Elon Musk has noted in the past that he wanted to make the Cybertruck a vehicle that rivals the iconic Ford F-150 in utility while matching high-performance machines like the Porsche 911 in terms of acceleration. The Cybertruck did this, and more. In terms of design, the Cybertruck is definitely polarizing, but in terms of performance and price, it’s downright frightening. This point becomes notable when one compares the Cybertruck with two of the most talked-about pickups in the market today: the up-and-coming luxury Rivian R1T and the aged veteran Ford F-150.
The Tesla Cybertruck is intended to be loaded with tech while offering the most utility possible. The Rivian R1T, on the other hand, is a posh pickup with premium materials that are designed to give its owners the perfect weekend outdoor getaway. Finally, the Ford F-150 is a tough-as-nails truck that can take whatever punishment its owners can give it, while still providing a relatively comfortable ride.
For purposes of this comparison, the specs of the top-tier version of the Tesla Cybertruck will be pitted against the top trim of the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Raptor Supercrew.
Between these three trucks, two look quite traditional, and one looks like it stepped out of a science-fiction movie. The Ford F-150 is the quintessential American pickup truck, and it looks the part. The Rivian R1T is a pickup for the electric age, sleek, and sturdy while still referencing the tried and tested form and silhouette of its predecessors.
The Tesla Cybertruck throws convention out the window, adopting an origami-style form that is angular and unapologetically futuristic. Among these three, the Cybertruck definitely is the standout, even if its design is polarizing. Traditional pickup buyers will likely gravitate toward the F-150 or the Rivian R1T, but those that want to have a vehicle unlike any other will probably choose the Cybertruck.
Trucks are expected to be robust, and each of these vehicles has the strength to match. The top-tier Tesla Cybertruck can tow 14,000 lbs of cargo, while the more luxury-focused Rivian R1T has a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. The Ford F-150 Raptor Supercrew, on the other hand, can tow 8,000 lbs. This means that in terms of towing capacity, the top-end Tesla Cybertruck can pull around 43% more weight than a Ford F-150 Raptor Supercrew.
Inside the vehicle, the Ford F-150 Raptor Supercrew can seat six people, while the Rivian R1T seats five. The Cybertruck has a six-seat configuration and Tesla's trademark minimalistic interior.
Acceleration-wise, the Tesla Cybertruck, and Rivian R1T completely dominate the Ford F-150, whose 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds was once considered industry-leading. The Rivian R1T, with its quad-motor configuration, is capable of launching from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds. How about the Tesla Cybertruck? Thanks to years of experience making EVs, Elon Musk and the Tesla team were able to make the hulking, massive Cybertruck quick enough to hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
Pickup trucks were considered primarily working vehicles once, but as their popularity grew, they have evolved into relatively luxurious vehicles. Thus, trucks like the Ford F-150 Raptor Supercrew, actually fetch prices of about $56,000. That’s more expensive than the mid-tier, dual-motor AWD variant of the Tesla Cybertruck, which costs $49,990. The Rivian R1T is a luxury pickup truck, and it is priced as such, starting at about $69,000. That’s around the same ballpark as the top-end Tesla Cybertruck.
The operating costs of these three trucks will also be pretty interesting to compare. Tesla’s Cybertruck and the Rivian R1T definitely have an edge in price, considering that EV charging is generally cheaper than diesel trucks. Between the two, however, the Cybertruck has an edge due to Tesla’s Supercharger Network, which is very affordable and quick. Rivian, at least for now, does not have this. The Ford F-150 has an advantage considering that it only takes a few minutes to refuel its monster tank. Still, it’s also the most expensive vehicle to run, considering the fluctuating price of diesel.
Overall, the Tesla Cybertruck offers a great balance between utility, performance, and price. However, its polarizing design is bound to make some buyers hesitant. For such customers, the Rivian R1T may be a safer, more conservative bet, as it is an all-electric vehicle that still has the traditional pickup template. That is, of course, if one can afford its luxury price. The Ford F-150 is still a sound truck in its own right, and it has been tried and tested over the years. But when compared against the Cybertruck in terms of features and operating costs, the F-150, ever so clearly, starts showing its age.
Featured Image Credit: Tesla Inc, Rivian Automotive, and Ford Motor Company
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