A Tesla Cybertruck prototype has been spied at an airport in California sporting side mirrors as well as what appears to be a rear-wheel steering system.
In a very zoomed-in and grainy video originally taken by Jesse Sandoval and then shared by Drive Tesla Canada, it depicts a new-design Cybertruck prototype doing some testing while driving in circles.
This particular Cybertruck isn’t like previous versions that we’ve seen in the past and hints towards the necessary design changes needed to make the production-spec vehicle road legal.
The side mirrors are most apparent at the start of the short video as they poke out from the side of the prototype.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk conceded through a tweet that the side mirrors are required by law but claims they’re designed to be easily removed.
Previously, a Cybertruck prototype was seen with cameras for side-mirrors but for a number of overseas markets this is still illegal.
The other feature that Tesla appears to be testing on its Cybertruck is a rear-wheel steering system.
Although it isn’t obvious from the video, the Cybertruck prototype appears to be turning quite sharply for a pickup truck its size.
For a brief moment at the start of the video it appears that the rear wheels are turning in the opposite direction to the front wheels in order to make the tight turn happen.
Musk tweeted in July 2021 that Tesla is working on adding rear-wheel steering to the Cybertruck and also said that a “lot of other great things [are] coming.”
The rival GMC Hummer EV will have a party trick of its own, with a ‘crab walk’ feature that uses its four-wheel steering system.
Although it’s not quite the same, the Rivian R1T’s ‘tank turn’ feature uses its four electric motors to spin the electric pickup in a circle.
This feature has been delayed for now and won’t be available at launch due to a number of safety-related factors.
The Ford F-150 Lightning EV doesn’t have any of these clever four-wheel steering features, though it does have the ability to act as a 9.6kW generator.
The specifications and pricing of the Cybertruck have recently been removed from the Tesla website.
Customers can still place a refundable deposit of $150 in Australia, but there’s no longer an option to pre-order a specific variant.
The pre-order screen now reads, “You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022.”
Musk said at a recent annual shareholder meeting that delays have meant the Cybertruck will now be introduced in 2023.
“So I think most likely what we will see is Cybertruck stock production next year and then reach volume production in 2023,” said Musk.
The Cybertruck will be manufactured at the company’s ‘Gigafactory Austin’ plant in Texas.