Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150 Raptor: How They Stack Up

Off-road champ meets cyberpunk newcomer.

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 certainly on the way. We really are fording new waters here. But the Cybertruck probably wouldn't exist without the Ford 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 a fun F-150 representative to compare with the Cybertruck concept, given the latter also seemingly supports a desert-running duty cycle.

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 3.9 inches longer (149.9 to the Ford's 146.0) and the overall lengths of the two trucks are almost identical—231.9 inches for the Ford and 231.7 for the Tesla. The base version of the SuperCrew Raptor comes in at $57,435, making it an almost perfect matchup for the approximately $50,000-$60,000 Cybertruck. Let's get started.

Cybertruck vs. F-150 Raptor: Utility + Off-Road

The best and perhaps most important reason for buying a truck is simply that you need to tow and haul. (The Raptor has an additional and more obvious mission, of course.) For that job, our F-150 is equipped with Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, which makes 450 horsepower 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 our pals at MotorTrend estimate the midlevel Cybertruck with its dual-motor "Raven" powertrain will make close to 690 horsepower and 824 lb-ft of torque—way outclassing the Ford. But the base Cybertruck may make a lot less than the Ford, too.

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 claims around 10,000 pounds of tow capacity and 3,350 pounds of payload capacity for the Cybertruck dual-motor. Tesla further claims the Cybertruck tri-motor can carry up to 3,350 pounds in the bed and tow up to 14,000 pounds.

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 Rivian R1T has individual motors driving each wheel, air suspension, can tow up to 11,000 pounds, can wade through three feet of water, and is estimated to sprint from zero to 60 mph 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-spec 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.

Cybertruck vs. F-150 Raptor: Range

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.

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 could do even better depending on the driving style and use case. 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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