Cybertruck arriving next year (like fully autonomous self-driving and the second coming of Christ)

The New York Times' story about the latest Cybertruck reveal—it's coming in 2023 for real, Tesla promises—is as much about the earlier "inauspicious" promises as it is about the vehicle itself.

"We can't wait to build this here," Mr. Musk, wearing a black cowboy hat, said of the truck. "Sorry for the delay. But you're going to have this next year, and it's really going to be great."

Tesla's C.E.O. has a long history of promising products that materialize later than he said they would or not at all, but his timeline for the Cybertruck is more definite than the one he gave to investors in January, when he said that delivery in 2023 was "most likely."

Delays in producing the Cybertruck have allowed rivals to come to market sooner with pickups, one of the most popular types of vehicle in the United States. Ford is expected to begin delivering the Lightning, a battery-powered version of its F-150, this summer. Rivian's electric pickup went on sale late last year to rave reviews, but the company has had trouble ramping up production, a common problem for new car companies.

Looking at the model on display at the reveal—as photographed by Ryan Zohoury—I don't know what to say. It's like something the Ukrainian farmer dragged in! Could someone dumping fifty grand into one of these later claim to be surprised at the fit and finish of their crumpled ball of foil? Yes, I guess they could.

It's all very Muskian—a million-dollar PR problem (Tesla needs a truck) solved by whimsy instead of work, then excruciatingly and grimly made into a billion-dollar reality.