Vehicles | April 8, 2022 11:51 am

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Including Elon Musk’s Promises About the Cybertruck

The electric truck didn't look ready for the spotlight at Tesla's Cyber Rodeo

A Tesla Cybertruck on display at the Cyber Rodeo at Giga Texas, a party celebrating the opening of Tesla's new factory near Austin, Texas. Elon Musk said the Cybertruck will be produced in 2023.
The Cybertruck on display at the Cyber Rodeo party at Giga Texas on April 7.
SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty

“I think this will be our magnum opus.” 

That was Tesla “Technoking” Elon Musk talking about the Cybertruck at Thursday night’s “Cyber Rodeo,” an event celebrating the opening of the company’s new Giga Texas factory near Austin. The 50-year-old CEO wore a cowboy hat — a growing trend among billionaires, apparently — and drove onstage in front of thousands of attendees (and tens of thousands of online streamers) in an original Roadster to the song “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre. I guess he’s hoping Tesla diehards still see him as the lovable underdog despite being the on-again, off-again wealthiest person alive.

By naming the event “Cyber Rodeo,” many expected Musk to offer important updates about the Cybertruck, which has been plagued by delays since it was first unveiled in 2019. He did say the EV truck would go into production in 2023 — along with the new Roadster and Semi — but we already knew that. 

The only concrete update we got about the truck during the presentation? It doesn’t have handles now.

“I mean, you can see some of the changes we’ve made already. There are no handles,” Musk said, after prompting design chief ​​Franz von Holzhausen to offer his own updates, to no avail. “Who needs handles? The car can tell that you’re there and it just knows that it needs to open. We’re going to have an incredible Cybertruck product for you next year. It’s going to blow your mind. And, yeah.” 

And with that, he sent everyone off to party with the mechanical bull and tattoo parlor.

The biggest revelations ended up coming from attendees who got a close-up look at the Cybertruck and found that, as we suspected, it’s still not close to being ready for production.

Now, construction issues like panel gaps are not uncommon at Tesla, even among vehicles currently being shipped to owners, as many people have pointed out. But when these amateurish issues show up in the one model that Tesla is showing off as proof the Cybertruck is almost ready for showtime, it’s concerning. And then there are the other issues these photos make clear, like the enormous windshield wiper

For most of the Tesla faithful in attendance, these issues appeared to not make much of an impression. Most of the social media posts talk about how they can’t wait to get their hands on a Cybertruck next year, even though there’s nothing besides Musk’s word that the deadline will be met. And as we’ve seen before, that hasn’t been a great barometer.