You’ve seen the videos. Two pickup owners get a strong tow rope, tie it to each of their respective truck’s tow hitches and have a tug of war to see whose vehicle has more torque, grip and overall towing capability. It’s not a scientific test by any means, but if there’s one thing it is good for, it’s generating an entertaining and/or funny viral video.
This week, Elon Musk tweeted a video of a Tesla Cybertruck engaging in this type of tug-of-war with a Ford F-150 to drum-up hype for the new electric pickup. The video, which ends with the powerful and presumably quite heavy Cybertruck dragging the F-150 up a hill, certainly helped generate more interest in the oddball Tesla pickup. At the time of this writing, the video has been viewed 13.7 million times, while Musk’s tweet has 116,000 retweets and 656,000 likes.
Cybertruck pulls F-150 uphill pic.twitter.com/OfaqUkrDI3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019
Understandably, Ford wasn’t too happy with the way the test went. The video appears to feature a two-wheel-drive Ford F-150 (or a 4×4 F-150 in 2WD mode), which is obviously no match for the all-wheel-drive Cybertruck. Sunny Madra, vice president of Ford X (that’s the automaker’s division dedicated to developing innovative new business models), noticed this and challenged Musk to a rematch, asking the entrepreneur to send over a Cybertruck so Ford could do a true “apples-to-apples” comparison. Musk responded later that day, telling Madra and Ford to “bring it on.”
Right now, it doesn’t seem as though Ford plans on actually stepping into the ring with Tesla, with a spokesperson saying “Sunny’s tweet was tongue in cheek to point out the absurdity of Tesla’s video, nothing more.” Tesla still plans on re-doing the test, however, with Musk saying the match up will be “exciting to see.”
Musk later engaged with scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson on Twitter about the topic, who said that grip is what matters most in this test – not the torque offered up by the electric motors. Musk replied back saying that if both trucks were loaded to their max bed payload, they would have more equal rear grip, making it a more even playing field.
We’re now left wondering if General Motors should capitalize on this news-making story and step up when Ford wouldn’t – though we imagine GM feels similar to Ford, which claimed it was only focused on “serving our truck customers regardless of what others say or do.” It’s easy to see why the legacy brands aren’t eager to go toe-to-toe with Tesla. After all, Ford and GM have more to lose with regard to their established truck businesses, whereas Tesla can simply say there’s room for improvement with its prototype-level truck if it loses.
Either way, the Ford vs. Tesla rematch stands to be a major event. This feels like Pacquiao vs. Mayweather all over again.