CrossCheck | Tesla Cybertruck vs Ford F-150 Lightning - Tesla's apocalyptic pickup faces stiff competition from Ford's EV workhorse
CrossCheck – when rivals clash
1. The Cybertruck's bed is a foot longer than the F-150's
Obviously, the Cybertruck is yet to launch, and specs are all up in the air until then, but according to info reported by Car and Driver, the Cybertruck will have a 6.5-foot (~1.98 m) bed. The F-150 Lightning, on the other hand, only sports a 5.5-foot (~1.67 m) long bed. That's a rather substantial difference, especially considering the Cybertruck comes standard with a locking cover for the bed. If Ford offered the F-150 Lightning in a single-cab version, this would be a different story, but as it stands, the Cybertruck actually has more load capacity than Ford's electric work truck.
2. The Ford F-150 Lightning's interior favours function while the Cybertruck favours form
In typical Tesla fashion, the Cybertruck's interior has about as many buttons and dials as a modern smartphone. The Cybertruck's interior design is sort of an ode to futuristic minimalism instead of a practical space made for humans. While Ford seems to have embraced our buttonless future, it's not an extinction-level event just yet. There is a wealth of media and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, and the central touchscreen is surrounded by a couple of shortcuts and dials for things someone might need when doing truck things.
The Ford F-150 Lightning certainly makes more sense from an attentive driving safety point of view — with more buttons, you can achieve more in less time without looking down — and it is more than likely easier to use for someone wearing thick gloves. If you're a fan of traditional vehicle control schemes, the F-150 Lightning is going to be a better bet, but it's still not an ideal situation, either.
3. Ford's F-150 Lightning is only slightly slower than the Cybertruck
One of the Cybertruck's big selling points is its supercar-like performance in a straight line. This is largely thanks to a high-output battery and the triple-motor powertrain. Tesla hasn't provided the horsepower or torque figures for the Cybertruck, but it does claim that the truck gets to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. The F-150 Lightning is far more tame, with 0-60 numbers closer to four seconds, according to Car and Driver — something a truck really has no business doing.
Perhaps more importantly, both the Cybertruck and the F-150 Lightning are capable of towing large loads and packing their beds with heavy cargo. Importantly, though, the tri-motor Cybertruck is quoted as being able to tow up to 14,000 lbs, while the F-150 Platinum tops out at 8,500 lbs.
4. Trims and variants are important
The Cybertruck is set to be offered in four variants. At the bottom will be a single motor rear-wheel drive variant that Tesla claims will do "250+" miles on a full charge. Expect that to be the only Cybertruck that's even close to the original US$39,900 price tag, with the tri- and four-motor, 500-mile range variants probably coming in at well over the original US$70,000 price tag. Ford, on the other hand, offers the F-150 Lightning in a multitude of trims, with all of them featuring a 4x4, dual-motor setup. The F-150 Lightning with the longest legs is the Platinum with 300 miles on the Extended-Range battery
The cheapest F-150 Lightning comes in at US$59,974, though, which is close to where the Cybertruck is said to top out. Meanwhile, the most expensive F-150 Lightning — the Platinum — starts at an eye-watering US$98,074. It remains to be seen whether Tesla is able to stick to the almost comically low price, but if it can, the Cybertruck will be a big disruption to the electric pickup space.
Looks can make or break a vehicle, and where the Ford F-150 Lightning looks like an average truck, the Tesla isn't shy about the Cybertruck being completely different. Being able to convince potential buyers to sign onto this particular vision for the future may be key to outselling the likes of the F-150 Lightning.