2024-05-17 05:48:46 -0700

Tesla Model 3 without side mirrors spotted as the Cybertruck overtakes rival pickup trucks in registrations


Eagle-eyed observers have spotted a very unique Tesla Model 3 on the road in California. The electric sedan lacked side mirrors while spotting some other interesting features. And in more exciting news for Tesla, the Cybertruck has overtaken some of its biggest competitors, according to vehicle registration data.

Tesla has recently moved its engineering headquarters to Palo Alto in California and it was here that a strange-looking Model 3 was seen bearing manufacturers’ number plates. The car lacked side mirrors and some of the cameras were missing. However, Tesla has included new cameras in completely different positions, hinting at something cooking up.

From the photos of the car posted on X (formerly Twitter), the B-pillars were also eliminated. B-pillars are the upright structures separating the front and back windows. In addition, the side-repeater camera had also been junked.

The rear camera was left untouched but it has been joined by another camera placed higher on the lid of the trunk.

The camera on the B-pillar has, of course, given way, but it appears it has been replaced by another camera stuck on the rear passenger window. However, the new camera seemed to be placed facing the car's front.

These changes have led to speculations about what the American EV maker is up to. There have been suggestions that this test car is related to the robotaxi, which company CEO Elon Musk has promised will be revealed in August. Perhaps, the new window camera will be a feature on the upcoming driverless taxi?

While there are no confirmed descriptions of what the robotaxi looks like, writer Walter Isaacson did include some sketches in his autobiography of Musk. It would appear the camera position would fit in nicely on the smaller robotaxi or Cybercab.

More details about the robotaxi will be known on August 8 when Musk takes to the stage to talk about it. For now, Tesla fans will have to be content with occasional spy photos.

In more concrete news, Tesla’s Cybertruck, despite being on the market for less than six months, has overtaken some electric pickup trucks, according to registration data.

S&P Global Mobility has published that the Cybertruck garnered more registrations than the Rivian R1T, which has been available for far longer. The records used to compare were from March.

Tesla only achieved the production of 1,000 units in a week in the first quarter of 2024 but was already overtaking the R1T.

It seems the production ramp-up has been successful, with 1,158 Cybertruck units being registered in March, compared to 548 for the Rivian R1T.

Meanwhile, it is hardly a fair fight between the two pickups as Tesla is sitting on an unusually large number of reservations, meaning it can sell as fast as it can be produced thanks to its more extensive fan base. In addition, Rivian is a relatively young company still learning to ramp up products, a baptismal of fire that Tesla had passed through already.

Rivian is still pursuing profitability on each vehicle it makes.

Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 Lightning is still the dominant model in the electric pickup segment. However, the lead might be short-lived as the truck posted only 2,893 registrations in the same month, despite having the advantage of being offered in different trims, making it available to a larger segment of American truck buyers.

Even though most Tesla Model 3 and Model Y owners have used their cars longer than the Tesla’s Cybertruck, they can still spruce things up and make their vehicles exciting to drive again by installing a Tesla accessory like the spectre fiber dashboard replacement offered by Fusion Motorsports. The dashboard introduces elegance and style into your cabin and is compatible with most Model 3s and Model Ys. This Tesla accessory is a true replacement and not a mere cover. It is built by hand using premium materials that withstand the test of time.


All Tesla Model 3 photos courtesy of @MrSaltyP on X (formerly Twitter)

Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T photo courtesy of Teslarati