Does the Cybertruck really put the Ford-F-150 and Chevy Silverado to shame? Well, not really

One of the biggest talking points of the Tesla Cybertruck has been its impressive towing capacity. Musk shook the world when he announced that the Cybertruck will be able to tow up to 300,000 pounds. It took a lot of people by surprise and left them befuddled.

During the launch, however, Musk announced the highest rating to be 14,000 pounds. Forget about beating its own expectations, the Cybertruck has not even beaten the competition. If there is something to save the Cybertruck’s grace here, it’s the instant torque on offer from a standstill. Take that out of the equation and Tesla’s wonderkid will be ruled if towing capacity is an absolute must for you. So, how does it fare against the current competition?

Tesla Cybertruck Towing Capacity vs. The 2020 Ford F-150

The biggest and the baddest bully of the truck segment is the Ford F-Series truck. Although the prices of the series overlap each other we will only consider the F-150 here. On the F-150, the Blue Oval offers six different engines and all of them possess different towing ratings. In ascending order, the lowest that the F-150 can tow is 9,500 pounds. This is actually better than Tesla Cybertruck’s base model, the Single Motor RWD, which can tow up to 7,500 pounds. The next in line in the Cybertruck’s range is the Dual Motor AWD which can tow up to 10,000 pounds. This capacity will help you beat just the F-150’s base trim that comes with the 3.3-liter, V-6 mill. The next two mills that still beat this Cybertruck trim’s range are the 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine that will soon be retired. They are rated at 12,200 and 13,000 pounds respectively.

Only the Cybertruck’s top trim with the Tri-Motor AWD powertrain with the 14,000-pound towing capacity can tow more than these three mills in the F-150’s lineup. The F-150 with a 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill can tow 15,500 pounds, whereas the 3.0-liter, V-6 Power Stroke mill can lug up to 15,700 pounds. The maximum an F-150 can tow is 16,700 pounds in the top trim that comes with the High Output 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine. Mind you, the Ford F-150 is not even the best out there when it comes to towing ratings. Tesla should’ve at least worked on the Cybertruck to beat the king of the segment at least, especially after hyping the capacity to be a mind-boggling 300,000 pounds.

Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150
Tesla Cybertruck F-150 V-6 F-150 EcoBoost V-6 F-150 V-8 F-150 3.5 EcoBoost V-6 F-150 Power Stroke F-150 EcoBoost High Output
Engine\Motor 3 electric motors 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 FFV 2.7L EcoBoost V6 5.0L V8 3.5L EcoBoost V6 3.0L Power Stroke® V6 High Output 3.5L EcoBoost V6
Horsepower  TBD 290 hp @6,500 rpm  325 hp @5,000 rpm  395 hp @5,750 rpm 375 hp @5,000 rpm  250 hp @3,250 rpm  450 hp @5,000 rpm
Torque TBD 265 lb.-ft.@4,000 rpm  400 lb-ft @2,750 rpm  400 lb.-ft. @4,500 rpm 470 lb.-ft. @3,500 rpm 440 lb.-ft. @1,750 rpm 510 lb.-ft. @3,500 rpm
Transmission TBD 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic 10-Speed SelectShift® Automatic
Towing capacity 14000 9500 12200 13000 15500 15700 16700

Tesla Cybertruck Towing vs. The 2020 Chevy Silverado

If towing capacity was the only aspect you’d be considering in your purchase, the Silverado would be the first one to get knocked out of your list. The Chevy Silverado with its 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine can tow up to 7,000 pounds. This is 500 pounds less than what Cybertruck’s base trim can tow. Even the next engine in the lineup sees a small increase over the Cybertruck RWD’s rating. The 4.3-liter, V-6 under the hood of the Silverado can help tow just 7,900 pounds. The next trim in Tesla Cybertruck’s lineup can tow up to 10,000 pounds, and this beats two more engines from the Silverado’s lineup – the 3.0-liter, six-cylinder mill, and the 5.3-liter, V-8 that can tow 9,300 and 9,800 pounds respectively.

The same 5.3-liter, V-8 mill in a different state of tune can tow up to 11,600 pounds, and so can the biggest 6.2-liter, V-8 mill with a 13,400-pound rating. However, both these ratings are less than the Cybertruck Tri Motor AWD’s 14,000-pound rating. Chevy was already struggling because of Ram’s invasion and now, Tesla has defeated this as well. The Bowtie needs to up its game with the next-gen Silverado to make sure it does not succumb to the “electrifying” Cybertruck.

Tesla Cybertruck vs. Chevy Silverado
Tesla Cybertruck Silverado V-6 Silverado V-8 Silverado I4 Silverado 5.3 V-8 Silverado 6.2 V-8 Silverado Diesel
Engine\Motor 3 electric motors 4.3L V-6 VVT DI 5.3L V-8 VVT D 2.7L I-4 Turbo DOHC VVT DI 5.3L V-8 VVT DI 6.2L V-8 VVT DI 3.0L DOHC I-6 Turbo-Diesel
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm) TBD 285  @ 5300 (SAE certified) 355 @ 5600 310 @ 5600 355  @ 5600 420  @ 5600 277 @ 3750
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): TBD 305 / 413 @ 3900 (SAE certified) 383  @ 4100 348 @ 1500-4000 383   @ 4100 460  @ 4100 460  @ 1500
Towing capacity 14000 7900 9800 7000 11600 13400 9300

Tesla Cybertruck Towing vs. Ram 1500

Ram is the top gun in the truck segment currently as it has upped the ante enormously to give the competition a good fight. It overtook the Silverado in terms of sales and has also made the 1500 look like a desirable product. Fortunately for the FCA-owned brand, Tesla does not cause as much damage as it did to the Silverado. Unlike the F-150 and Silverado, the Ram 1500 comes with just three engine options. So, if we were to compare trim-to-trim, it’s safe to say that Ram scores more than the Cybertruck in all the tests.

The lowest towing capacity that Ram 1500 comes with is 11,900 pounds. This trim is packed with a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine under the hood. It is significantly higher than two of Cybertruck’s trims that tow 7,500 pounds and 10,000 pounds respectively. However, the top-of-the-line Cybertruck with the Tri-Motor RWD powertrain narrowly beats them both with a 14,000-pound rating. If you want something more, you can opt for the Ram 1500 with a HEMI V-8 mill that can tow a massive 17,000 pounds. How ‘bout them apples? So, despite the Tesla Cybertruck’s launch, the Ram 1500 still remains the “towing king” of the segment!

Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ram 1500
Tesla Cybertruck Ram 1500 V-6 Ram 1500 V-6 Diesel Ram 1500 Hemi V-8 Ram 1500 Hemi V-8 ETorque
Engine\Motor 3 electric motors 3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6 WITH eTORQUE 3.0-LITER ECODIESEL V-6 5.7-LITER HEMI® V-8 5.7-LITER HEMI V-8 ETORQUE
Horsepower TBD 305 hp @ 6,400 rpm 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque TBD 269 lb.-ft.@ 4,800 rpm 480 lb.-ft.  @ 1,600 rpm 410 lb.-ft. @ 3,950 rpm 410 lb.-ft.  @ 3,950 rpm
Transmission TBD 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Towing capacity 14000 11900 13900 17000 17000

Final Thoughts

Although the Cybertruck’s ratings aren’t that impressive per se, it does benefit from the initial torque that will help you pull your load with utmost ease. This is a very big plus in case of electric vehicles where you have all the torque available right from the word go. This was even displayed in a video at the unveiling where the Cybertruck won the ‘tug of war’ against the F-150. However, if you tow an electric truck at its full capacity, the range drops down immensely.

It will be interesting to see the range Tesla releases when the Cybertruck is loaded at its full capacity. And, as the battery gets older, the range will keep falling down all the more. So, if we are not looking at the green future for a moment, I’d give combustion engines a slight advantage in terms of towing only. However, it’s worth noting that Tesla Cybertruck’s rating is more than Rivian R1T’s 11,000-pound and Bollinger B1’s 7,500-pounds capacity. Are these two under pressure already? Bollinger not so much, but Rivian, definitely.

What are your thoughts on the tow ratings of the Tesla Cybertruck, especially considering that Musk claimed a 300,000-pound rating? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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