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Getting close — but not too close — to the Tesla Cybertruck

I could not grab the windshield wiper because it was roped off and I’m a coward.

A photo showing the front of the Cybertruck in a showroom
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Sure, some influencers get to drive the Tesla Cybertruck before anyone else, and that’s fine for them. But I’m happier here, stuck behind a rope at a Manhattan showroom, squinting at a very large windshield wiper because my boss has developed an unnatural fascination with it.

I tell Nilay I won’t try to grab the windshield wiper to confirm his theory that it is actually two (or even three) windshield wipers stacked on top of each other. I don’t want to get arrested for assaulting the Cybertruck. Nilay promises to bail me out if it came to it, but despite these assurances, I chicken out.

Thanks to Reddit, I recently discovered the Cybertruck Locator, a tool tracking all appearances of the Cybertruck at Tesla showrooms in advance of the delivery event in Austin on November 30th. Fifteen have been spotted around the country so far, including one in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. Hey, that’s close to where I live! Let’s go check it out.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Yep, there it is: the Cybertruck. It’s a big, shiny, apparently extremely difficult to manufacture electric truck. Elon Musk wanted something straight out of Blade Runner, and the Tesla design team certainly delivered. Apparently it’s also bulletproof (and arrow-proof, even one fired by Joe Rogan and his extremely meaty arms) and it can maybe even float, because of course these are the features most people want to see in their trucks.

I’m no expert in truck design, but this version of the Cybertruck looks way less shitty than the one Tesla’s chief designer drove to Malibu for a cars and coffee event. I think he let his eagerness to show off the matte black wrap (a very rich guy thing to like) overshadow his common sense in appearing at an event for automotive enthusiasts in a truck with enormous panel gaps and lots of other janky bits.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

But this Cybertruck looked really tight. “Dialed in,” as Verge pal Patrick George said in InsideEVs. I won’t go as far as The Autopian’s Dave Tracy and say it looked “badass.” It looked like a Cybertruck, which is what it is.

Tracy said these versions of the Cybertruck are what’s called “production spec,” meaning they look basically the same as the ones that are being delivered to customers. These are meant for showroom floors. They look flashy and alluring because they’re meant to literally lure customers off the street.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
A photo of the Tesla Cybertruck in a Tesla showroom.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

And it’s certainly working. At 5PM on a Tuesday, the Tesla gallery is sort of bumping. It didn’t have anywhere near as many people as the Apple store up the street, but it definitely had more than the Fisker showroom, which was totally empty.

An eager Tesla employee asks what I’m here to see, as if that’s a real question. I tell her the Model Y, for funsies, and her eyes light up for a second. But then I laugh coldly and say, no, I’m here for the truck, what else, and she stares blankly off into the distance while I fill out a form on her iPad.

There are dudes filming with their phones, and bored girlfriends waiting for their boyfriends to finish filming. (I was one of the dudes filming, but it’s literally my job, so I feel a little exonerated but also a little embarrassed.) There is an old man flirting with the young Tesla employee. There is a very nice couple who disagree with my theory that the wiper blade is actually two or three blades.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

And the Cybertruck, of course, sitting there in all its ultra-hard cold-rolled stainless steel glory. No one can buy it yet. You can just look. This will likely remain the case for at least another year or two. An object at remove, fascinating to some, unattainable to all.

Outside, two cops were walking by in the cold. One notices the Cybertruck and asks his partner whether they should go take a gander. Maybe snap a few selfies. Naw, the other says. We can see it through the window. That’s close enough.