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Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150 Raptor: Off-Road Champ Meets Off-World Newcomer

© Motor Trend Staff

From Motor Trend


How the world’s best-selling truck stacks up against its newest challenger

© Motor Trend Staff

The announcement of the Tesla Cybertruck no doubt weighs heavily on the minds of those in Detroit—especially with the electrification of their truck lineups almost certainly on the way. We really are fording new waters here. But the Cybertruck probably wouldn't (have to) exist without the consummate F-150. It is the best-selling vehicle in the history of the world, with more than one being sold every minute on average. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that Elon Musk and his team are hoping to put a dent in F-150 sales with their newest offering.

Tesla says its newest creation will start at around $50,000 and have a crew cab and a 6.5-foot bed. But given the Cybertruck's suspension travel and the off-road abilities the Tesla team baked in, we think a Ford F-150 Raptor is probably the best F-150 representative to compare the Cybertruck concept to, given both appear to have a desert-running duty cycle. Continue reading in the gallery above.

© Motor Trend Staff

We picked a Raptor in the four-door SuperCrew configuration, because the two trucks are remarkably similar in terms of size. The wheelbase of the Cybertruck is just 5 inches longer (149.9 to the Ford's 146) and the overall lengths of the two trucks are separated by exactly 1 inch—231.9 inches for the Ford and 230.0 for the Tesla. The base Raptor comes in at $57,785, making it an almost perfect matchup for the approximately $50-60,000 Cybertruck. Let's get started.


Utility

© Motor Trend Staff

The best and perhaps most important reason for buying a truck is simply that it has to make your life easier by towing and hauling. For that job, our F-150 is equipped with Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, which makes 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. There's no word on what the "base model" Cybertruck will come in at in terms of power and torque, but MotorTrend estimates the mid-level Cybertruck with its dual-motor "Raven" powertrain makes close to 690 hp and 824 lb-ft of torque—way outclassing the Ford. But the base Cybertruck could make a lot less than those power figures.

As for towing, the Raptor can pull up to 8,000 pounds out back and haul up to 1,200 pounds in the bed. Tesla's claims around 10,000 pounds of tow capacity and 3,350 pounds of payload capacity for the Cybertruck dual-motor. Tesla claims the Cybertruck tri-motor can carry up to 3,350 pounds in the bed and tow up to 14,000 pounds.


Utility

© Motor Trend Staff

Even though little is known about the eventual electric F-150, we do know it's coming, and it will likely feature tech that comes about from Ford's partnership with Rivian. After a $500 million investment earlier this year, Rivian and Ford will be working together on EVs, and Ford has promised 40 electrified vehicles by 2022—most of which will be full EVs. Since the truck world is a never-ending arms race, it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that the electric offering from Ford will either closely mirror or be slightly better than the specs we've seen from both Tesla and Rivian. As a quick refresher, the R1T has individual motors driving each wheel, air suspension, can tow up to 11,000 pounds, can wade through 3 feet of water, and is estimated to sprint from 0-60 in 3.0 seconds flat.

As for off-roading, the Raptor comes standard with 34-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, valved, monotube FOX off-road racing shocks, a host of off-road driving modes, four-wheel drive, and a locking rear differential. The Tesla has dual-motor all-wheel drive and sits on an air suspension with 35-inch off-road tires. 


Range

© Motor Trend Staff

For some buyers, just the thought of having to charge their pickup will be enough to keep them from buying electric. Range anxiety affects everyone, not just Nissan Leaf owners. But for those ready to make the leap, the Cybertruck will come with a few different battery configurations at launch. Tesla says the Cybertruck will get between 250 and 500 miles of range, depending on which one you buy.


Range

© Motor Trend Staff

The Raptor gets an EPA-estimated 15/18/16 mpg city/highway/combined, and with the optional 36-gallon fuel tank on board, buyers can expect to get up to 576 miles out of a tank, as long as they behave themselves. Non-Raptor F-150s with smaller engines will no doubt do even better. While this is still significantly more than the Cybertruck, Tesla is continually expanding its already vast network of Superchargers to make speedy charging even more readily available to potential Cybertruck buyers. If Tesla wants to pull owners away from their beloved Fords, that's exactly what they're going to have to do.

Ford will no doubt face the same problem of convincing even its own brand loyalists to ditch gas power for electrons instead. But the ink recently dried on a collaboration between the Blue Oval and Electrify America to try and bring EV charging to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and electric F-150 owners.

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Unplugged Magazine: Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150 Raptor: Off-Road Champ Meets Off-World Newcomer
Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150 Raptor: Off-Road Champ Meets Off-World Newcomer
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