- a video clip, showing the upcoming tesla cybertruck on what seems to be a shop floor, surfaced on youtube today.
- although this is circulating on the video-sharing site as a "leaked" video, the two people involved in shooting it don't seem to be making any effort to hide their participation.
- perhaps not coincidentally, tesla will be holding an earnings call on wednesday, january 26.
we here at car and driver like to maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to manufacturer claims that seem dubious. sometimes, we even prompt fixes so that car company braggadocio aligns with reality. so while we'd certainly like to drive a tesla cybertruck, we wouldn't bet our bulletproof windows on whether it'll arrive before elon colonizes mars. both because we're skeptical, and because tesla has given us no proof that the cybertruck is actually imminent anytime soon. and this new video doesn't change that.
in a four-minute clip posted by several different youtube accounts, a guy in a high-vis vest does a walkaround of the truck while commenting on the details he could see, which don't amount to much. the headlights keep coming on, possibly because of proximity sensors or cameras, or maybe because someone from tesla is just offscreen turning them on. we don't see the interior. he doesn't open the tailgate. there are cables of some sort running laterally across the floor of the bed, seemingly held in place with sandbags. what are they for? why the sandbags?
our narrator does not explore this line of speculation. he comments that the truck looks like a refrigerator, and it sounds kind of like a compliment. there's another guy with tattoos who seems to know more about the truck than the guy who's filming. the truck has external rearview mirrors but no door handles. it has one windshield wiper. the mirrors might be a production item. or they could be temporary, for testing. we don't know what the deal is with any of this. all we do know is that tesla parked a cybertruck by itself where two dudes could examine it at their leisure and then post the resulting video online without fear of reprisal—garnering attention and stoking the idea that an important product is nearing production—a few days ahead of an earnings call. huh!
what we don't know is anything else, even about this particular truck. was it built at the texas gigafactory, on an assembly line, as car companies do to fine-tune the production process and identify potential snags? or is it a hand-built prototype? does it have a production-ready powertrain? how much will it cost? is this one smaller than the original concept they unveiled? is this even at the texas gigafactory or are we led to think so because the guys have southern accents? not to be too conspiracy-minded, but simultaneously pumping the idea that the factory and the truck are both further along than they actually are would be pretty smart.
anyway, there's definitely a cybertruck, and they're planning to build more at some point. that we know. probably.