How Does Tesla's Cybertruck Actually Compare to a Ford F-150?

Tesla Cybertruck Vault With Tailgate Down
Manufacturer images (Tesla Cybertruck)

By Brian Normile

Tesla's reveal of its first pickup, the Cybertruck, came with a lot of fanfare, some laughs and some bold claims regarding the truck's capabilities. We're taking all of this with a grain of salt, but even if price and delivery goals aren't met, usually Tesla meets the performance goals it sets for a vehicle. And given that Elon Musk took some shots at the Ford F-150 and even included a video of the Cybertruck winning a tug of war with an F-150, why not compare the Cybertruck to the Ford and see how they stack up?

Related: Ford Shows Prototype Electric F-150 Towing Over a Million Pounds

Dimensions

Tesla Cybertruck Side Profile

Tesla didn't reveal many dimensions during the reveal, but here's what we know about the four-door, six-seat Cybertruck:

  • Length: 231.7 inches
  • Height: 75.0 inches
  • Width: 79.8 inches
  • Bed length: 78 inches (assuming a full 6.5 feet of length)

2018 Ford F-150 Side Profile

Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

And the Ford (we're using a 2020 SuperCrew F-150 with a 6.5-foot bed unless otherwise noted):

  • Length: 243.7 inches
  • Height: 75.6 inches (4x2), 77.2 (4x4)
  • Width: 79.9 inches (excluding side mirrors, which the Cybertruck prototype did not have); 96.8 inches (with standard side mirrors)
  • Bed length: 78.9 inches

Power and Performance

This is one area where the Tesla wasn't benchmarked against pickup trucks. Instead, the Porsche 911 was the target. Missing from Musk's presentation were horsepower and torque figures, and the only stated quarter-mile time was presumably for the top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive tri-motor Cybertruck. Tesla will also offer a single-motor rear-wheel-drive version and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version.

Cybertruck

  • Horsepower: unknown
  • Torque: unknown
  • Range: 250+ miles (single motor), 300+ miles (dual motor), 500+ miles (tri-motor)
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds (single), 4.5 seconds (dual), 2.9 seconds (tri)
  • Quarter-mile: 10.8 seconds (tri-motor, presumably)

F-150

  • Horsepower: 290-450 horsepower depending on gasoline engine, 250 hp (diesel)
  • Torque: 265-510 pounds feet depending on gasoline engine, 440 pounds-feet (diesel)
  • Range: 26-gallon fuel tank standard, 36-gallon tank optional; EPA combined fuel economy from 25 mpg (diesel) to 17 mpg (5.0-liter V-8).
  • 0-60 mph: As-tested 5.7 seconds (Raptor SuperCab with 450-hp 3.5-L twin-turbo V-6)
  • Quarter-mile: As-tested 14.2 seconds (Raptor SuperCab with 450-hp 3.5-L twin-turbo V-6)

Towing and Payload

Regardless of configuration, the Cybertruck has one payload rating, but maximum towing capacities increase as the number of motors increase. The F-150's capacities vary significantly depending on configuration.

Cybertruck

  • Payload: 3,500 pounds
  • Towing: 7,500 pounds (single motor); 10,000 pounds (dual motor); 14,000 pounds (tri-motor)

F-150

  • Payload: 1,820-2,890 pounds depending on configuration
  • Towing: 7,600-13,200 pounds depending on configuration

Off-Roading

 

Tesla Cybertruck Front Angle Profile

The Cybertruck is also designed to be capable off-road, particularly with its standard adjustable air suspension. While the Ford F-150 Raptor is the most off-road capable F-150, non-Raptor versions do still have some abilities off the pavement, especially when adding the FX4 Off-Road Package.

Cybertruck

  • Ground clearance: Up to 16 inches
  • Approach angle: 35 degrees
  • Departure angle: 28 degrees

F-150

  • Ground clearance: 8.4 inches (4x2), 9.3 inches (4x4), 11.5 inches (Raptor)
  • Approach angle: 23.8 degrees (4x2), 25.5 degrees (4x4), 30.2 degrees (Raptor)
  • Departure angle: 24.5 degrees (4x2), 26.4 degrees (4x4), 23.1 degrees (Raptor

Pricing

Tesla Cybertruck Interior

Specs are one thing, but whether any ability is worth the price is something for the buyer to decide. Tesla announced three separate prices for the Cybertruck depending on how many motors it has, though whether that holds true when the truck actually enters production ("late 2021" for single- and dual-motor versions, "late 2022" for the tri-motor) remains to be seen. For now, here is what Tesla claims each version will cost:

  • Single motor: $39,900
  • Dual motor: $49,900
  • Tri-motor: $69,900

Those prices also don't include any potential state or local credits a buyer might receive depending on location; Tesla's federal tax credits will run out by the time the Cybertruck reaches production. For comparison, five trim levels of the 2020 F-150 are available with SuperCrew cabs and a 6.5-foot bed. Here are their starting prices before any options (all prices include a $1,595 destination fee):

  • XL: $37,935
  • XLT: $42,670
  • Lariat: $46,755
  • King Ranch: $54,635
  • Platinum: $57,165

Will the Cybertruck poach traditional truck shoppers, particularly with its claims of greater performance on- and off-road? We'll have to wait a couple years to see, though Elon Musk is claiming that more than 200,000 people have put down a refundable $100 deposit toward one. With other electric pickups on the way from traditional and nontraditional automakers, the market for electric pickups may be very competitive by the time the Cybertruck begins deliveries.

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