Tesla V Ford Probably Ain't Happening

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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tesla v ford probably ain t happening

As part of Tesla Motors’ debut of Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk showed a clip in which the EV pickup yanks a Ford F-150 uphill against its will. The Blue Oval is also building an all-electric pickup, in addition to already manufacturing the best-selling truck model in history. Clearly, Tesla clearly wanted to place both on notice, though the video only provides evidence that Cybertruck can tug a rear-drive F-Series uphill in a video Tesla produced to show exactly that outcome.

Media outlets began musing if this was really a fair fight, apparently forgetting how advertising works, while science celeb Neil deGrasse Tyson offered a public physics lessons. “We all love Torque. But high Torque just spins a tire in place if there’s not enough weight to provide traction,” he said in response to the video. “Fully load the F150, giving highest traction to its rear wheels, then try to drag that up the hill. I otherwise agree: Load both to the max and the highest torque wins.”

Mr. Tyson’s new role as a Ford Truck Man remains unconfirmed, but the more likely scenario is that he’s simply trying to make sure the test is at least mildly scientific. Ford agreed, saying a fair test between brands was just what the doctor ordered.

While Musk and Tyson debated the physics of the test, Ford X’s Sunny Madra suggested Tesla send over a Cybertruck so it could conduct the test in a fairer manner. It’s really dumb, as our own Steph Willems noted earlier in the day, as we all know the likelihood of this happening is precisely zero. Tesla’s pretty careful about who it lets reviews its production vehicles; sending Ford Motor Co a prototype pickup that it could take apart and examine is never going to happen.

The best we can hope for is both companies meeting in a dark alley to yank each other around a parking lot (the trucks, I mean). Yet even that seems like wishful thinking. Most automakers won’t even consider setting up live tests where they can’t stack the deck in their favor. We’d wager that’s what held back the big Tesla v Porsche showdown that never happened. Since every new electric car is a prospective “Tesla Killer,” the media wagered Porsche’s Taycan (formerly the Mission E) would beat it on a racetrack — as if it mattered.

None of these are direct comparisons. Porsche’s cars always have a performance angle, whereas Tesla is trying to build comfortable cruisers that can still manage blisteringly fast quarter-mile times (if you’ve got the green). Meanwhile, Ford’s F-150 is the default pickup for regular people. The thing even has its own emoji, for Christ’s sake.

But Cybetruck sneers at its utility and normality, offering trendiness and attitude instead. The outcome of any hypothetical tow competition doesn’t really matter because there’s little overlap between their customer base. Sure, it’d be a neat spectacle, but what would it change and who would it benefit? They’ve already got us talking about it during the holiday lull.

Cybertruck pulls F-150 uphill pic.twitter.com/OfaqUkrDI3

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Nov 26, 2019

    How much will Ford sales decrease when all the Tesla Ranger mobile repair folks start driving Cybertrucks? Or will they still need a fleet of Fords to keep the Cybertrucks running? I will say the new Musk "invented" 30X alloy stainless 3mm thick body should solve the paint and rust problems the sedans have.

    • See 7 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Nov 28, 2019

      @indi500fan but it'll look like s**t in short order

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 26, 2019

    That is one of the ugliest vehicles I have ever seen. Maybe ugly is in and people want to buy the ugliest vehicle on the road. The Aztec was just ahead of its time. This is one time that I would like to see the final production model different than the prototype,

  • ToolGuy I appreciate the thoughtful comments from the little people here, and I would like to remind everyone that Ford Motor Company offers a full range of vehicles which are ideal for any driving environment including New York City. The size and weight our of product portfolio has been fully and completely optimized to be friendly to the planet and friendly to pedestrians while consuming the bare minimum of resources from our precious planet (I am of course a lifelong environmentalist). Plus, our performance models will help you move forward and upward by conquering obstacles and limits such as congestion and your fellow humans more quickly at a higher rate of speed. I invite you to learn more at our website.Signed, William Clay Ford Jr.
  • George Hughes What ever happened to the American can-do attitude. I know what, it was coopted by the fossil fuel industry in their effort to protect their racket.
  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.