Elon Musk spent plenty of time taking swipes at Ford’s bestselling F-150 during his unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck last week. The latest shot comes in the form of a real-world stunt recorded on video.
It’s a 16-second clip of the Cybertruck towing an F-150 up a hill with both trucks flooring the pedal in opposite directions. The two trucks — one a battery-electric upstart still years away from hitting the market, the other powered by a conventional combustion engine and occupying the top slot among bestselling vehicles in the U.S. for 42 years running — are positioned end to end. We see the Cybertruck move forward to take in the slack on the line connecting the two trucks, then both trucks hit the accelerator.
But this may not be a fair fight. The Cybertruck immediately gains traction and moves forward, while the F-150 spins at the rear wheels, which suggests it’s a rear-wheel drive version. Also, the Tesla, being an EV, has powerful low-end electric torque.
Although it’s hard to tell from the drone footage, the Ford appears to be a lower-spec STX package F-150 in a SuperCrew configuration, as Motor1 points out. That suggests it carries a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which offers 325 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. That puts the truck at somewhere between 6,070 and 7,050 pounds. It also appears that the Cybertruck gets a head start on the Ford.
We also don’t know what version this is of the Cybertruck, which will be offered in variants with one to three electric motors. But knowing Musk’s penchant for stunts, we’re guessing this could be the all-wheel-drive tri-motor version, capable of towing 14,000 pounds. We don’t yet know the output specs or weight of the Cybertruck, but we’re going to assume it’s heavier, given its battery pack, stainless steel body panels and its obvious length advantage. It measures 231.7 inches long, while the F-150 SuperCrew tops out at 227.9 inches when equipped with an 8-foot bed, which this one clearly is not.
The base version will be able to tow 7,500 pounds, with the tri-motor version capable of towing 14,000 pounds, along with its 500-mile range and 2.9-second 0-60 mph launch time. It’ll be available in rear- and all-wheel-drive versions starting in late 2021 and 2022, respectively.
We'd also just point out that in July, Ford released a video that showed its battery-electric F-150 prototype towing more than 1 million pounds of freight trains and other F-150s. A hybrid version of Ford's venerable pickup goes on sale in 2020, with the full-electric sometime after that.
Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019
Another interesting tidbit that Musk dropped over the weekend on Twitter: Tesla may eventually offer smaller versions of the Cybertruck. The Tesla CEO dropped that morsel while defending the “planar” design of the electric pickup and explaining the rationale and challenges of using stainless steel.