The Tesla Cybertruck, an avant-garde electric pickup, is making waves with its distinctive design, incorporating angular bodywork, an elongated windshield wiper, and aero covers on its wheels. While the uniqueness of the Cybertruck’s concept is undeniable, a practical issue has surfaced related to these aero covers.
T Sportline, a Tesla aftermarket manufacturer, revealed in a YouTube video that the aero covers are causing wear on the sidewalls of the Cybertruck’s specially designed Goodyear tires. After just a few thousand miles, the 33.5-inch tires are exhibiting signs of chafing from the aero covers.
The rubbing occurs at the bottom of the tire when the sidewall slightly bulges under the truck’s weight, exacerbated by limited clearance between the covers and the tire. When the truck encounters bumps or leans into corners, the contact intensifies.
CEO Brian Reese measured the rub on one Cybertruck, finding it to be 120 thousandths of an inch, a seemingly minor amount. However, over the tire’s lifespan, this wear could lead to concerns about durability. T Sportline recommends current Cybertruck owners remove the aero covers, anticipating minimal impact on the electric vehicle’s range.
Concerningly, comments on the YouTube video suggest that some individuals underestimate the importance of tire sidewalls. Despite not directly contacting the road, sidewalls play a crucial role in a tire’s structural integrity. Thinning sidewalls could render tires more vulnerable to damage from road debris and rocks, particularly during off-road adventures, an area where the Cybertruck already faces challenges.
The good news is that Tesla seems responsive to the issue, with reports indicating that the aero covers are undergoing a redesign. Deliveries of Cybertrucks will proceed without the aero covers for the time being, according to users on the Cybertruck Owners Forum. However, the distinctive Cybertruck-specific Goodyear tires will remain standard, and it’s suggested that the aero covers might make a return in an improved form, ensuring the unique sidewall moldings retain a functional purpose beyond aesthetics.
While not a critical flaw, this tire sidewall wear issue highlights the importance of practicality in innovative designs. It serves as a reminder that certain design features, while eye-catching, should undergo rigorous testing to ensure they do not inadvertently compromise the vehicle’s functionality or longevity.