Elon Musk compares the Tesla Cybertruck to the Ford F-150 and the Porsche 911. How the futuristic vehicle stacks up with the greatest pickup truck and the iconic sports car. (TSLA, F)

Cybertruck 4Cybertruck 4

The Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



  • The Tesla Cybertruck debuted in late 2019.
  • CEO Elon Musk compared it with both the Ford F-150 and the Porsche 911.
  • The F-150 is the bestselling pickup truck in the US, and the 911 is the best sports car money can buy.
  • The Cybertruck actually could combine the best of the F-150 and the 911.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk rarely holds back. 

So when the Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled last year, the design blew minds — nobody expected a wildly futuristic pickup made from stainless steel. It looked like it was ready to take on space travel, which makes sense, given that Musk has said he wants to use his other company, SpaceX, to help him retire on Mars.

Musk riled up pickup partisans when he compared the Cybertruck to the market-leading Ford F-150. And he also tweaked the sports-car world when he said that his electric pickup could outdo the Porsche 911.

But how does the Cybertruck really stack up against these legends? As it turns out, I’ve driven the F-150 last year, and I recently drove a pair of 911s.

Here’s the tale of the tape:

Let’s start with America’s truck — the Ford F-Series, of which the F-150 is the full-size offering, has been the bestselling vehicle in the US since Ronald Reagan was president.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Read the review.

The F-150 can trace its heritage to the F1 of 1948.

Ford F 1 1948

Ford F1.

Ford


Of course, the real comparison for the Tesla Cybertruck is with Ford’s F-150 Raptor, the high-performance variant of the pickup.

Ford Raptor

Ford F-150 Raptor.

Ford


Read the review.

Ford sells nearly a million F-Series pickups annually, with the F-150 leading the charge. Customers don’t always buy basic “work” trucks — my last F-150 test vehicle was a well-equipped 2019 F-150 Limited, that stickered at $74,180.

Ford F-150

2019 Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Pickups are now quite plush, in terms of their interior appointments. One can buy an F-150 that checks off boxes once reserved for luxury cars.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150 4×4 SuperCrew has a nice, roomy back seats with plenty of room for full-size adults to stretch out.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Luxe up front, but the F-150 is still a pickup, so it’s business in the back. The aluminum construction that Ford controversially switched to in 2014 has held up well — this is an incredibly capable truck.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Climbing in and out of the bed is made easy by a stowable step and grab bar.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Ford offers numerous engine options in the F-Series. I tested a high-output variant of the 3.5-liter V6: The turbocharged mill cranks out 450 horsepower with 510 pound-feet of torque. That beats the 5.0-liter V8 engine by a notable margin (395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque).

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The power is routed to the four-wheel-drive system by a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is so-so, at 17 mpg city/21 highway/19 combined. But the Raptor-grade motor yields a 0-60 mph time of just over five seconds. Acceleration is sort of staggering for a truck that weighs in at almost 5,700 pounds and can tow 12,000 pounds.

Weirdly, I had trouble running the gas out of my tester, though I didn’t take it on an extended road trip.

For the driver, the cockpit combines functionality with a relaxing experience. The F-150 is large, but it isn’t difficult to handle.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150’s infotainment system runs on what is by contemporary standards a modest 8-inch central touchscreen.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150 Limited.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The Sync 3 system is generally superb, with excellent navigation, easy Bluetooth device-pairing, USB integration, and a SiriusXM introductory subscription. Bonus points for the wonderful Bang & Olufsen premium audio setup.

There’s no question that the F-150 is still king of the pickup-truck hill, so it’s no surprise that Tesla has challenged it. You go after the best! But in 2020, the F-150 is scheduled for a redesign, so the best is about to get better.

2019 Ford F 150

Ford F-150 Raptor.

Ford


From four-wheels and a truck bed to two doors and an engine in the back — we’re shifting gears from the greatest pickup in human history to the finest sports car ever made: the spectacular Porsche 911.

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Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


Hard to believe the 911 has been around since 1963 — and is basically unchanged in terms of the core design.

1963 Porsche 911

Porsche 911.


Porsche



The 911 is all-new for 2020 — the official designation is “992” and remarkably, Porsche has improved the car, setting a fresh standard for a machine that was no stranger to standard-setting.

porsche 8463

Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


Unlike the F-150 and the Cybertruck, the 911 is a proper sports car — and that means a cozy cockpit that’s built for speed. Although it’s also surprisingly comfortable.

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Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


The back seat?: Forget about it. And cargo capacity is exceptionally modest.

porsche 8455

Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


The 911’s powerplant is the legendary boxer flat-six, mounted over the rear wheels. Porsche tunes this engine to serve up a range of horsepower output, depending on trim level.

porsche 8330

Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


So let’s be real. The F-150 is a big pickup. The Cybertruck is also a pickup. True, the Raptor is hot to drive. But the 911 exists to drive.

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Take on the Porsche 911?!?! What was Elon thinking? Well, he was being smart. The 911 is the finest sports car money can buy. If the Cybertruck could steal its thunder, what a selling point!

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Porsche 911 4S.

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


When the Cybertruck landed, the design was divisive.

Cybertruck 1

Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



The Cybertruck doesn’t really have an antecedent, although the concept was teased in 2017 when Tesla showed the world its Semi.

Tesla Pickup

Tesla Cybertruck.

Tesla


The actual, mind-blowing Cybertruck didn’t arrive until late 2019. To say that it evoked a polarizing reaction would be a major understatement.

Tesla cybertruck elon musk

Tesla Cybertruck.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images


Tesla challenged the F-150 to a tug-of-war — and the Cybertruck won!

Tesla Ford tug of war Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck.

Elon Musk via Twitter


The Cybertruck also outran a Porsche 911 in a drag race. The 0-60 mph dash could be achieved in 2.9 seconds with a triple-motor configuration, and the Cybertruck’s range is pegged at 500 miles on a single charge.

Cybertruck 2

Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



Not everything was a triumph for the Cybertruck on its debut. The special window glass was supposed to be shatterproof, but it couldn’t handle a demonstration and cracked.

Nov 21, 2019;  Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A; Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the TeslaDesign Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Tesla Cybertruck.

Reuters


The Cybertruck is made of stainless steel. Tesla calls the bed a “vault.” It has a retractable cover and built-in slots to enable customization.

Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



Tesla has said that the Cybertruck could tow a segment-leading 14,000 pounds, but heavier-duty traditional pickups can tow more.

Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



The Cybertruck’s interior should follow the philosophy that Tesla established with the Model 3 sedan: ultra-minimalist, with but a single screen in the dash controlling most vehicle functions.

Cybertruck 3

Tesla Cybertruck.


Tesla



The Cybertruck, when Tesla starts delivering them, would have access to the company’s vast Supercharger network.

tesla supercharger

A Tesla Model S is parked at a Supercharger station.

Alexis Georgeson/Tesla


Why the Supercharger network sets Tesla apart.

The Cybertruck is like nothing anyone has ever seen before. It looks like it’s on loan from the future. It also represents a new direction for Tesla. And to be honest, it’s so radical that it could legitimately combine the Ford F-150 and the Porsche 911 in a way nobody expected but that only Tesla could pull off.

Cybertruck 5




Tesla



Why the Cybertruck is a new, new thing for Tesla.

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