Even If the Tesla Cybertruck Wins New Truck-Pull Versus Ford F150, It Just Isn’t Pretty
The headline for this article spells out the major issue for Elon Musk’s electric pickup, the Tesla Cybertruck. The team that designed and put the humungously hideous pickup together was either on drugs or came away convinced that every truck owner in the lower-48 states would toss their keys into the fire and double-down on someone’s idea of a hysterically funny joke.
Tesla Is Serious About This Pickup
Tesla doesn't see anything funny about the Cybertruck. It's doubtful that the design team is laughing, either. After all, would you laugh, if you designed a truck that others think is a huge joke? We doubt it. But, Tesla is serious about its weird-looking truck, as are many Tesla fans. Some 200,000 Tesla fans have plunked down their $100 deposits to reserve one of the first electric trucks that roll off the line. And, let's face it, while Tesla is serious because 200,000 is a lot of vehicles for them to make, Ford isn't. Why would the automaker be concerned when its pickup line -- the Ford F150 -- is at the top of the segment, a spot it has occupied for 42 years? And, while Tesla's numbers are significant for the electric carmaker, for Ford, the numbers are about one-fifth of a year’s production and sales of the F150 pickup lineup. It is hardly a contest.
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Tesla has played this whole tug-of-war thing with a straight face as if there were some real validity to having a rigged test that showed the Cybertruck, Tesla’s electric pickup, winning out over a Ford F150. From the start, the truck-pull is bogus. Here’s why:
Tug-of-War Not A Real Comparison
- Apples-to-Apples, Oranges-to-Oranges, Not kumquats to rhubarb -- The comparison in this is so wrong that the glare nearly hurts. The Ford F150 in this test used an internal combustion engine (ICE); the Tesla was, well, an electric. The Ford used the standard 5.0-liter V-8 engine; the Tesla used at least two electric motors as it was an AWD pickup. Tesla announced in its info about the Cybertruck that all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of the electric pickup would use a minimum of two motors, one for the front axle and the second for the rear. This gives the electric a distinct advantage over the ICE entry.
- Load-‘em-up -- Moving to the next issue, we find out that the Ford F150 wasn’t lightly or moderately loaded. It was not loaded at all. In the meantime, the Tesla Cybertruck has its heavy driveline components available to keep its huge and muscular rubber on the ground. It also has its instant torque available. Most importantly, though, since the Ford F150 is facing downhill and whatever weight that might have been available to load the rear wheels has been transferred to the front wheels so that when the drivers light of their vehicles in the tug-of-war, the Tesla is the winner.
- He Did What? No! -- If you watched any of the videos, including the one that we are repeating today, notice the Ford F150. It just sits there while the Cybertruck gets a running start. Only when the Tesla has put tension into the tow strap does the Ford truck driver begin doing anything.
- Did They Wheely Do That? -- Okay, take a look at the wheels on the Cybertruck. Do they seem much larger than the F150’s rubber? Well, they should because the Ford is shot in standard truck tries, while the Tesla’s standard equipment includes huge off-roading wheels and 37-inch grippy tires. The result is that the Cybertruck has lots of torque available and could probably pull up many tree stumps with it. We guess that if they wanted fair in this they would have used larger tires and wheels and perhaps a lift kit on the Ford, plus adding four-wheel-drive, not rear-wheel-drive.
- It’s So Fugly That Only Its Manufacturer Loves It -- You do have to admit that the Tesla Cybertruck is UGLY as in not-very-good-looking. The lines scream “design by blindfolded chipmunks.” At least, the chipmunks are cute compared to the bony, irregular lines of the Cybertruck. As the old saying goes, it is so UGLY that …
- Anchors A-Weigh -- To be fair, the Cybertruck does look like the committee that designed it was more interested in their summer vacations than designing a real truck because the current iteration of the Tesla looks like a poorly designed motorboat. On a more serious note, the Tesla’s weight and center of gravity are, for the most part, in planes that favor its traction. And, one has to remember that electric motors and their associated drive machine are not only right there for instant power, but that they tend to keep also keep their weight low over the wheels for added traction.
Honestly, Did They Wheely Do It?
Many Voices Pan Truck Pull
If you think, then, that the tug-of-war was fair, it wasn’t. This view was echoed by noted physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who rapped the report fair truck-pull for many of the reasons outlined here.
With that said, though, Ford was quick to answer the challenge issued by Tesla for another truck-pull, and for two days it looked as if there would be a Ford-sanctioned event running a Ford F150 against the Cybertruck. However, the automaker scotched that thinking, saying in a statement that they would prefer to provide their current customers with the best experience possible and so they politely declined.
That hasn’t stopped Tesla, though, which is planning another truck-pull. It will probably one of the bigger non-events of next year as it only applies to the Ford world and Tesla aficionados. Whoever wins, it will gain bragging rights.
Only Bookies See This As A Major Event
Oh, and it will matter to British sportsbooks who have to believe that Tesla will win the next round of what could be arguably be called “Beauty and the Beast.” British bookies have handicapped the rematch and are giving odds to the Cybertruck over Ford. The issue, though, is the type of rematch. Another gasoline versus electric pas de deux won’t cut it. Instead, there are many on the internet, says The Ford Authority, who want to see the Ford F150 EV versus what is perhaps one of the ugliest trucks in creation. Indeed that is the matchup that makes any sense, at all. “We [TFA] don’t think Ford has anything to lose in the contest between two electric trucks. Even if the Cybertruck comes out on top, the Tesla is still horrendously ugly and will never appeal to most of the truck folks that have made the Ford F150 the top-selling vehicle in the country each year  for the last several decades.”
Sources: Author research; The Ford Authority
About the Author
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper’s auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn’t much on four wheels that I haven’t driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.