worker.

We wouldn’t take this as a sign of Cybertruck’s failings. The odds of the pickup heading to market in its current state seem exceptionally low. Tesla isn’t even expecting to commence production until late 2021, leaving it plenty of time to address blind spots. Maybe it isn’t even fair to report on breaking glass and smashed barriers as failures, but Musk’s way of promoting products makes it difficult to resist. Tesla routinely makes big claims and continuously unloads some of the most in-your-face marketing in the industry. It often feels like we’re being dared to poke holes anytime the automaker attempts to deliver (or create) something worthy of coverage.

Then again, perhaps Elon knew hitting a small, inconsequential object would gather more media attention than a seamless exit — and we’ve all fallen into his trap.


— GuruLeaks (@Guruleaks1) December 8, 2019

[Images: Tesla]

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5 of 46 comments
  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Dec 10, 2019

    The truck seems to have a license plate on it, but I wonder if it is even actually street legal. Did it have wipers, side view mirrors, etc. on it? Or can manufacturers drive whatever they want on the streets while prototype testing?

    • It seems to me that the laws for prototype testing dont include "out hobnobbing with celebrities" me crazy here, thats just an uneducated guess. Even if it isnt something thats ohhhh, LAWFUL, I highly doubt the geniuses in charge of anything Cali would do anything to hurt his majesty and his Logan's Run mobile.

  • PandaBear PandaBear on Dec 10, 2019

    So preorder is a free loan to Tesla, and the cybertruck is a way to make the Mars rocket alloy more affordable, right? Even if they only sell like 50000 of them during the lifetime, it will make the Mars rockets dramatically cheaper.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Dec 10, 2019

      @SCE to AUX Ten bucks? Is that because Tesla's customers are still taking their investment advice from Paul Krugman?

  • Bobbysirhan I'd like to look at all of the numbers. The eager sheep don't seem too upset about the $1,800 delta over home charging, suggesting that the total cost is truly obscene. Even spending Biden bucks, I don't need $1,800 of them to buy enough gasoline to cover 15,000 miles a year. Aren't expensive EVs supposed to make up for their initial expense, planet raping resource requirements, and the child slaves in the cobalt mines by saving money on energy? Stupid is as stupid does.
  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?