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Elon Musk has delayed the Tesla Cybertruck several times. When Tesla deleted the Cybertruck’s specs from its website, preorder holders wondered if the Cybertruck would actually be made. Then fans spotted a redesigned new Cybertruck prototype. The new design signals significant changes: the Cybertruck will look different, and the Cybertruck body will change.

The first Cybertruck prototype

This is a photo of the Tesla Cybertruck launch. The Tesla Cybertruck will be made, but the Cybertruck body will change and the Cybertruck will look different. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
Tesla made a splash with its Cybertruck launch | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Elon Musk unveiled his shocking Cybertruck prototype in November 2019. The dramatically different electric pickup had its fair share of haters. But it also earned hundreds of thousands of preorders. 

The Cybertruck Musk unveiled in November 2019 was very much a prototype. For usability and to meet the letter of the law, the body must change for production.

Firstly, the wide, early Cybertruck is too large for many real-world situations. Unsurprisingly, Musk has tweeted that the Cybertruck will be 3% smaller in every dimension. He spoke about this resize as a uniform scaling-down. He has not discussed how a smaller battery pack will affect performance or interior space.

Secondly, the Cybertruck’s front-end is dangerous to pedestrians. The prototype’s design included a solid metal front end, a high hood, and an angular shape. Modern crash standards require a profile more considerate of pedestrians. (Pop-up headlights, for example, are too angular). The first Cybertruck would have failed certification in multiple countries.

A new Cybertruck prototype was spotted

This is a photo of fans look at a Tesla Cybertruck prototype on display at the Petersen automotive museum. A new Tesla Cybertruck prototype was recently spotted, demonstrating how the Cybertruck body will change.  | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Fans look at a Tesla Cybertruck prototype on display | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

A Tesla fan recently caught a video of a brand new Cybertruck prototype. The vehicle was completing tests at an airport in California. The footage is out of focus and low resolution. That said, it is clear that several things have changed.

Musk has claimed that the “Cybertruck will be almost exactly what was shown.” And the new Cybertruck retains the familiar angular design and stainless steel skin. But the proportions look slightly different. Perhaps it is a bit longer, or maybe the dramatic roof peak is lower. It is possible that the 3% reduction in dimensions was not uniform, and instead the truck has changed shape.

In addition, the new Cybertruck prototype’s front-end is different. The hood may be lower and the solid vertical surface shorter. This may be to pass crash safety regulations and save pedestrian lives in case of a collision.

Tesla added mirrors and rear wheel steering to its electric pickup

One of the major differences is the addition of side mirrors. The first Cybertruck prototype had rearview cameras and screens. This system was dubbed the Tesla digital mirror. Musk bickered with government agencies as to whether traditional mirrors should be required. It appeared he caved in the end. The new Cybertruck prototype has retro, analog side mirrors.

Another significant difference is the way the new Cybertruck prototype moves. In the airport video, it is cutting very tight corners. Few full-length trucks offer such an impressive turning radius. Elon Musk has confirmed the Cybertruck will feature Tesla’s four-wheel-steering. This upgrade would explain the tight, slow-speed turning radius. Perhaps the new Cybertruck is longer than the prototype because the rear-wheel-steering enables sharper cornering and easier parking.

Tesla has delayed the Cybertruck repeatedly

This is Tesla Cybertruck prototype on display at the Petersen automotive museum. The Cybertruck will look different, a redesigned prototype was recently spotted.  | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
The first Tesla Cybertruck prototype is on display, a redesigned prototype is in testing | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The Tesla founder and CEO insisted he would be offering the truck during the 2021 model year. Finally, during the third quarter of 2021, Tesla delayed the Cybertruck until late in 2022. Then, the company deleted the truck’s specs from its website. Preorder holders began wondering if Tesla would ever build anything like the Cybertruck.

During a call with investors, Musk explained the delay. The CEO said he needed to retool his Texas Giga factory to make Cybertruck frames. First, he had to install the world’s largest press to pour much of the chassis as a single unit. But the equipment is finally installed, and production will happen.

Later, in an interview, Musk admitted his engineers are tweaking details. The CEO insisted that he has the overall “design” fixed. That said, he was silent about what the new design will be.

You can find the spy video below and check out the new Cybertruck prototype for yourself.


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