Payload, towing, performance, pricing, and all that jazz

The highly anticipated 2021 Tesla Cybertruck is here and we’re already wondering how many customers it will steal from the Ford F-150, the world’s best-selling truck. Granted, the awkward design might not help Tesla, but the 2021 Cybertruck has some impressive features and performance targets that might bring new customers into its dealerships. Let’s see how the Cybertruck compares to the F-150.

Towing

The range-topping Tesla tows 800 pounds more than the best available F-150

Towing capability is a truck’s business card. The Ford F-150 has been one of the most capable trucks on the market since day one and continues to sit above its competitors, the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500, in this category. Depending on trim, the F-150 tows between 7,700 to 13,200 pounds. How does that compare to the Cybertruck?

Well, the base Tesla truck, an RWD-model powered by a single electric motor, features a towing rating of 7,500 pounds. That’s 200 pounds below the base Ford F-150, powered by the 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 engine. The dual-motor AWD Cybertruck fares much better with a maximum rating of 10,000 pounds. That’s 2,300 pounds more than the base F-150 and 1,000 pounds more than the truck fitted with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. It’s also only 600 pounds below the 5.0-liter V-8 model and 400 pounds below the truck equipped with the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel.

Moving over to the range-topping Cybertruck, the AWD model powered by three electric motors, it’s rated at a whopping 14,000 pounds. That’s 800 pounds more than the best available F-150. The latter features a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 with 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of twist. All told, the Tesla Cybertruck will arrive in best-in-class towing in 2021. Unless Ford does something about that until then.

Payload

Payload is another important feature for a truck. Essentially the amount of stuff a truck can carry, payload can be calculated by subtracting curb weight from the gross vehicle weight rating. Ford brags about the F-150 having best-in-class payload ratings. The truck fitted with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine is arguably the best, boasting a maximum payload of 3,270 pounds. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 version comes close at 3,230 pounds, but the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 3.3-liter V-6 slide well below at 1,990 and 2,470 pounds, respectively.

According to Elon Musk, all versions of the Tesla Cybertruck boasts a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds.

That’s 230 pounds more than the most capable version of the Ford F-150. Unless things change until 2021, the Cybertruck will hit dealerships with best-in-class payload too.

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

Acceleration

Ford doesn’t release sprint times for its trucks unless it’s something really important to brag about, like the Raptor. So we have to rely on independent tests for these figures. So far we know that the F-150 Limited is the quickest version of the current-gen truck. It hits 60 mph from a standing start in 5.1 seconds, which is mighty impressive for a truck. That’s a whopping 1.4 seconds quicker than the base Cybertruck, rated at 6.5 seconds, but it’s notably slower than the dual- and tri-motor versions of the Tesla truck.

Specifically, the dual-motor AWD model needs just 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. Not only this is 0.6 seconds quicker than the Limited, but it make the Cybertruck the quickest production truck ever. But wait, there’s more! The range-topping, tri-motor AWD Tesla is even quicker with a 0-to-60 mph benchmark of only 2.9 seconds. Bottom line: the fastest Cybertruck is 2.2 seconds quicker than the fastest Ford F-150. Ouch!

Top Speed

Just like 0-to-60 mph benchmarks, top speed isn’t a figure that Ford talks about too much. Independent tests have shown that the F-150 tops out at around 105 mph, while the Raptor has an electronic limited that puts a cap at 107 mph. Needless to says, the F-150 can probably do more, but non-Raptor models shouldn’t be able to go past the 110-mph mark. And that’s exactly how much the base single-motor RWD Cybertruck will hit.

The dual-motor AWD can go higher at 120 mph, while the range-topping tri-motor AWD has a top speed rating of 130 mph. That's pretty impressive for an all-electric truck.

Pricing

The Ford F-150 is by far the more affordable truck, as the base model starts from $28,495. The Tesla Cybertruck, on the other hand, comes in at $39,900 in base trim. But the F-150 is this affordable in regular cab only. Opt for the SuperCab and pricing jumps to $32,580. If you want the SuperCrew model, essentially the one that matches the Cybertruck for passenger space, comes in at $36,340. We don’t know what kind of features Tesla will offer with the truck for the price, but based on what we have so far, it’s not notably more expensive in base trim.

Tesla Shocks and Awes with Cybertruck Pricing Details
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The dual-motor AWD model comes at $49,900 though, a price for which you can order an F-150 SuperCrew Lariat and spend an extra $4,000 on options. Or you can add $4,000 and buy the high-performance Raptor version. Finally, the tri-motor AWD Cybertruck will cost $69,900, which is $14,000 more than the range-topping F-150 Platinum.

Design

Well, there’s not much to talk about here to be honest. Because the Tesla Cybertruck is simply something else. You just can’t compare this truck to the F-150. It’s radically different design-wise, not only compared to the F-150, but to the entire pickup truck industry.

The Cybertruck’s interior is equally different. While the F-150 features a massive dashboard with tons of buttons and knobs, the Cybetruck’s dash is basically a kitchen table with a massive, 17-inch display in the center. There’s absolutely nothing to compare.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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