We're only three days away from Tesla's long-awaited delivery event of its Cybertruck, and there's a ton we still don't know — including basic specs like price and range.
There's a potential aesthetic wrinkle as well: while Tesla's marketing materials so far show the truck as having a mirror-like finish, the reality will likely be much smudgier.
Besides making manufacturing an absolute hell for the EV maker, the choice of stainless steel has raised plenty of eyebrows among experts. For one, it's less malleable and more expensive compared to conventional materials like plastic composites and aluminum, as the Wall Street Journal points out.
Stainless steel is also a lot more prone to attracting fingerprints and blemishes, meaning the truck will likely be relatively high maintenance and require owners to polish their vehicles to maintain some semblance of polish.
One clue as to what that maintenance might look like comes from the DeLorean DMC, famously featured in the iconic 1985 sci-fi romp "Back to the Future." As DeLorean restoration expert Chris Nicholson told the WSJ, in fact, owners may need to go as far as sanding off the top layer of metal to remove stains that arise from organic debris like bird feces.
That'll be a strange new reality in a market in which carmakers have long perfected simpler solutions in the form of automotive paint and clear, scratch-resistant topcoats.
A lot will ride on the aesthetic reality of the Cybertruck for Tesla. Pictures recently shared on the Cybertruck subreddit show an employee polishing a Cybertruck with a product called "Cyber Shield," presumably a consumer-grade cleaner that's designed to keep fingerprints, smudges, and corrosion to a minimum.
"Cyber Shield is a cutting-edge cleaner and protective solution that redefines the way you care for the exterior stainless surfaces of the Cybertruck," an official description spotted by a Cybertruck Owners Club Forum user reads.
It's still unclear, however, if the product will end up being made available to Cybertruck owners.
"I’ll use Barkeeper's Friend, thank you very much," one redditor argued, referring to a popular cleaning agent.
"These will be like your phone glass," another user added. "You can polish the shit out of it and it will be super sleek and look awesome. Then you use it for two minutes and it looks like absolute garbage."
Apart from blemishes and fingerprints, getting dents and scratches out of the Cybertruck's unusually hardened exterior might also prove difficult. Since Tesla CEO Elon Musk was hellbent on making the truck "bulletproof," the company was forced to use a fairly thick metal, which is incredibly hard to bend back into shape after damage.
To fix a dent, Nicholson told the WSJ, "you’d have to beat the absolute hell out of it."
More on the truck: Cybertruck Spotted With Christmas Tree Sticking Way Out of Its Tiny Bed
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