When the Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled way back in 2019, we half-jokingly said we “had a hard time believing the whole thing wasn’t one big joke.” It wasn’t, of course, but the design was and remains so polarizing and unlike anything else that we couldn’t quite get around it. Needless to say, the lack of side mirrors, while notable, didn’t even come close to the most surprising design decision.
A recent video shot in California showed a Cybertruck prototype testing at low speeds, and while it’s very grainy, it’s clear that this version has side mirrors, whereas the original concept avoided them in front of cameras. This detail has caught the attention of some potential owners, one of whom took to Twitter to express his disappointment. And, as he usually does, Tesla chief Elon Musk took the time to answer.
They are required by law, but designed to be easily removed by owners
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2021
Musk explained that the side mirrors are required by law, which is true. While digital systems are gaining popularity and many automakers are now equipping their vehicles with all kinds of different views generated by cameras mounted on their exteriors, old-fashioned mirrors are still required by US safety regulators. Therefore, Musk’s further explanation that the Cybertruck’s mirrors are “designed to be easily removed by owners” is surprising.
Granted, vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco also have bits and pieces designed to be removed by owners while driving off the beaten track, including their tops, doors, and in some cases the mirrors. Contrary to Musk’s Twitter response, no one at Jeep or Ford owners is hinting that they should just remove those mirrors and leave them off while driving down the road.
There is also speculation that the Cybertruck seen in this video may have rear-wheel steering. It’s hard to say, but the silver monolith does seem to have a relatively small turning radius. Musk has already stated that the production version of the truck will have four-wheel steering, so the possible inclusion here comes as no surprise.