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How Tesla Cybertruck Beat Ford F-150 Twice

If you have been following the Cybertruck hype, then you have probably seen the video that Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted on Monday showing a Cybertruck pulling a Ford F-150 uphill.  Is this Cybertruck vs Ford F-150 video realistic?  If so, what does this mean for the legacy automaker?

Tesla Cybertruck vs Ford F-150

The video originally surfaced during the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck last week, but Musk shared it with the twittersphere a few days later in order to keep people talking.  The ploy certainly worked.

The Cybertruck comes away looking like a huge winner in the tug-of-war between the two pickup trucks, Ford’s bestselling pickup being dragged backward uphill with its tires spinning.  A Ford executive soon responded to the tweet with a challenge for a real “apples to apples” test between the two trucks, to which Musk replied, “Bring it on”. 

It is completely understandable why Ford would be interested in participating in a more fair test since experts were quick to point out that the match was far from even. 

It is not completely clear what model of F-150 was used in Musk’s video, but from the fact that we only see the back tires spinning, it seems likely that it was a rear-wheel-drive.  That alone would make the fight lopsided since the Cybertruck prototype has all-wheel-drive and can, therefore, use all four wheels to pull.  

The weight difference between the two also plays a factor.  In a towing battle like this, the Cybertruck beats out Ford with its heavy battery packs and solid construction.  All of that extra weight means that the Cybertruck gets better traction on the road and makes it that much harder for the Ford to pull. 

Then there is a matter of engine power.  Car blog Motor1 examined the video and guessed that the Ford pickup likely came with a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine due to its visible features.  While we do not yet have solid numbers on the horsepower and torque of the Cybertruck, it is rumored to be much higher than that of this particular Ford F-150. 

So no, this was not a fair fight.  But the video still did its job, and that was to provide a publicity stunt to keep the attention of the masses on Tesla’s newest vehicle.

Tesla Still Beats Ford

So how can we say that the Tesla Cybertruck beat out the Ford F-150, not only once but twice? 

First, the PR stunt went viral, and that put the video in front of millions of viewers (at the time of the writing of this article, the video had 13.7 million views) who may not have otherwise given Tesla much more than a passing thought.  Watching the strange-looking pickup truck “kick” Ford’s butt made folks stop to think why; whether they gave Tesla a mental cheer, began pounding away at their keyboards about the unfairness of it all, or even just stopped to comment on how weird or ugly they think the Cybertruck is, people were giving it attention.  That publicity is going to eventually bring Tesla sales, and will probably make people think twice about buying a Ford in the future, if only briefly.

Second, Ford’s failure to follow through on an “apples to apples” test is a lost opportunity for it to gain its own publicity from the stunt.  While that Ford executive’s initial tweet made it seem like the legacy automaker just might join in, Ford later dashed such hopes by dismissing the challenge.  “Sunny’s tweet was tongue in cheek to point out the absurdity of Tesla’s video, nothing more,” a Ford spokesperson wrote in an email to TechCrunch

Did Ford chicken out?  Because whether or not it actually did, that is what it looks like it did.  It could have proven just how badly Tesla represented it in that first contest by totally wiping the floor with the Cybertruck, or at least put on a solid fight that made the two pickups seem like decent competition even if it lost.  Instead, Ford dismissed Tesla and left those of us watching the exchange wondering if the company did it because it thought it would lose. 

Maybe we will get lucky and Ford will change its mind.  For now, however, an even Cybertruck vs Ford F-150 rematch seems unlikely.

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