In November 2019, Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s Cybertruck as the soon-to-come model that would bring the electric car company into the truck world. Later that month, Musk revealed a video of a Cybertruck winning a tug-of-war match against a Ford F-150. But the two trucks appeared unfairly matched, causing many to ask what the Cybertruck would do in a more comparable challenge versus the F-250.
The Tesla Cybertruck and the Ford F-250 are considered to be in the same class, Class 2B, which makes them a fair comparison in the important areas of a truck, including:
- Towing capability
- Bed capacity
The two models offer an interesting comparison of gas versus electric trucks.
With the Ford F-150 being in a smaller class, the F-250 offers an apples-to-apples comparison with the Cybertruck and may likely stand a chance to give the EV company a run for its money. Especially when you consider the ways in which the Cybertruck falls short of, and the F-250 succeeds as a traditional truck. Keep reading to learn more about this matchup between the Cybetruck and Ford F250.
The Cybertruck Versus the F-250
The Cybertruck belongs in a versus battle with the Ford’s F-250 model because their weight puts them in the same class of trucks that have a:
- Hauling weight capacity of between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds
- Towing weight limit of 14,000 pounds
In the truck world F-250 and the Cybertruck comparable to other gasoline-powered trucks such as the:
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500
- GMC Sierra 2500
- Ram 2500
But it is important to note that, while the F-250 can compete with the gasoline-powered trucks mentioned above in both real-world tests and opinions of buyers after having used the trucks, the F-250 cannot be compared to the Cybertruck in these terms.
Given the fact that the Cybertruck has not been put to market, any comparison between the two trucks is mostly theoretical. For example, the two trucks can tow up to or at least (more on that later) 14,000 pounds, but the Cybertruck has not been broadly put to the test for that purpose so it is difficult to know how that would really work.
Nevertheless, there is a lot that can still be said about the Cybertruck versus the F-250 so buckle your seat belts and get ready for the big reveal of a fair comparison. Here is a spoiler: all things considered, the contest probably comes to a draw as far as specs, but the F-250 likely takes the lead in function. Want to see why? Read on.
Cybertruck Vs F-250: Horsepower and Torque
This is the simplest section of the whole article because the numbers are pretty straightforward. But it deserves a section of its own because nearly every truck enthusiast wants to know the same thing: how much horsepower does it have?
Well, in this case, the answer is simple, but the implications (like so many things with Tesla’s Cybertruck) are unclear. First of all, you should note that, while Tesla has released a few specs on the Cybertruck, it has not released the truck’s horsepower capability.
However, one magazine estimates that the Cybertruck has a horsepower of about 690 with a torque of roughly 824 pound-feet. This is quite impressive compared with the F-250’s horsepower. The ranges of the F-250’s horsepower and torque are:
- 385 hp for the 6.2-liter V8 with 430 pound-feet of torque
- 430 hp for the 7.3-liter V8 with 475 pound-feet of torque
- 475 hp for the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 with 1,050 pound-feet of torque
As you can see, the F-250 underperforms compared to the Cybertruck in terms of horsepower. But the diesel version of the F-250 splendidly outperforms the Cybertruck in terms of torque. So you have to ask if a lower horsepower engine can have a higher torque (in comparison) why does the Cybertruck have 690 hp?
Is 690 Horsepower Misleading?
On its website, Tesla makes the bold claim that the Cybertruck functions better than a truck and performs better than a sports car. The sports car part likely has some truth to it, oddly enough, but if you read on, this article will show that the truck claim in some areas is wanting.
All this begs the question: why 690 horsepower? Is it to perform like a truck or like a sports car? Keep this in mind as you look at the next two critical truck functions and see how the Cybertruck and F-250 perform.
Cybertruck Vs F-250: Towing Capacity
Horsepower corresponds to a few different factors in the automotive world and is often touted first when car specs come up. In terms of trucks, horsepower has a direct correlation to their key functions: hauling and towing. So theoretically for having a greater horsepower, the Cybertruck ought to be able to tow the socks off the F-250.
But it does not seem to be able to do this. The Cybertruck Tri Motor can tow up to 14,000 pounds which means that the top-of-the-line version of the Tesla’s truck falls right in the middle of its class and the range of the F-250’s towing capability. Depending on the model, the F-250 can tow:
- 13,300 pounds with the 6.2-liter V8 engine
- 14,000 pounds with the 7.3-liter V8 engine
- 15,200 pounds with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine
Notice that the baseline F-250 engine falls just 700 pounds shy of the Cybertruck while the midline engine is neck and neck with it. But if you go with the F-250 diesel you can pull 1,200 pounds more than what the top-of-the-line Cybertruck can accomplish.
Keeping that in mind, take a look at what the baseline models of the Cybertruck can manage:
- The Single Motor RWD can manage 7,500 pounds
- The Dual Motor RWD can pull about 10,000 pounds
The Dual Motor falls well short of what the baseline version of the F-250 can pull, and the Single Motor is well below the limit of not only the F-250 but the F-150 as well.
So again, one has to wonder if the horsepower of the Tri Motor is applied to the Cybertruck’s truck potential of sports car potential. But there is even more to the question of the Cybertruck’s towing capacity versus the F-250’s.
Able to Do It Vs Doing It
The Cybertruck has the ability to pull up to 14,000 pounds, but can it actually do it? This is more than just a snarky question. Towing items over 10,000 pounds after requires one of two things to make it work:
- A gooseneck hitch
- A fifth wheel
You can assume that it is possible to install a gooseneck hitch on the Cybertruck but there is no clear indication either way whether that is actually possible.
In addition to that question, there is another that is difficult to answer with any certainty. What about clearance? Cybertruck’s design incorporates sharp angles for aerodynamic efficiency, but those angles may likely create a clearance problem, especially if you are trying to tow a fifth wheel. It may not have the clearance it needs to make tight turns.
By contrast, the Ford F-250 is a traditional, tried-and-true truck design. As such, the question of clearance and the ability to install gooseneck hitches has been solved long ago. There are no problems with the F-250.
Cybertruck Vs F-250: Bed Capacity
There is one category where the Cybertruck is the clear winner: bed capacity. The Cybertruck has an astounding capacity at 100 cubic feet of bed space that is available in all the versions of the truck.
The F-250 trails behind with its two bed options. The highest capacity that it offers is still about 20 cubic feet less than the Cybertruck. Here is how it breaks down:
- The 6 and ¾ bed offers about 65 cubic feet of space
- The 8-foot bed offer about 79 cubic feet of space
Clearly, the Cybertruck takes this category in terms of numbers. But like the other categories, there is more than meets the eye in this competition. Does the Cybertruck’s cubic foot capacity give it greater hauling ability when compared to the F-250?
Hauling Capacity in Weight
So with all that capacity in cubic feet, what is the Cybertruck’s capacity in weight in comparison to the F-250? This may surprise you. According to Tesla’s website, the Cybertruck has a weight capacity of up to 3,500 pounds, but it is unclear as to which model this applies to or if it applies to all of them.
Given the way other aspects of the truck are described, it is likely that the weight capacity of 3,500 pounds applies to the Tri Motor Cybertruck. The capacity of the Single and Dual Motor trucks is not listed. But it is probably safe to assume that their capacity is less.
Now compare this with the F-250:
- The weight capacity of the F-250 4×2 ranges from 3,750 pounds to 4,230
- The weight capacity of the F-250 4×4 ranges from 3,310 pounds to 3,820 pounds
The 4×4 is comparable to the Cybertruck, but the rear-wheel-drive version starts at 250 pounds greater than what the Cybertruck can achieve.
So while you get more usable space with the Cybertruck, you can haul heavier payloads with the Ford F-250. It is up to you to decide which ability is worth the most to you, so the two vehicles in this case may still end up as a draw depending on how you feel about the weight gain, as it were.
Hauling Capacity in Function
What about how the hauling capacity actually works between the two models? Do they function the same as far as getting your load into the bed and being able to access it? The answer is no they do not. So which is better?
The Cybertruck offers two really cool features in relation to the bed:
- There is a sliding panel that covers the bed completely and locks
- The Cybertruck also has a tailgate that turns into a ramp for loading things like a Cyber-ATV (even though one does seem to appear in pictures with the Cybertruck, given that this is Tesla you never know it is an actual vehicle or just a prop)
But how do these work in terms of functionality? The ramp is a highly functional feature, whether you have an electric ATV or not. Being able to drive and/or carry heavy things into the truck bed without having to contrive a wonky ramp out spare 1x4s is a really cool feature.
But the problem with the Cybertruck is the design in relation to the functionality of the bed. Because of the bed walls that ascend to the pointed peak of the truck, you will have a hard time reaching over the edge to get at a payload, something a lot of truck users are going to be used to doing.
The F-250 on the other hand is a traditional truck design with the bed open on three sides, allowing the truck owner to access tools or parts of a payload without having to go through the tailgate all the time. And if you want a ramp for the truck there are accessories available both from Ford and the aftermarket.
Cybertruck Vs F-250: Other Points of Comparison
The comparison of the Cybertruck and the F-250 does not end with the three points of comparison described above. What about other aspects of the two trucks?
What are the comparisons of classic auto industry markers like the 0-60 marker and range? Read on to see how the two models compare in these areas.
The Speed Comparison: Cybertruck
Before this article gets into the details of the speed of both vehicles, you have to wonder why it is an issue. Top speed and the 0-60 test have never been as important an application of horsepower in the truck world as are hauling and towing capabilities. Why is it an issue now?
Speed is an issue mostly because Tesla flaunts it with the Cybertruck, particularly its sports-car-like abilities. So even though this may not be a huge deal for truck enthusiasts (or even on their radar), here is how the speed comparisons play out.
For the Cybertruck:
- The Single Motor version can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 6.5 seconds
- The Dual Motor version can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 4.5 seconds
- The Tri Motor can go from 0 to 60 miles per hours in less than 2.9 seconds
Tesla has created a pretty cool vehicle with impressive specs and speed ability in its Tri Motor version, but, as this article has been asking all along, why? Is it to compete as a truck like the F-250?
The Speed Comparison: F-250
Interestingly, Ford’s F-250 does have a 0-60 speed that is comparable to the Single Motor Cybertruck. The diesel version of the F-250 can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 6 seconds. This is impressive in the gas-powered truck world, making the Cybertruck all the more impressive with its 2.9-second ability.
But it comes down to purpose. The F-250 clearly uses that power for its superior hauling and towing abilities, whereas the Cybertruck has greater speed ability but the result is less capability in towing and hauling and compromised ability to fully perform those actions like they can be performed with a more traditional truck.
Cybertruck Vs F-250: Range
Finally, we come down to range. Again, this seems like a comparison only because Tesla flaunts the 500-mile range of the Cybertruck. Possibly this is because traditional trucks with a gross weight of 8,500 pounds or more are exempt from providing miles per gallon info because of their class of vehicle.
In terms of function, trucks are rarely considered for their abilities to make long trips. Admittedly they have, overall, become much more comfortable over the years, but the market of truck buyers is generally interested in the truck as a day trip vehicle. There are exceptions such as caravaning on family vacation. But that hardly qualifies as daily use.
The other problem with Tesla’s range claim is that it seems to be achievable due to the truck’s aerodynamics. But what if those aerodynamics are removed? In other words, what if you roll up the panel and use the Cybertruck like a truck? In that case, it is likely back on par with traditional trucks in terms of aerodynamics and range.
This puts the Cybertruck on an even playing field with the F-250. Since Ford is not required to provide this info it has to come from independent sources. According to one website, The F-250 that was tested achieved almost 16 miles to the gallon, leading the writer to conclude that the truck, when empty, could drive for 750 miles.
Sadly, much of the work in figuring out a fair comparison involves weeding through Tesla’s marketing ploys to get to the real info. The Cybertruck is an impressive vehicle that is eye-catching with a lot of cool features.
But the ultimate comparison of trucks will always come down to utility. In this sense, the Cybertruck has a long way to go to catch up to Ford’s F-250.