Is the wait finally over? Almost four years after Elon Musk first announced the Cybertruck, a prototype of the vehicle was spotted at an In-n-Out Burger restaurant in Palo Alto, California, earlier this week. 


The Cybertruck prototype was camouflaged. While other automakers camouflage their prototypes in order to hide design details, Tesla has traditionally unveiled prototypes that closely resemble the production version. However, Tesla has recently started using camouflage on prototypes, most notably for the refreshed Model 3. 


The sighting of the Cybertruck prototype has sparked speculation as to whether the prototype is the production version of the vehicle or a test model. Tesla previously stated that a factory wrap will be the only way to change the Cybertruck’s color, as the Cybertruck will not be painted. Therefore, the prototype may have been put on the road in order for Tesla to test a factory wrap. 


The prototype had a conventional round steering wheel. This suggests that Tesla is backing away from its previous plans to equip the Cybertruck with a rectangular yoke steering device. 


Of even more note than the steering is the prototype’s rear lighting. In February, Elon Musk assured customers that a futuristic light bar would provide brake lights for the Cybertruck. The visual appeal of the light bar is one of the main reasons why customers have been anticipating the Cybertruck so eagerly. However, the Palo Alto Cybertruck lacked a light bar. The brake lights consisted of two small red lights, much like in a standard automobile. 



Tesla plans to release its first Cybertrucks by the end of the third quarter of 2023. We should not have to wait long to find out if the Palo Alto prototype is the production version of the vehicle or a test model. However, if the prototype ends up being the production version, the bland rear lighting could cause sales of the Cybertruck to be underwhelming.